First time stitch and glue builder

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by jarhead, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Gero's description of the glass schedule behind the cockpit shows that CLC has figured out that area is subject to a lot of stress during self rescue practice, I expect. Good to see that.
     
  2. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Jarhead:

    If your wife is not an avid kayaker and swimmer, don't build a double . Giving a double to your wife for her birthday, is almost as bad as a lawnmower. --unless your are sure she wants to kayak in a double. Don't forget that it will take a team effort to make it go. You might try renting a Tandem bike first.
    It is going to be hard to surpriser her, as it is hard to hide a 20 by 10 foot mess in the garage. It is going to take 70 hours plus varnishing time (10 pr 20 more hours)
    This will give you time to get her input as to decorations, colors, and maybe extras.

    You might surprised her (if she does't read this form) by building 2 kayaks. Start yours first and test her interest. If looks promising, arrange to have her boat kit arrive on her birthday. If she says's something like,"you will never get me into that thing", don't order the second boat. You will be in less trouble buying something for yourself, then buying something for her that is actually for you. It is not logical, but that is just the way it works.

    Both CLC and Pygmy are great suppliers. Both have some really nice new designs. For the seats I recommend custom made RedFish (http://www.redfishkayak.com) Foam seats.
    Building a Kayak is just following instructions. Complete each step as best as you can. By the second Kayak you will be very good at fiberglassing.

    Roy
     
  3. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    If something gets done the wrong way (glued) and needs moving, heat it with a hotair gun. The epoxy will soften and there's a lot of movement that can be done. Been there, done that.

    I've NEVER glassed my kayaks other than the seams in and out. My double did a 40 day trip round Vanua Levu, Fiji and survived no problem. I'd suggest using carborundum in the epoxy on the keel line.

    Glass takes about 3 times as much epoxy as a straight layer or 2 of epoxy. That is WEIGHT and expense. If my kayaks can last 3 decades without the glass all over I don't see why your ones can't. As for starting with a double vs a single, just a bit longer, lengthwise. The time shouldn't be all that much more. Allow 100 hours for a kayak, about an hour or 2 each night, 5 or 6 nights a week for 3 months.

    Epoxy mixing - get it right. I weigh mine with an ex-laboratory balance. You will probably be using measuring jars. Try to work in temperatures above 15C. and if the temperature drops over night add heat. My partner's kayak we'd covered with old carpet and ran a fan heater, blowing down the length, the kayak supported just off the concrete garage floor.

    Curved decks vs multipanel - I'd hate to have to do a multipanel and do use sheerclamps. Also put 2 - 3 screws down the centerline of a deck panel before curving it down to the sheerclamp otherwise it is possible to get it to hump up with a greater curve than required. Fit a small block on the bulkhead to take that screw. Fit bulkheads before fitting the sides and obviously before fitting the deck.

    Sheerclamps - fit to the sides before offering up to the hull. They should force a better more even curve.

    Clamps - use 1-1/2" long ~3 - 4" diameter plastic downpipe, cut to make a C. VERY cheap and use lots on a long run.
     
  4. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    There is more to the sheerclamp than ease of fastening. They give the sides a fair curve. I never cut my decks to size, always cut about 20 mm too big all round. I tie and sometimes also staple the deck down to the sheerclamp. There's a big area for the deck to mate to epoxy. Once the epoxy is dry I take a handsaw (NOT a jigsaw) to the edge and cut the excess off. NOTE - there is no accuracy required to get an accurate result, something I like, the fewer places where accuracy is needed the better. The saw will not dig in as it wants to take the line of least resistance. The mating of sides to deck are now sanded to a small diameter curve.
     
  5. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    Glass

    I don't now use glass tape as it has a selvage, leaves a "bump" along the edge. I take a length of cloth ~2 metres and cut it on the diagonal. Cutting along the thread, weft or warp, allows the outer edge thread(s) to fall off. Cutting on the diagonal means every thread is held by a number of others and every thread will be at 45 degrees to the seam. More threads doing more work.

    Epoxy

    Make a check list of what you need - dish, spatula, spreader, gloves etc.

    Have a list of different mix quantities - 3 columns, epoxy, hardener, total (go metric, the civilized world has)

    Cleaning up - acetone does a good job. Would you drink it? No. White vinegar does a good job. Would you drink it (if you had to)? Yes.

    Mixing dish - we get our milk in plastic containers. I cut off a bottom or side to make a dish. Cut off a scrap oblong to make a spreader.

    Gloves (keep that epoxy off your skin) - washing up gloves are tough and flexible.

    If you do get epoxy on your skin wash it off immediately, using vinegar first then soap.

    These notes made after just finishing running some glass along my partner's kayak's keel. 15 years of use tends to wear things, especially on rocky shores. She's doing the garden.
     
  6. jarhead

    jarhead New Member

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    Any of you ever heard of or have any experience with, Absolute Wooden Kayaks? I had not prior to today, when a friend of mine brought them to my attention.
     
  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Whatever plan/kit you decide on, please equip your boat with decent end toggles (not rope loops that can amputate your hand if the boat rolls) and perimeter deck lines.

    From the Absolute website:
    Boat drawing:
    [​IMG]
    Picture:
    [​IMG]

    Pygmy and CLC also feature boats without decent deck rigging in their photo galleries, and you can see the same on 'boutique' builder websites, and amateur-built boats as well.
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Link to some ideas for improving end toggle safety. Photos of how the usual toggle install can entrap fingers.

    http://www.sherrikayaks.com/2012/04/16/ ... sk-part-i/

    While not definitive, this should give a first time builder some ideas. I expect John has some recs here.
     
  9. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Thanks for that link, Dave - that article and the Part 2 and 3 are excellent.
    I don't want to pull this discussion off-topic any more than I've already done; we can always talk about this once the OP starts building!
    I mentioned the deck rigging issue only to question the reliability of info in some designs and kits 'out there'.... I wonder how much 'on-water' experience has gone into some boats. (In a way, it's just my biases, I suppose.....when I see a kayak with a 'high-back' backband (above the deck level), I tend to make a snap judgement about the intended use of the boat.)
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John,

    Aside from awareness of inflated claims perhaps, by some kit providers, a first time builder needs to anticipate what sort of mods may be needed to accommodate safe toggles. A swivel toggle off the top via a buried fastener on the bow, for instance, is easier early in the game rather than later. Lengthening the bow rope to an off the shelf toggle handle can be done afterwards, but is kinda cheesy.

    The stern is always problematic on ruddered boats.
     
  11. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    A buried U-bolt (epoxied into a solid end plug of some type) is my preference.

    Another option is a small through-hole and a single line to the handle, like the NDK (Romany, Pilgrim, etc.) boats have.
    That method still leaves the requirement for a fitting for the deck lines.

    Yup. On my last project (first rudder boat), the toggle attaches some distance forward, to avoid tangling with the rudder lines. I used a recessed fitting, but a U-bolt could be bolted through the deck in the same position with a decent backing plate under.

    U-bolts provide good locking points for delaying thieves.
     
  12. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    JohnAbercrombie's white toggle is the method I use and with the rope knotted inside the tube. The deck mounting is screwed (long screws) into a good sized block of wood under the deck. John's red decked, black hull, the deckline tensioner I do by drilling 2 holes across that (much shorter) white tube seen on the deck. The holes are just big enough for the deckline so the tensioner doesn't slip. Just another way of doing it.

    Also John's comment "I mentioned the deck rigging issue only to question the reliability of info in some designs and kits 'out there'.... I wonder how much 'on-water' experience has gone into some boats." - I'd agree and the kayaks I'm referring to are commercial ones like Seaward, bad hull shape, no deck lines, no rudder hold-down, etc.

    Rope decklines are a safety item. Too many commercial designs fail to fit any and bungy isn't a deckline.

    Rudderlines and toggle - our rudder lines (steering and up/down) go into tubing very close to the rudder so nothing can tangle with the lines. The toggle is just to the fore of the rudder blade when stowed.

    All those items I note on my building instructions so if not done by other "professional" kit and plan supplies, why not?
     
  13. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Mac:
    I paddle with folks in Seaward sea kayaks from time to time (my regular paddling partner owns an Ascente), and I've never seen one without deck lines or a rudder hold-down loop, where necessary. A quick look at the Seaward website tells the story. All the Current Designs, WS (Wilderness), and NDK sea kayaks I've seen in this part of the world (PNW) have deck lines.
    I recall you mentioning a bad experience with a rented Seaward boat; hopefully it was the exception to the pattern.
     
  14. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    A few more examples from the web:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    etc...
     
  15. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    The Tyees we paddled 2013 in the Queen Charlotte Islands didn't have aft decklines or any method of holding the rudder down. I eventually rigged the fore bungy & towline as a sprung rudder-down line as we kept running over kelp repeatedly. A couple of months later in a shop in Halifax a new one on the shelf did have aft deckline but only 9" from just in front of the end of the rudder blade retracted going forward. Of absolutely no use yet all the deck fittings were there with holes for decklines. I noticed Delta kayaks in Vancouver were fitted with good decklines. I looked at Seaward site a day ago and another of their models, no aft decklines. Bungies are NOT decklines.

    As for the pictures in your next message, I apologise for not making loud comments to the builder of the top kayak for not fitting decklines. That picture would possibly be of about #20 Mac50 (built 2002). The only thing I can say is the original Mac50 built by my partner does have decklines fore and aft and with the deckline tensioners I mentioned though made from solid plastic rod.
     
  16. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    A Q-Kayak Penguin and a Mac50 with decklines



    A Mac50 beside a CLC1 with decklines
     
  17. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mac50L

    Proper deck lines. Good job.

    What are you using to attach deck lines to the deck?
     
  18. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    The lower picture I posted uses a webbing loop screwed through to the sheerclamp. We use plastic hoops with 2 screws, also through to the sheerclamp, another reason for having a sheerclamp.

    As for lifting toggles, not had any problems even when lifting a loaded kayak though more often the load is then by a hand under the bow or lifting by the aft end of the rudder which is nicely shaped for lifting. Note that the rudders I fit are the daggerboard type and designed in NZ over a decade before KayakSport or 2 decades before the Sea-Lect TruCourseā„¢ Rudders were designed.
     
  19. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    Hi Jarhead,
    Just wanted to say welcome to the WCP forum from a fellow Saskatchewanian. There are a few of us prairie folk who hang out here to chat paddling. Where in SK are you? I'm in Saskatoon & have built a cedar strip kayak and a skin on frame. I also have built a stitch & glue kayak, but it might not count since it was 1/12 scale (Chesapeake 17).

    [​IMG]

    I've been looking at the Waters Dancing kits for a long time and I've always wanted to stop in to their shop sometime when I'm in Edmonton. To be honest though, none of their models are really what I'm after so they are not really on the long list of kayaks & canoes I want to build someday. But, my needs/wants are different from yours so you might feel otherwise.

    Regarding if it is too hard or not, just tackle the job if you really want to do this and you'll sort your way through all the tough parts. Feel free to ask here for help and if you are not too far away I might be able to lend a hand with fiberglassing.

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  20. windancer

    windancer Paddler

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    Hi Jarhead like Bryan I am also a fellow Saskatchewanian (SP?) and in Regina, talk to Bryan regarding the 2nd annual Paddling Symposium, I went to last years and IMO it was well worth it.

    Terry