Monday, May 12, 2014

Black Pearl Retrofit Project - Complete

On April 14, I made the first cut on this latest project. Exactly four weeks later, on May 12, the Black Pearl came out of drydock, i.e., the  attic and back into the light of day!

The most notable changes to the "updated" Black Pearl are a standard keyhole cockpit, a retractable skeg and a new, low luster paint job! Other, smaller, changes/additions include a revisited pump location and bow/stern grab loops. For all other intents and purposes, the Pearl is still the same craft!!

The plan is to take the Pearl to the pool tomorrow night for a test run and then, if all works out, we're off to the Paddle Newfoundland and Labrador Retreat this coming weekend. With the new cockpit and skeg, the Pearl  will be perfectly suited for day paddles!!

And here's a few snaps to show how things turned out

Finally, a chance to get a nice shot of the finished product!!

Finished product #2

Finished product #3.

Revisiting the "behind-the-back" pump location. See this link for a previous blog entry on this setup

Top view showing new cockpit layout.

Profile view of coaming and skeg control box. Still haven't decided what to do with the extra Maroske deck fittings left over!! Suggestions?

Stern view.

New grab loops made from rope and rubber tubing. Strong and comfortable.

Full view of deck!!

Bottom's up!!

And bottom's down!!!

Skeg looking cleaner than when first installed!

Just sitting pretty!!

Skeg (again)!

The Black is Back on the Rack!!! 

Back on the Rack #2

Well, it's been a fun-filled month but I am glad to have the project completed and the kayak back on the rack. Now, I am looking forward to some good paddling in the new and improved Black Pearl!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Black is Back (in the shop for some retrofitting)

My, but it's been a looong time since I've made a blog entry!! That's not to say that nothing has been happening, it's just that I've gotten too darn lazy!! But I digress. . .

The latest project involves the Black Pearl. That lovely black craft that exudes kayaking sexiness!! The boat was built with an ocean cockpit, i.e., small, oval and very hard to get into if you are in a hurry or have bad knees. I suffer from the latter. Not long after I built the boat I started to regret the ocean cockpit. It was fine in the pool or when launching from a nice ramp, but a bugger in dumping surf or a hard beach landing!!  But I was committed to the small cockpit because I spent over 150.00 dollars on a custom spray skirt!!! Fast forward to about 2 months ago!! I left said skirt at the pool and, lo and behold, it went missing!!  It never ever turned up. So now I had a boat with an ocean cockpit but lost my good skirt. I had an old one from before but I'll admit I was just looking for an excuse to get rid of the ocean cockpit. My left knee has really been acting up lately and I was having a real bear of a job actually just getting into the boat. These two excuses were enough to plant the seed for a new project - tearing out a perfectly good ocean cockpit coaming and replacing with a more standard keyhole configuration!!  Time to get cutting!!!  Oh, and while I am at, why not drop in a skeg for good measure??

Like I said, I am getting lazy so I will VERY heavily rely on images to tell this particular story!!

Here's the Pearl back in the dry dock awaiting work:

Let's cut that sucker off!!
No turning back now!!

Foam mold and new keyhole shape.

Profile shot.

Laying up the coaming. Took 8 layers of 6 oz cloth.

Make sure to trim after every few layers. Best done before the epoxy sets up hard!!

Roughed in. No sanding at this point!

Pumps on my epoxy crapped out so I went with scales, Very easy and VERY accurate ratio measurements.

All laid up.

Snow leopard pattern that magically appeared after sanding. I toyed with the idea of keeping it like this but opted to paint it black!!

Just hacking another hole for the skeg!!

Skeg slot in the VERY rough. Yes, I cleaned it up, and yes, the skeg fit in there perfectly. And YES, it is lined up with the centre line even though it does not look so in this picture!!

Test fitting the skeg.

Add cutting yet another hole. This time to provide access to the skeg.

Temporary skeg access hatch!

Skeg in place.

Adding a lip in the access hole.

Lip ready to go. Cut out piece in background ready to be dropped in.

A look at the final cockpit.

And another.

Skeg access hatch ready for painting!

Another hole for the skeg control box.

Skeg control box in place!

No evidence of back access hatch now. Gloss black replaced by flat black = a more menacing look, in my opinion!!

And that is the project in pictures. I am just finishing up the paint job now and hope to have the boat back on the water in time for the Kayaking Retreat on the 16 - 18 of May!!