New (to me) Winter Project

CPS

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Yeah, I was thinking of putting in a few extra holes for adjustment if needed. It would be pretty simple to do afterwards, so I might hold off for now.
Good call on the epoxy putty, the two surfaces don't mate perfectly, so something between the seat and the hanger will be needed. Putty might be the ticket.

Thinking no back-band, but having one use the same bolts would be pretty simple.

The seat is pretty much all the way down. I'd like to add a bit of foam to the underside of the seat to prevent it abrading the hull if it wiggles during paddling.
 

sofstu

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Looking good so far,
Tremclad is one of the few paints that actually says use on Aluminum.
If you get it nice and shiny hit it with their clearcoat otherwise something that looks good.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I'd like to add a bit of foam to the underside of the seat to prevent it abrading the hull if it wiggles during paddling.
That's an excellent idea IMO. It keeps those small pebbles getting between the seat and the hull and wearing a pinhole right through.
 
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CPS

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Thanks for the suggestions on paints.

After I get the seat sorted out my next step will be to work on the foot pedals.

I found some pictures of what I believe is the factory set-up on another forum. It's nice to have a reference for how this boat would originally have been outfitted.
Here's the thread : http://seakayakforum.cz/topic/331/valley-rapier-18/page/2/

A few relevant pictures of the cockpit from that forum:
p1ah2g2st87k51j3b1ukeg261sqs3.jpg
p1ah2g2st816m91f4v153j16fr1gaj4.jpg


So stock setup is no back-band, which makes sense for a 'less relaxed' boat. Also looks like the stock hangers did have holes to adjust the seat forward and back. I was planning on adding a bit of foam under the seat, including a pillar of sorts as is pictured above. So I'm not too far off the mark.

Notably absent on my cockpit rim are the aggressive braces. I think I'll add something back to the boat, though perhaps a bit less severe. Not sure how I'd mount those nicely.
Thinking that laying up a few curves shouldn't be too tricky, just need to figure out mounting them.

I think I'll hold off on that until I get the foot pedals built. Then I will know the position of my knees.
 

CPS

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One other question for the hive mind: the pin upon which the rudder rotates has a flat part milled into it so that it locks into place, but that flat portion isn't rotated in the correct orientation. Of course, it's fairly well seized on there. Anyone got a good trick to loosen up stainless hardware from aluminum?

Was thinking of going down the usual route of penetrating oil, failing that, heat, failing that, a bigger lever arm, and failing that, ordering a replacement part.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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One other question for the hive mind: the pin upon which the rudder rotates has a flat part milled into it so that it locks into place, but that flat portion isn't rotated in the correct orientation. Of course, it's fairly well seized on there. Anyone got a good trick to loosen up stainless hardware from aluminum?

Was thinking of going down the usual route of penetrating oil, failing that, heat, failing that, a bigger lever arm, and failing that, ordering a replacement part.
I don't have any tricks for loosening those parts. It's not a very good design - one of the only parts of the SmartTrack that I don't like.

For those who aren't familiar with this topic: The 'bayonet' pin with the flat side locks into a stainless tube with a dimple. the tube is glued into the boat. The top of the pin is threaded. So far, so good. The problem is that the flat aluminum plate with the 'ears' for attaching rudder cables is threaded. So the pin threads into the plate and then a nylock nut is threaded on top to lock the pin in position. Getting the flat oriented correctly is tricky. I've resorted to using a thin washer or two as spacers to get the pin tightened into the plate at the right position.
So, for removing, once the nylock nut is removed, the easy part of the job is done. It's getting the plate unthreaded from the pin that's difficult.


CPS: Have you gotten the assembly off the boat so you can hold the pin in your bench vise?

I was given a SmartTrack rudder and had a similar problem with disassembly. It was tough to avoid destroying the threads in the aluminum plate.

BTW: For reassembly, TefGel on the threads is a good idea.
 
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CPS

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Yeah, it's off the boat. I don't have a bench vise at home (well I do, but I don't have a bench I can mount it to...) But I'll try taking it into work. Was trying to get away with vise grips but it's become apparent that's not going to work.

Definitely thinking come anti-seize for the rebuild, assuming I can get the pin out without obliterating those aluminum threads. There's a good bit of corrosion.
 

CPS

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A bit more putzing around today saw the installation of aluminum bars onto the sides of the hull. Using the smaller, presumably originally holes, I've mounted some T track. My goal is to use some T bolts in the track, with some knobs I can finger tighten to lock the foot pedals in place.

PXL_20210905_215508588.jpg


Obviously I'd like to use stainless steel T bolts, so as to not replicate the rusty disaster this boat was when I got it. We're out of stock at work, so I'll just buy some online I guess.
Speaking of foot pedals, I quickly mocked some up using a scrap of insulation foam I had laying around. Easier to play with the shape of things than using plywood. If I am happy with shape I'll probably transfer the design to plywood to test it out.
PXL_20210905_215811473.jpg


I think the final version will probably use rivets to hold the hinges in place, so as to be low profile. Then a layer of thin foam (yoga mat or similar) glued overtop should be just dandy.
The funky shape is to clear the intrusions caused by flush deck fittings. I think mounting the control lines on the lower, wider part should give me plenty of rudder swing and still keep the lines out of the way.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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:thumbsup:
One trick I picked up from the Broze brothers (Mariner) is to put a 'washer' of neoprene fabric or thin foam between the hull and the aluminum rail.
It gives a more solid attachment, filling in the fabric weave texture.

I've made T-bolts by grinding stainless carriage bolts when I just needed one or two for a project. The real thing would be better. the only commercial knobs I've found have either brass or steel threaded inserts, so I've usually made my own with SS nuts embedded in a hardwood (teak or substitute) knob. I just cut the wood disk with a holesaw (even though I have a lathe) and go from there.

Getting the hinges at the right height makes a big difference in 'feel', and depends on your foot size. So experiments with a mockup are useful for that, too.
 

CPS

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I used some 1' stainless washers with a neoprene face between the rails and the hull, you can just see them peeking out in the pictures.

I played around today swapping the foam prototype for the second version in scrap plywood.
PXL_20210909_200308601.jpg


My idea for adjustment is to have two brackets on either side, which can slide independently. That adjusts the angle of the whole foot pedal.
Well, that's the theory anyways. Once I get some knobs to lock them in place I'll rig up the rudder and take it for a test paddle.
PXL_20210909_212304847.jpg


Ignore the little screws poking through the plate. I ran out of little bolts and didn't want to go to the store again.
I've attached some bits of webbing so I can adjust the rudder as I move the pedals forward and back.
If it turns out that I like one particular angle I may delete the adjustment and just make one larger bracket.

I got the rudder put back together, thinking about painting the vertical part as well, not a huge fan of the brown anodized aluminum.

PXL_20210909_221642588.jpg
 

JohnAbercrombie

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:thumbsup:

Looking good! The twin arm support for the footboard is a clever idea. You'll be able to flip the pedals aft to reach those knobs?

For the rudder control lines, I used to run the Spectra right from the pedals to the back of the boat, adjusting the length by re-tying knots in the lines. After using a BigFoot pedal system a few times, I've switched my other rudder boats to imitate the BigFoot - a webbing strap from the pedal with a buckle on the end which joins to another piece of webbing with an O-ring or triangle at its end. The Spectra line is tied to the ring.
The buckle allows easy adjustment at the cockpit end of the system.
 

CPS

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You'll be able to flip the pedals aft to reach those knobs?
That's the plan, we'll see how it works out in practice.

I got a chance to play with the foot pedal arrangement of a Stellar S18R that we brought into the shop. It's a bit fussy to use, definitely not something I can see a paddlers adjusting on the fly while seated. If I have that level of awkwardness in adjusting this I'll view it as a tremendous success.
 

rider

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Nice to see this boat getting the quality work it deserves! I saw it in the ads but couldn't justify adding to the collection, looks like there was some hackery to be undone, the price makes more sense now. I wonder if the DIY rudder bar at the back was there to make rudder less twitchy , so the same cable pull makes it turn less. What's your plan for rebuilding the thigh hooks? Ages ago I built a similar-ish rudder control for an old wildwater boat that i briefly raced at the Deep Cove TNRs, but you are doing a much better job of it.
 

CPS

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I wonder if the DIY rudder bar at the back was there to make rudder less twitchy , so the same cable pull makes it turn less.
It seems like that, but apparently this was the opposite desire of the previous owner. He wanted more away on the rudder, and although obviously that wouldn't be the result in practice, he seemed to be pleased with it.

What's your plan for rebuilding the thigh hooks?
Not sure yet. Giving a few ideas consideration. Thinking of using some pipes of a similar diameter as my thighs to create a mold/form upon which to lay up some glass. Maybe then affixing that to the underside with a thickened resin slurry, and then glass over that to affix to the underside of the deck. Not really sure. They will need to be quite strong to stay put.

I checked the colour match of the orange gelcoat we've got at work, seems pretty spot on, so I should be able to touch up the seam and any hooks I make fairly well. The blue we've got isn't a perfect match for the deck, but probably close enough.
 

Mowog73

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One other question for the hive mind: the pin upon which the rudder rotates has a flat part milled into it so that it locks into place, but that flat portion isn't rotated in the correct orientation. Of course, it's fairly well seized on there. Anyone got a good trick to loosen up stainless hardware from aluminum?
Heat. Use a propane torch to heat the aluminum and SS. The aluminum will expand quicker than the SS and will break the galvanic corrosion bond.
 

Roy222

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A good source of water proof washers ( mentioned above) is plastic coffee can lids. You can hand cut the washers with almost any knife or sissors. The plasic is thin , so you might need to stack several in different applications.
 

CPS

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I would have thought the plastic of a coffee tin lid would have been too hard to get a good seal, but I'd believe they could work. Especially if a backing washer was used to really smoosh 'em.

I got the rudder controls set up in the boat, temporarily rigged up to some Spectra line. I've left a good amount of tail so that if (when) I change up the webbing arrangement I will have lots of line. I used some scrap webbing and fittings, so they work great to tighten but don't allow for easy loosening. The hardware hangs up on the plywood. The final version will move that portion out farther from the pedal, giving it space for adjustment.

PXL_20210919_004919658.jpg


Hopefully I'll get a chance to test it out tomorrow.
With the seat firmly in place I'm hoping it's more manageable than the last time.
PXL_20210919_004936198.jpg


Assuming everything works ok (big assumption) the next step will be to remove the pedals, rudder, and seat, take it into the shop, and do a bit of glassing.
Thinking of adding a layer of S-Glass to the area under the foot pedals to give a bit of abrasion resistance as well as repairing the existing wear. On top of that I'm thinking of adding a thin layer of foam for comfort and further abrasion resistance.
I'll also patch up the small holes from the previous rudder control set up, touch up a bit of gel coat dings, as well as the small chip at the bow. Thinking of adding a small reinforcing strip at the bow and stern, as there's been a small amount of wear there as well.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Why are you using S-Glass for abrasion resistance? Would Kevlar be better, but I'm assuming far more expensive?
For abrasion, Dynel would be my first choice, if available, then glass. Kevlar is nasty stuff to work with- hard to cut - and if it does get abraded at all it makes a furry mess, in my experience - I won't work with it.
But for a 'sacrificial' layer under the heels, glass is OK in my book. Peel-Ply over it makes a nice matte finish.
 
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