Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall/Winter Project - The Point Bennett Goes Under the Knife

I vowed not to build another boat for a while, yet there's still that urge to create  In spring of 2011 I built my Point Bennett, a plywood stitch and glue boat designed by Duane Strosaker. While I really enjoy paddling the boat, there are few things that I'd like to change - all, with the exception of one, have to do with the deck. So, you guessed it, the deck will be coming off!!

Why, you may ask?  Well, here's why:

The Point Bennett was designed to carry camping gear and such, so, while it is far from high volume, it has more than I need. (I have no desire to camp from my kayak). Once I cut the deck off, I will proceed to drop it. This will not only lower the volume, it will also drop the height of the cockpit coaming in the back. I find the current height a bit hard for layback rolls and such.

When I replace the deck, I will be going with strips rather than plywood. Strips are much easier to come by here than marine plywood. Plus the strips will allow me to build a rounded deck that may help with foot room when I drop the height!!!  Plywood does not lent itself to bending so you are more restricted in what shapes you can make.

I was NEVER happy with the cockpit size and coaming!!  When I originally cut the opening, it made it too big and of course once it was done, I was pretty much committed. I also built the coaming out of stacked plywood rings which, while pretty simply, is big and bulky. After seeing the job I did on my Black Pearl, I will be going the coaming made of laid up fibreglass. I will also make it a keyhole style. And SMALLER!!

In addition to reducing the size of the coaming, I am going to recess it as well. This will lower the height even more. I'm not sure how I'll be doing this yet but I have some ideas!

Like the cockpit, I was also NEVER happy with my padeyes (the deck fittings that hold the lines). They leaked from the get-go and when I finally got them tight, I didn't like the system I used.  When I replace the deck, I will be going with the Maroske, a used on my Black Pearl. They are strong, watertight and very pleasing to the eye.

Hopefully, I will be able to re-use my hatch coamings. I think I can safely cut them out and re install them in the new deck.

I never put a skeg in this boat when I built it but, later, I had occasion to wish I did. Seeing that I'll have the deck off, now is the time to install one. I have a Kajaksport skeg on order from Newfound Woodworks. Although the PB can be paddled without a skeg, sometimes it's nice to have that tracking assistance!!

And what do I expect to get out of this?

I currently have my Black Pearl and Point Bennett side by side and upside down in the backyard. Their hulls below the water time are incredibly similar in shape - albeit the BP has more rocker!!  I am expecting the LV Point Bennett to be fast, nimble and a great roller. It will have a little more volume than the BP, so it'll carry a bit more gear. The skeg will be an added bonus in certain wind conditions.  The new cockpit  will be cleaner and less open.  The padeyes will be lot strong with no fear of breakage. The deck will have more curvature. I may/may not see a reduction in weight - this remains to be seen.

I am guessing that many, upon seeing the "new" Point Bennett will assume that I've built a new boat.

When I first dreamed up this project, I figured it was simply a matter of cutting off the deck and replacing it but when you look at it, the deck is the most time consuming part of the entire build.  I'm rearing to go!!

Thanks for dropping by,


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