Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fittin' and Finishin'

Things are moving into the nitty gritty stage now. Fittin' and finishin', so to speak.  Once I knew what seat I was going to use and where it was to be located, I needed to work on where my feet would rest. But before I get to that, here's a picture of my 11 yr old daughter sitting in the boat. Just before this, my wife, Cheryl, gave it a whir as well. It's funny but both had the same reaction - the fear to actually step on the boat. Both were afraid that it would break. I'll admit that my first time was the same. I was waiting for the big CRAAAACK as the plywood snapped under my weight. Well, there wasn't even some much as a creak!!

Here's hoping Bridget shows as much interest on the water!!

With the seat fitted, I now know where my feet will rest. I'm using the front bulkhead as my foot brace. I left enough space so that I'd have to fill in foam or some other material. Mini-cell foam is not readily available so I went with an alternative - foam floor "tiles" from Canadian Tire. 4 tiles @ 24" x 24" x 1/2" for 14.99 is not a bad price!!  I went with one full layer to fit against the bulkhead with 3 smaller layers for a) weight saving and b) a central gap in which to stretch my legs.  I glued them all together with Marine Goop. For those edges that would be kicked and rubbed, I ran a strip of Gorilla Tape and Goop. Gorilla Tape is now my "tool" of choice. Expect to see it again on this boat - in the most unlikely of places!!!

After much deliberation, I decided to epoxy my hatch rims in place. No screws or bolts.  I had some G-Flex epoxy which is a special adhesive by West Systems for gluing plastic. This was free so I figured I'd give it a shot. I threw in a bit of 406 filler and laid a good bead around the rim of each hatch. I popped the rims in the boat and laid weights on top to keep in place.  All went according to plan.

Rim with G-Flex.

While the rims were setting up, I finally got around to making the pad eyes for holding the deck lines and bungees. I needed a total of 23 units - which included cutting the small plywood backing, cutting a 3/4" slot and then epoxying the nylon webbing in place. It was not as tedious as I though and only took an hour or so.

I cut the plywood backing plates and made the slots in my work space in the attic. I decided to do the gluing up on the dining room table so that I could be with my wife as she worked on some sewing. I used to always work on my dining room table until we got a new one a few months back!! But I figured that gluing up the pad eyes was pretty benign work - as long as I provided adequate protection, i.e., a piece of plywood, for the table.

Funny but gluing up the 23 pad eyes took very little time and was without incident.  It was made much easier by the use of, you guessed it, those Schedule 40 clamps!! They were perfect for the task.

Mylar stops backing plate from sticking to plywood used to "squat" the nylon into the epoxy. The Schedule 40s were perfect for this.

A pad eye from below showing the nylon encased in epoxy.

All the pad eyes glued.

Sitting and gluing 23 of these while having a few drinks of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey (in honor of St. Patrick's Day) can certainly have an effect on you.

Thanks Cheryl for the lovely picture!!

Saturday saw me cutting into the deck - again. I needed to cut 23 slots in the deck for those pad eyes I made the night before!!

I devised a simple jig out of plywood. I'd simply use it to locate and drill 4 holes in the deck. Then I'd use a razor blade knife, file and sand paper to make the final cuts.

Simple jig that worked flawlessly.

Sometimes the most unlikely of tools will be the most useful.  I was tasked with making 23 slots that were 3/4" wide. I found that my garden variety file was just the right thickness and, once I marked off a spot, was exactly 3/4" wide. Once I determined this, it was simply a matter of working the file into the rough hole until it hit the tape marker - at which point I knew the slot was the exact size needed. Too easy!!  After about hour I had all 23 slots made!!

File in up the hilt means a perfect sized slot.

Here's pad eye laid in place. Nice and neat - and soft so they won't tear your legs off during rescues!!

Last night I just epoxied the rims in. Tonight I ran a good bead of epoxy around the rims to fill in any gaps.

Front hatch fully encased in epoxy.

The front hatch again.

While all this was going on I ran another coat of epoxy over the coaming and epoxied the sides of the pad eyes slots for better water resistance.

That's enough for one day especially when the builder is fighting a cold and feeling quite nauseous!!



  1. Thanks Stan!! Unfortunately my P & S camera does not do the boat justice! I'm just snapping off shots to record progress only. The proof will be in the pudding, though, when I paint the boat and drag it out into to the sunlight for the first time.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting!!

  2. I seen those eye loops on someone's blog a while back, but never looked into it enough to see how they kept the water out. Very nice!

  3. Robert: I'll run a bead of Marine Goop or equivalent around the plywood backing plate. This will seal the plate against the underside of the deck and keeping out the water. I like the idea that I can put them in place after I finish painting the deck.

  4. What happened to the first two skin on frames you made? And how do they compare with wood-made ones?

    Hope your posts 'twit'.

  5. Tommythin: I made them back in the late 70s. They ended up under my uncle's cabin in an unheated crawlspace with a dirt floor. I actually saw one of them a few months ago (after almost 30 years of not seeing them) They are both rotted and falling apart. The first one I made up the "design" myself based on pictures I'd seen of kayaks (having never even seen one in real life prior to that). It was not really a usable craft but fun to make. There will be no comparisons to the new boat.


  6. Just how are you planning to get the kayak out of your attic? I hope not down those stairs.

  7. PaulE: Believe it or not, yes. That's a full size set of stairs. The full opening is 11x3. Plus theres 8 feet of space between the top of the stairs and the eve of the roof. The boat will drop right down the stairs with no problem. At the bottom of the stairs there's a 30' wide vertical sliding window on the 2nd floor. The boat will slide right down the stairs, out onto the front porch roof and right to the ground. Badda boom, badda bing. Pictures will be taken and posted, to be sure.

    Thanks for watching,