Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kayak Construction 4

The deck now overhangs the hull by a couple of inches and needs to be trimmed flush. A special guide was used to mark the edge of the hull on the upper surface of the deck and a coping saw was used to trim the deck to within an eight of an inch from this line. A plane was used to bring the deck flush to the hull and a radius was sanded into the deck to make a smooth transition from deck to hull.

I added a couple of decorations to the deck to spruce it up a bit. The first was a marquetry compass rose. It came premade and is designed to be mounted proud to the deck. A thin coat of clear epoxy was applied to both surfaces and electrical tape was used to hold it in place and a layer of waxed paper was placed over it.

A jug willed with water gave even pressure over the curved deck surface.

Here is what it looked like after gluing

I also made on the computer as a logo of sorts. It was printed onto sewing pattern paper using a laser printer (as per some discussions that I saw on a kayak forum). The paper “disappears” when a coat of clear epoxy is applied and the end result looks like this.

Lighter weight fiberglass was used to cover the deck. A single sheet was cut at a diagonal and the two triangles were used to cover the bow and stern decks. These pieces were placed on the decks and trimmed so that there was one inch of overlap on the deck and about two inches of overlap onto the hull sides.

Clear epoxy was mixed and applied with a roller to the deck fiberglass. I made the mistake of laying the sheet of fabric on some carpeting to when I cut the angles. The fabric picked up some junk from the carpeting and I had to stop frequently to pull up the whetted fabric and remove various bits and pieces of material from under it. Here is the end result.

If you look carefully at the compass rose you can see a mistake that I made. I over sanded the edges of the marquetry and thinned them out so that the grain pattern of the background shows some of the lay-up epoxy through it

As you can imagine, I was very bummed to see the highlight of the deck not look up-to-par. I thought about removing it and then I came up with a possible solution. What about making a roundrel on sewing pattern paper that would make a clean transition between compass rose and deck as well as cover up the over sanding? Using the same technique as for the logo, I printed out an appropriate sized roundrel and applied it over the compass rose. Here is what it looked like after a light sanding to lower any ridges.

A layer of fiberglass was placed over it to protect the overlay. Now the rose looks much better with a crisp and clean transition marking its boarder.

Hatches are placed in the bow and stern sections to allow access to the areas in front and behind the bulkheads. A paper pattern of each of the hatch openings was laid out in the correct positions on the deck. A hole-saw was used to create openings for the saws that I used to trim to size. Stiffeners were epoxied to the undersides of the openings and were held in place with many clamps.

The fore deck access sits right next to the forward bulkhead so there wasn’t much flex there but the aft compartment access sits a couple of feet from the aft bulkhead. These stiffeners really help make this area more rigid.


The hatch covers were reinforced with three inch fiberglass tape and stiffeners were glued across them to bend them to shape.

Here is what the hull looks like now.


Go to Final Part

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