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> Building Kayaks and Kayak Accessories > Building the Pygmy Arctic Tern 14

Dec 17 - Keel line secured
The task for today was to ensure that the keel line was straight and true, and the rocker of the hull is controlled. Pygmy recommends using a very straight 2x4 on edge; you can see here (centred under the hull) that I used a cedar 4x4 (milled from lumber taken from the site on which the shop sits) instead. The straighter the chunk of lumber you can find, the better.

A specific length of the hull (a 63" section towards the stern 1/2 of the hull) is measured, and is pinned down to this straight, flat wood. This ensures a specific amount of controlled rocker, to maintain a certain amount of tracking on the finished hull. Obviously, attention to detail is critical here - if the hull is not true, the boat will not track straight. If the hull is too far rockered, the boat will turn too easily and not maintain a straight track line.

Note that the 4x4 is covered in Saran wrap (to keep it from being a permanent fixture once the keel line is glued), and that the sides of the hull are only loosely supported by blocks of wood (beside the 4x4). The boats weight must be supported only by the 4x4, but you also want the hull to be vertical and not laid on an angle.
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