Kayak Construction, more joining

After paddling this morning, I worked on my kit boat a bit. Even though I was much more careful laying down the plastic wrap yesterday, I also used a lot more epoxy, so I still had a lot of epoxy on the “wrong” side to try to scrape down with a cabinet scraper and sandpaper block. As well as that, I also had to spend a lot of time trying to cut down the sides to shave off epoxy on the side (without cutting off any wood) with a carpet knife. It was time consuming work, but mostly it went ok – I think I cut down through the epoxy too far in one place and contacted the fiberglas tape. I also had one place on a very narrow piece (on panel 3) where the tape came right up for about half its width. I’m worried about that, and I wonder if I can glue that back down at some point where I have some spare epoxy. I’m going to have panel 3 out in the next step when I reinforce the bow deck panels, so I’ll have a go then.

After finishing the left side, I staked down the right side panels and taped and glued them. I tried a few different tricks – like to get a much flatter surface below some of the big seams, I nailed them onto one of the temporary forms wrapped in plastic wrap. Hey, by the time I’m finished I’ll probably know how to build this thing! I wonder if I should do another one after I’m done this one?

I also mentioned that I was getting concerned that the mylar sheets were getting a bit ratty? I discovered that you can peel off some of the dried epoxy, and that makes it a lot smoother. So they might do for the fourth side as well.

Paddling this morning

First thing this morning I went for a paddle. I made the mistake of asking to try one of those KayakPro Marlin boats that I mentioned seeing speeding up the creek a few days ago. It was nice. At first it felt quite tippy, but after a few minutes I was paddling pretty hard and not having any trouble staying upright. But there was a bit of an undercurrent of “if you don’t pay attention, it can turn around and bite you”. I was paddling as hard as I could, and it was hardly producing any bow wave at all, unlike the Skerry. When I go hard in the Skerry, I usually find the point where the bow wave gets “big”, and then slack off a bit from there, but without that cue, I wasn’t sure how fast I was going. They told me only to take it for 15 minutes, so I did this little circuit that you can make out of alternate channels in the creek. Towards the end, I was getting tired and I found myself having to think about staying upright more again. I’ve also never paddled a boat with a rudder before, and I had to think about how to use that – evidently the idea is that you can concentrate on doing a power stroke and use the rudder to steer rather than doing a less efficient sweep to steer.

The guy at Baycreek suggested that I come to the Wednesday night racing series and do the course one night with my Skerry, and come back the following night and do it with the Marlin to see how much faster it is. Oh, this could be dangerous – I could really fall in love with this boat. I wonder which boat, the Skerry or the Pgymy, I’ll end up selling to pay for it?

Anyway, 15 minutes wasn’t enough of a workout for me, so after bringing back the Marlin I went for another paddle in my Skerry. It was a beautiful day, and I got a bit of a sunburn on the top of my head.