Okay! Progress is happening when I have spare time. I glued on the cowling around the opening, cut it to fit and sanded it smooth. The glue-up was a bit tricky…I didn’t have quite enough small clamps and had to use a bunch of big ones. I thought I took a picture, but I can’t find it!
Then the hatch openings were marked and cut out:
I used 4oz fiberglass on top, per the instructions in the kit. I was afraid I was going to run out of epoxy hardener, so I only glassed half of the boat at first. This is fine..since the glass is done in two pieces.
I jumped over to West Marine in Santa Cruz and got some more of their epoxy that has a “clear” finish (i.e.: non-blushing). I got home and cut open my container to utilize the last bit, and managed to get enough out from the original MAS bottle to do the rest of my kayak’s first coat:
This was done with a squeegee, and just enough was put in to fill the weave of the fabric. I’ll go over with a second and third coat once it has finished drying to the touch (probably 5 hours).
I’ve been busy having fun doing other things, so the kayak progress isn’t too fast. Yesterday I finished rounding off the corners of the top, and sanded through all the grits from 80 on up to 220. It is ready for some fiberglassing!
The next big step in the kayak was to glue the top on. First you put a coat of unthickened epoxy on the bottom side of the top piece, and then use thickened (cab-o-sil) epoxy to glue it down to the top part. Using straps to secure it down in place helps form the curve while you nail it on. An action shot of me!
Flip it upside down so the glue drips into the gaps, and fill in the edge gaps (there were quite a few…):
The next day it was dry. I flipped it right side up and trimmed the edge off with my jigsaw before planning it level and adding a bevel:
Half Dome from Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite, California
A grueling 9 mile hike from Yosemite Valley that is relentlessly straight up!
The next step in my kayak building journey was to plane the end clamps. These need a specific radius that changes depending on where you are along the top of the boat. The kit includes two guides to assist with this. The fore deck of the boat has a 16” radius. The aft deck has….well, I’m not sure! The instructions say the 16LT should have a 60” radius, but the kit included a 49” radius. I emailed Chesapeake Light Craft and John H. got back to me quickly and said “it original was 24” in the demo boat, and then changed to 49. An easy check would be to compare the aft deck radius template to the rear “hatch frames” in the kit. They should be close to the same.” I did that, and the radius is 49”…but the aft bulkhead seems to be about 60”, so it will be interesting gluing the top on. I planed it down to 49” using the template, and then did the “end pours” to protect the nose and tail.
The next big step is to glass the hull bottom. I sanded down the putty with 80 grit, and then went through all the grades all over the kayak: 100/120/150/220.
You then cover it with the fiberglass and smooth it out by hand. The directions said you could smooth it out over the bow (the front — away from you in the picture below) of the boat without cutting it; I was a bit skeptical about this, but sure enough…you can pretty easily get it to smooth over the front of it.
The next part was smoothing over the fiberglass with un-thickened epoxy (no additives). You use a plastic scraper to embed it, and a small disposable brush to get some of the more vertical parts.
Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite, California. You hike from the Valley floor at just shy of 4,000’ up to 9,931’.
The kayak is still moving along! I’ve been a bit busy enjoying the outdoors: mountain biking (yeah on two wheels!), camping, and rock climbing.
The next part was to glass the interior middle section; there is some heavy duty fiberglass added to re-enforce the passenger area:
This area had two coats applied, just like the front and back sections.
Then the boat was flipped over:
I cut off all the spikes pretty closely with wire cutters and used a dremel to grind them down a bit. They said you could just sand them down..but I figured that would tear the paper. I then used a random orbital sander to sand it down with 80; including a bit of rounding over the edges.
Next up was taping the lines in prep for filling in the slight gap with some wood putty epoxy mix: