Friday, December 17, 2010

Kayak Construction Final Part

The cockpit combing is made up of three pieces (five actually since the lower two are half pieces that only cover the left or right sides of the cockpit) that are glued around the cockpit opening. The first two are extensions that build up the height of the combing and the last is a cover piece that acts as a rim on which to attach the spray skirt. Mustard consistency epoxy was applied to the build up pieces and they were nailed into the deck beam at the front of the cockpit. Every clamp in the shop was pressed into service to hold the lower pieces down. Any glue that squeezed out was cleaned up 

The cockpit combing cap was glued into place just like the other pieces with the exception that pads were used under the clamps to prevent damage to the plywood. The hatch opening trim pieces were also glued into place. These will act to help make the hatches more water-proof.  I ran out of clamps so I had to raid the clothes pins! BTW, the white color to the epoxy is because it has been sanded.


After the clamps were removed from the combing, the edges were cleaned up by sanding them.

A router with a round over bit was used to make a radius on the upper and inner aspect of the combing. The other edges were rounded over with sandpaper and the entire combing was smoothed up for finishing.

A couple of coats of epoxy were placed over the combing so that the entire kayak is now sealed in epoxy.

This is the scribing tool that I made to mark the deck for masking. After problems with the Mark I version I modified it so that the scribing screw is located next to a radius. This allowed the mark to stay the same distance from the top of the sheer even though the camber of the sheer and deck change over the length of the kayak. The screw is a nice alternative to a nail (as described in the manual) since it can easily be adjusted in or out to change the depth of the scribe mark.

Here is the painted hull as of now. I need to sand at least one more time to get the hull perfectly smooth before what I hope is the final coat of paint (there are still a few run marks in the paint from previous coats).

The paint is applied with a disposable roller and the bubbles are knocked down with a foam brush. The result is very glossy and deep finish. It literally looks like a yacht!  

I spent six hours hand sanding (wet sand 320 grit paper) the hull for hopefully the last time! Here is what the deck looks like with the masking on it.

It is finally finished!

Here she is on the car:

These are the car racks (Oak and swim noodle)

The Kayak rolls on this cart (Oak and swim noodle)

Which has detachable wheels so that it can be stored in the aft hold for portaging.

There is a roller mechanism that allows me to roll the kayak up onto the car top by myself.

I ended up adding two detachable lengths of 1/4 inch steel round stock that stick into holes on either arm of the roller assembly and look like old fashioned rabbit ears when in place.  These act as guides for the kayak as it rolls up onto the car top.  These were added after I almost lost the kayak over the side of the car while I was loading it in moderate winds

I've spent many hours over the last two years using this kayak around the state and it is a joy to  paddle.  It is fast, tracks well and is light enough for easy loading and portaging.  The wheeled carrier is a must and the roof roller mechanism works especially well once the stabilizing rods were incorporated into the design.  I am very pleased with the set up and recommend it to anyone who is interested in building a kayak.


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