Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Point Bennett Project - Lots Started but Nothing Finished

It's been quite some time since I've posted an update but that's not to say nothing has been done!!  As the title of this entry suggests, I've started a number of things, it's just that none of them have been fully completed. They are all interconnected and the progress of one often relies on the progress of another!!

After mating the deck to the hull and glassing it, the next step was the building of the cockpit. Unlike the first cockpit I put on this boat last year, I've decided to go with the laid up glass method. I used 1/2" foam insulation as the form around which I'd lay up the glass/epoxy.  This foam will bend to a tight radius without breaking, making it easy to get a full run around the cockpit coaming with only one join. I tacked the foam to the deck using hot glue. (Note: applying the glue to the deck first reduces the heat enough so that it does not melt the foam. Trying to glue foam to foam with hot glue does not melt as the glue melts the foam before it can stick!!!

Once I had the full band of foam in place I built up the "ears" using shorter pieces. I used contact cement to glue the foam to foam. Once the glue had set, I shaped the form using sandpaper. I rounded over the edges of the cockpit  - particularly in the rear -  for comfort during rolls.

The first strip in place.

The full form in the rough.

Shaped and sanded.

I then simply built up the glass/epoxy over the form. The glass extends under the deck to provide more rigidity. I tinted the epoxy but I will be painting the coaming as well. The coaming is prone to scratches so making it black underneath will reduce the visibility.

First layer of glass/epoxy.

After first three layers are trimmed.
Looking fwd.

I liked the foam seat that I made for my Black Pearl (BP). I thought of building another for this boat but decided to try and replicate it in the glass. I started with the BP seat as a mold. I placed a sheet of thin plastic over it. Then proceeded to lay three layers of glass/epoxy over it. Followed by one more sheet of thin plastic. Then I took some damp sand and packed it down into the seat to make sure that the glass/epoxy was pressed firmly against the "mould". After it dried, I subsequently added more layers until the seat is quite stiff. 

BP foam seat.

Plastic barrier.

Glass laid in place.

Glass wetted out with tinted epoxy.

Damp sand holding over plastic to force glass to conform to the shape.

While building up the coaming and seat, I moved on to cutting the hole for the skeg control box. This turned out to be an easy job. I simply marked thea are on the deck, drilled four holes in the corners and cut out the rectangle with a jig saw. I then recessed the opening slightly so that the control box will be flush with the deck.

Outline etched in the glass.

Holes drilled.

Control box as it now looks!

Skeg control location. Seat laid in place and looking too glossy!!

The following are just a number of images showing the project as it now stands.

I've still got some finish work left on the coaming and seat.  A few days ago I rolled on, what I hope to be, the last fill coat of epoxy. I did some good sanding prior to this last coat of epoxy and expect the final sanding to go smoothly - pun intended.  After some finishing touches, I will be ready to paint. The plan is to go with a white hull and green.deck.

I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Thanks for dropping by,



  1. green deck, eh... I kind of like the look of the wood, filler and all...

  2. Dean; I recall you being skeptical when I first painted the deck boat blue!! I really can't leave it wood now - I'd never see past the filler!! Besides, there's not a lot of green boats around (Other than a few Romanys), so I figured I go with something different. Actually, the cockpit coaming is patterned after the NDK and the fore deck was inspired by the Greenlander Pro, so maybe the NDK green is fitting!!!

  3. Look's great Sean. Glad to see the progress. Have you been using bead and cove or just strait strips? If strait strips have you found any issues while sanding of them coming apart?

  4. Lee:

    Straight-edged strips for me. There's not a whole lot of curves to be dealing with and even with the Black Pearl's curved foredeck I went the same way. I can't justify the extra work of cutting the bead and cove. No issues so far!!



  5. Sean,

    I can't quite see how the "ears" work - do you have a second riser following the outside contour of the rim, and if not, how is your spraydeck going to seal in that area - especially at the back of the "ears" where the cockpit riser is concave?


  6. The skirt seals up under the outside edge of the coaming - just like any other coaming/skirt combination. The "ears" are simply left there to provide thigh support. As long as the outside of the coaming is smooth, i.e., no sharp curves or long straights, the skirt will seal quite well. I've done some testing and the seal is incredibly tight. If you look at NDK boats, you will see that they similar coamings.

  7. Perfect sean. Ive been looking at the bead and cove and it looks like a pain with such small strips. I think I'll be doing the same. Thanks!

  8. Thanks Sean, that's good to know. I've just started building a Petrel, but I build in a carport and the temperature has just dropped to -9C, so I am stalled until spring :(

  9. Yep - those minus temps make it a bit hard to work with epoxy. A friend of mine has a Petrel. A very nice little boat, indeed!! Great for playing around in!!


  10. Sean, I seem to have become obsessed with paddling and want to build a boat I can grow into and use in Lake Superior and use as a platform for camping, exploring, and learning better technique. Would you recommend the Point Bennett? Your blog is a good read and leaves me thirsty for a build.

  11. Stephe: The Point Bennett would serves well for the type of boat/paddling you require. It has sufficient room for camping gear. When built without the skeg you will need to master edging - which is great with his boat due to its hard chines. The long-ish waterline and narrow beam makes for a nice fast craft, as well.

    The build is not all that complicated and can be elaborate or as simple as you desire. I suggest that you contact Duane Strosaker, the designer, as he was most helpful to me when I was looking at building this boat.

    I have not posted in a while but I now have the boat painted, skeg installed, seat and thigh braces in place. All I have left to do is install the decklines and foot brace and I'm ready for the water!!

  12. Sean - Please tell me about the rounded bow. I'm building a Pygmy Murrelet and would rather not skewer my paddling mates with the sharp bow.

  13. Sean - Please tell me about the rounded bow you created. I'm building a Pygmy Murrelet and would rather not skewer my paddling mates with the sharp bow.

  14. Alan:

    This boat originally had poiny ends but I did not like them either. They are too prone to damage!

    I made forms at each end using -if you can believe it - packing tape! Then I filled each form with a mixture of epoxy and shredded glass for extra strength. When I removed the tape, I did the final shaping with a rasp and sandpaper.

    Sorry but I did not take any pictures.