Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stick a fork in me, I'm done - again!!

Having built two boats in less than six months, I find myself just repeating blog entry names. Back in March I posted a blog entry with almost the same name when I was nearly finished the Point Bennett! Now, almost a month and a half after launching the Disko Bay, I am safe in saying that the boat is finally complete!!

Today, I made the decision that the deck lines were going to be finished. I've had the rope for several weeks but never got around to putting it on! It was a lovely fall day. It was sunny and warm so I dragged the boat out of the basement, popped into the back deck and set to work!! Besides the decklines, I also need to do some final touches on the back rest.

I've not decided on what type of flotation I will finally go with but for now I've got the fore and aft sections blocked with swimming noodles. Before drilling the holes for the aft deck lines, I had to take the noodles out.

How many noodles does it take the fill the aft hull?

Yep, all that foam does fit in there!

I originally had a foam pillar for a backrest but was finding that it created too much of a pressure point. I whipped up a new backrest with floor tile foam and it's working out great. I can add spacers behind it to change the angle. I made it to fit snug and added two wooden pegs to hold it in place.

Back band in place.

Peg to stop it from slipping forward.

The fwd hull is also stuffed with noodles and in order to keep them in place, I've cut and put in place a foam bulkhead . This bulkhead is not fastened but held in place merely by being pushed in tightly. Not a perfect fit but it works for testing purposes. I will replace with a better fit if the noodles actually work out.

This version of the Disko Bay, as it has a larger cockpit, does not have a true masik. As such, I've created one out of foam. It is put in place after you get in the boat and is removed before you exit. It acts a brace for your thighs for paddling and rolling. In the event of an emergency exit, it will simply pop put of place.

Foam masik
I used black rope for my decklines and maple for the links. The holes in the gunwales are sealed with black Goop. The following images show the lines and fittings and need no description.

In the meantime, I'm more than pleased with the outcome!!

Club Paddle - Aquaforte, October 22, 2011

KNL, traditionally, has its final club paddle in September but this year it never materialized - in that month anyway. Word went out from Gerard, a.k.a. G-man, that a paddle was being planned for the weekend of October 22-23. The weather proved more than favourable and crew of 11 paddlers showed up for a lovely-tell-yer-Mudder-kinda-day on the bay. Below are all the shots I took that day. Sorry, nothing spectacular but they'll do!!

Heading out!!

Hanging out!

Da b'ys!

Peter cruising along with Ferryland in the background!

At the Arch!

Neville in the "Alex" position!

Gerard in a cave, as per usual!

Great spot for a bite!!

Lots of water in the river!

If you look really close you will see Peter in the lower left of the falls

Our illustrious leader, G-Man!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blowing a gasket . . .

Well, I had a feeling it was going to happen soon. While the suit is only 15 mos old, I could see tell tale signs that the neck gasket was getting soft. To be honest, I always thought that this particular gasket was rather thin. This was nice as it was not too restrictive yet it gave a good seal. Anyways, I was finally giving my suit a much-needed wash after the paddle on Sat when I noticed that the latex looked cracked. I stretched it a bit with my fingers and whammo, it ripped from top to bottom in one quick tear.  Not that I wanted this to happen but it's better to have it happen at home than on the water somewhere!!

I'd done gaskets before so I was not fazed by the prospect of having to replace it. Actually my first gasket was not a replacement but rather a new installation. Cheryl's suit had a neoprene collar and I installed a new latext gasket. That was a much harder job than just replacing an existing rubber gasket.

Split from stem to stern!!
A quick call to the Outfiters confirmed that they had an XL gasket in stock - thank gawd!  Last time I did a neck gasket I borrowed the wooden discs and ring from a fellow paddler. This time I decided to make my own because a) I know I'd need them again sometime in the future and b) the individual I borrowed them from last year is "in between" houses right now and I rather not bother him to find them for me.  A few pieces of scrap 4mm plywood and 30 minutes of work and I had my own set of jigs.  The instructions provided by Kokatat gave sizes that did not work with the gasket I had purchased so I had to re-work the inside diameter of the ring to accommodate the difference in size.

I'm not sure if this is "standard" but the old gasket was stitched to the suit fabric and sealed with seam tape. There was no glue/sealant on the gasket, itself. This made removal of the gasket a bit harder but I managed to get a pretty clean surface.

Wooden disk wrapped in wax paper and in position.

Getting ready to apply the Aquaseal.
Last time I did a neck gasket I had to use a wide variety of clamps and clothes pins and "what have ya" to hold the gasket in place while the Aquaseal setup. The biggest job was trying to get even pressure to prevent creep. But not this time!!! Schedule 40 clamps came to the rescue once again!!!  These simple little clamps are rapidly becoming my favourite tool - from hatches, to deck fittings, to cockpit coamings, to thigh braces, to gunwales, back to cockpit coamings and on to fabric skin.

Once I positioned the gasket in place, I simply ran a ring of Schedule 40s around the whole jig and voila - even pressure all the way 'round with no creep!! Also, I was not fighting with the extra weight of the metal clamps that have a tendency to pull the fabric downward and cause movement of the gasket.

Looks like some kind of insect!!

Modern art??

After making sure that the everything was seated propely I left the whole thing overnight. The next morning I pulled off the clamps, removed the jigs and  BADDA BOOM BADDA BING, a "factory" job

"Factory", as they say!!
The first time I tried this operation, I was covered in head to toe with Aquaseal, the gasket tried to creep off the jigs, I cursed and swore  etc etc. This time, it was almost too easy. Familiarity with the process and remaining calm are the big things - and, let's not forget that those Schedule clamps make all the difference in the world!!

Now I need to do a "real world" test  to see how it all works out, i.e., check for leaks!!  I'll also have to be bit more vigilant with the UV protectant as well!!

Thanks for dropping by,


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Absence makes the heart grow fonder . . .

There's an old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In other words, if you're without something for a while, you'll find that you really like it or miss it!!  Today was the first time in some time that I took the Point Bennett (PB) out for a cruise. With the Disko Bay being the "latest thing", I've spent more time playing with it, figuring out its idiosyncrasies and trying to make it comfortable. In the meantime I've forgotten how the PB feels on the water. I've spent a fair bit of time/effort making the PB fit me and today, when I sat the cockpit, it all came back.  "Hand in a glove" is a term used to describe two things that fit well together. When I sat in my PB today, that is how I felt. I was home. I was comfortable.

PB waiting to hit the water at St. Philips

Today was an easy paddle. I sat in the back of the group and just tooled along - enjoying the lovely warm day, the bounce of the water. No need to push.  We had a headwind on the way up but nothing serious. On the trip back we had a following sea. I caught a few good waves and was quickly reminded how fast this boat can be. "Rocket" comes to mind!!  No skeg in a following sea means you have to rely on edging for control - maybe a bit of paddle rudder to keep you on track. All was good.

Today was a good day to remember that the PB is a damn fine boat to paddle - real sea boat!!