Joining the hull and deck

Memorial Day Weekend - lots done! Task one was to hot-glue 2" fiberglass tape along the inside of the hull. This ensures that the tape goes all the way from end to end. Once that's done, it's time to enlist a helper and tape the deck to the hull. Despite using the forms to hold the shape of the hull while working on the deck, it still takes some brute force to align the two... thus one person to hold the pieces in place, and another to tape the heck out of it. Once done, it's a big fiber-tape kayal burrito.

Now the fun part starts. Out of all the tasks in building the boat, doing the inside seams is probably the biggest pain in the *ss. A key tool is a brush taped to a 4-foot dowel. You still end up inside the hatches - a rather tight fit - but with one arm you can just reach the ends.

In this shot, the top side is done and the bottom awaits.

Once both sides are glassed and the epoxy cures for a day, you can remove the fiber tape and start fairing and filling the seams. The epoxy doesn't get all the way to the very tip of the bow and stern, and there are some small gaps here and there, but at this point the fair-and-fill routine is old hat. A bit of chocolate-colored schmutz, and it all evens out. I also sanded down both hatch lids, glued in more "marbles" to secure the under-hatch bungees, added an internal wooden padeye to run my kayak-lock cable through, and cut and shaped the mini-cell foam bulkheads. Since Paul was available to help again, I jumped ahead in my schedule and inserted both bulkheads... definitely a two-person job. The aft one is sealed on one side; still need to seal the other side and also do the fore bulkhead.

June 1 - The last week was spent fiberglassing the two outside seams, with their fill coats. Once those were done, Paul and I managed to get the kayak out the basement door - didn't need the window! - and stood it on end for the end pours. I just used enough to fill the area where I plan to drill through for grab loops. The weather obliged us by being hot, so during the 90 minutes it took each side to set, I "babysat" the kayak by doing yard work. The end is in a bucket of tepid water to dissipate the heat of the high volume of epoxy, just to make sure the wood didn't discolor or mess with the outside seam epoxy.

The pouring rig was a plastic cup with a string tied at both sides of the top, and another taped to the bottom. Once the schmutz was mixed (about 4 oz of epoxy with an equal volume of microballoons - no extra weight, but twice the volume and still pourable), the cup was lowered through the hatch opening, and dumped into the end. Back inside, I started sanding down the hull to prep for one last epoxy coat. But - midway through today, the interface standing pad disintegrated around the edges, totally throwing off the cushioning. After nearly sanding through the glass in two spots, I gave in and placed an order for a new pad. I won't make my hoped-for goal of taking it to Rend Lake next weekend, but it'll still be on the water this summer.

June 4 to 11 - got the new interface pads (ordered 2) on Wednesday, June 4. Got some sanding done that night, then again on Friday night. Finished sanding the hull on Sunday morning, then started the deck. Finished sanding the deck on Monday night. Did a skim coat of epoxy on the hull on Tuesday night, and another thin coat Wednesday morning. Did the deck on Wed. night, then another thin coat on Thursday morning. Took a couple photos, but when I downloaded them they turned out crappy, so...

On to outfitting!

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