Monday, April 23, 2012

Black Pearl Project - Goin' Grey and then Gettin' Glossy

Well, it's been two weeks since my last blog entry. It's a been two weeks of sanding and prepping for painting.

I decided that I wanted a little extra protection on the stems so I ran some 6oz x 2" tape up each end. I filled the tape with epoxy thickened with colloidal silica for better abrasion resistance. I even managed to feather the tape so that it's not visible.

Tape being feathered but not yet finished..

With the stems taped, I moved onto the final sanding. Not much to say other than I went through a lot of paper and time before I came to a point where I was satisfied with the finish. When you go with gloss black you have to be prepared for the paint to show up every blemish and imperfection!!! In the images below the boat looks a dull grey. If I were to wet it out with water, it would go a deep satin black. Very nice looking.

I wanted to be able to paint both the hull and deck at the same time so I rigged up a kayak rotisserie where I could paint the hull then rotate the boat to paint the deck.

The Grey Pearl!! Prepped for painting.

The cockpit coaming is not yet finished but still looks good. Inside will painted as well so it'll look a lot neater than this once completed.

The Grey Pearl on the rotisserie.

Upside down and ready to paint.

I'm going with Interlux Brightside - a one part polyurethane paint. It's pretty easy to use and gives a nice deep, high gloss finish.

White "globe" in the middle of the image is a dust particle reflecting from the camera flash.

Rotated and deck finished. Bow view.

From the stern.

Starboard quarter.

Starboard bow.

Stern shot - showing nice gloss!!

Aft deck, deck plate opening and cockpit.

Cockpit coaming and foredeck.

I have not decided how many coats of paint will be required. The first coat went on with amazing coverage as the boat was already black underneath. I'm thinking that two more coats will give a very deep coating. 

We're in the home stretch now.

Thanks for dropping by,



  1. Time to get that out and ran up on a few rocks sean!

    Well done!

  2. Great looking kayak, super job. How does it handle in rough water and is it good for surfing. I`m considering a new kayak and the Pearl looks like it could be a contender.

  3. Looking forward to seeing this on the water Sean. Beautiful job.

    Tony :-)

  4. Thanks guys. I'm anxious to see it on the water as well.

    Steve: When I ordered my plans, I specifically stated that I wanted it for rough water playing and rolling, so the designer took that into consideration. It's 18' 4" by 20" - which is not as long as it would be had I wanted it for touring or cruising. With no skeg, any surfing is going to require edging and paddle control alone but it designed as an extremely maneuverable craft that reacts swiftly to the paddler.

    Here's what has been lifted directly from the designer's description:

    "extremely easily handled, instantly reacting to shift of weight, leaning etc, and with enough secondary stability to support leaned turns, balance brace and such. It is very easily rolled. The initial stability is low but with the reassuring secondary stability it is not out of reach even for a novice (at least one with some patience and perseverance)"

    I find the following most entertaining. It's taken from the description of the commercially produced Black Pearl:

    "A kayak for resourceful paddlers who know how to deal with difficult situations, and do it right, with split second timing. This is a kayak for pure unaffected paddling joy and, as Thompson describes it, “with no practical usefulness whatsoever.” The kayak is highly responsive and does whatever is required and does it instantly. Go where you want to go, do what you want to do – your kayak will be there for you."

    I can't comment myself on how the boat will react in rough water and surf but I'm anticipating an interesting ride, that's for sure.


  5. Waiting to see how you find it in real conditions.I have a Petrel, no skeg and surfing is just fine.

  6. I built a stitch and glue Point Bennett last spring that has no skeg and it tracks quite well. This is my third skegless boat in a year.