PYGMY ARCTIC TERN 14 - building Q&A

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Mark_Schilling, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    No, you're quite right. Pygmy is definitely a bit conservative with respect to how much epoxy they ship with the kit. I was able to complete the kit with the supplied amount, but I've used just about every drop of it. In total I probably had less than 1/2 oz. of usable epoxy that I threw out because I couldn't use it at that point in time (excluding the tiny amounts left in brushes, rollers, roller trays etc. and what you get from squeegee-ing), so I was lucky that I never ended up mixing too much at a time. I think the ability to mix very small batches is important (there are a few tips on this forum about how to do that - one is with a gram scale, and Mick had a great idea about using small syringes).

    Obviously there's no point in Pygmy shipping more epoxy than they think you need for the job, so I can't really blame them... a little more might have been nice, but if you can do the job with acceptable results then it makes good business sense and keeps the cost down. The same goes for cloth and a few other supplies - I have a small bag of cloth cuttings left from the build, but nothing really big enough to make use of, so they've obviously done their homework to figure out exactly how much you'll need if you do it 'by the book' (and with no mistakes!), and supply exactly that amount. Build your boat with conservation in mind and you should be ok, but it's probably better to bite the bullet and buy more stuff if you need it, rather than try to skimp somewhere and end up with a boat that's not quite as perfect as you think it could have been.
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mark covered this well, but to emphasize: if little epoxy is wasted, you will barely have enough. The gram scale is critically important for jobs like making a syringeful at a time for filling seams. (Can't make more than one syringefull or it thickens as it sits, and then can't use it in the syringe! :cry: ) And, keep the coaming nearby for using excess epoxy -- you can make the saturation coat for the coaming in parts, with the excesses.

    I also had to get more rollers, and sprung for 25 pairs of nitrile gloves.

    System Three sells a Trial Kit, I think, which might have enough extra epoxy in case you get close to running out and want just a little more.
     
  3. Michael_Howes

    Michael_Howes Paddler

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    Thanks for the great info Mark!

    Just wanted to say THANKS for all the great documentation on your build. I started building my 14 in November and am officially ready for a final sand! I'm going to take it down to the yak shop (Alder Creek) here in Portland to test drive some paddles first though... :D I'll post some pics soon...

    Thanks again! This site has been a wonderful resource for me...

    -Michael
     
  4. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Cool - enjoy it! It's a great little boat!

    Looking forward to seeing some photos! 8)
     
  5. Ddevore

    Ddevore New Member

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    Re: Thanks for the great info Mark!

    I have to second that. I've been building the Arctic Tern 14 since October (at a much slower pace than you) and I've been lurking on this forum picking up all sorts of great tips. The pictures have been quite helpful as well.

    I've noticed that you are very liberal with the chronological order of the manual. You cut the hatches before final sanding and application of the LPU. The manual seems to suggest a reverse order. I'm leaning toward your order of events as your end results look great, but I'm curious if there was a reason you did this, or if you suggest any precautions when cutting the hatches first (ie: do you need to seal any extra bits when applying the LPU?)

    Thanks again for such a great documentation!
     
  6. Michael_Howes

    Michael_Howes Paddler

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    I also cut the hatches sooner than recommended. For me, it was easier to fillet the inside sheer seam with the hatches cut out rather than blindly squirting epoxy through a syringe on an 8 foot stick! (I made a smaller 3 foot version that worked great.)
     
  7. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Basically, I cut the hatches at a time that I thought it made the most sense. Since there's still a fair amount of epoxy work to be done after you make the cuts (gluing in the spacer strips and hatch lips, sealing the end grain of the new hatch covers etc.), it made sense to do it before any of the finish work. It also made it much easier to epoxy and tape the inside of the sheer once the hatches were cut.

    You'll notice in the gallery that I did some rough sanding of the areas around where the hatches were cut, before I started cutting. I figured it would be easier to sand part of a deck rather than sand a deck and individual hatch lids. The final sanding of the hatch lids was quite easy though, and mostly done before the half-round dowels were glued in place (again, to make things easier).

    I suppose you could cut hatches after finishing the deck, but then you'd have to epoxy the end grains again, and risk getting epoxy over top of the LPU (unless you're a very good masker!).
     
  8. Peel

    Peel Paddler

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    In my Coho manual (don't know if the Tern's is different), in the section about filleting the inside sheer seam it says, "If you plan to add hatches, you can wait to do the sheer seams until after the deck has been glassed and the hatches cut." It doesn't stipulate that the entire boat be finished first.
     
  9. Ddevore

    Ddevore New Member

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    Thanks guys. I've finished the saturation coats for the deck and began on the cockpit combing last night. I think I'll do some more work on the combing tonight and cut some hatches based on your workflows. Nice to get advice from some folks in the same boat so to speak.

    -Doug
     
  10. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    ditto
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Add me to the list, on my Osprey double. Having hatched access made a lot of stuff easier.
     
  12. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    OK, a little update on the leaky hatches. I spent the afternoon taping bits of paper towel to the inside of the boat at the padeyes, to see if it was those or the hatches leaking. Despite my best efforts at sealing up the padeyes at the time of installation, 9 of the 20 of them leaked (mind you, I had the hose max pressure with the nozzle pointed straight at each padeye for about 15 seconds - so if there was any possibility of a leak, it would show!).

    So, I've spent the last few hours playing with more SikaFlex. I've got the black stuff, and it really is like working with tar. It's a total mess - stringy and hard to push into areas with a little stir stick. But, I now have a good bead around all the padeyes, especially the leaky ones. The bow padeye leaked, and it was very difficult to get in there. I could get my head or arm into the front hatch, but not both to see what I was doing, so it turned a bit messy and lots of cursing ensued, but I think I got it in there ok and most of the mess inside cleaned up. With my arm at full extension in the front hatch I can just barely reach the padeye, so you can imagine what it's like trying to work on that one.

    I'll let it set for at least a few days before I test it - I'm hoping for completely leak-proof hatches now! I'll settle for one dry hatch if I have to... at least then you can control what goes into which hatch to keep the important stuff (mainly socks) dry. 8)
     
  13. Peel

    Peel Paddler

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    Thanks for the update Mark. I'm thinking about going the soft padeye route myself, and will wait to see what your verdict is. If you were starting from scratch, would you still take the same route with the SikaFlex, or would you have just epoxied them in place and called it good?
     
  14. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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    hey mark,
    go to industrial paints and plastics and get the sikkaflex cleaner! it makes for nice seams. but you have to watch out this stuff is toxic (kind of a solvent) and will eat your gloves away. so put some barrier cream on your hands and there you go. i also used to tape the area off which really helps too!

    hope that helps.

    cheeers and happy caulking :lol:

    andreas
     
  15. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Thanks for the tip, Andreas. Hopefully I'm all good now though, and done with it (I've just been using paint thinner for cleanup, and it works reasonably well). The main problem has just been trying to see what I'm doing in there, as the padeyes are under the deck and usually very close to the hatch openings (remember I did the hatch straps like that too), so getting your head in such a position to see what your hands are doing is a bit tricky (while trying not to inhale too many fumes!).

    Pete, in answer to your question, yeah, I think I'd still do it the way I did it. I really like the clean look on the outside. But I might consider putting them in place before gluing the deck down, and dealing with whatever issues arise with trying to sand and finish around them. I'm not sure. Regardless, I'd get a different colour SikaFlex (if they make it clear, great! Black is just horrible - it looks and feels like tar, and doesn't make the inside of the boat very pretty). I don't think I'd consider epoxy-ing them in place, as if anything happened you'd have a major issue of removing and replacing a broken padeye or strap. I think most of my leaks would have been solved if I'd just applied a more liberal bead of SikaFlex around the top of the wooden padeye holder before securing them under the deck (I didn't want any oozing out the edges - now it looks far worse anyways!). I may be able to carefully scrape off any extra bits after it's all dry.

    It also depends a lot on the boat and paddler. If you're a fair-weather paddler and don't lean the boat over etc. then chances are your deck rarely gets wet - in which case the padeyes wouldn't get much opportunity to leak into the hatches. But I built the Tern 14 to play in big waves, so the deck is wet a large portion of my paddling time.

    I have a hair dryer in the hatches now, on low - just getting some heat in there to cure the SikaFlex (the boat's in an unheated garage). It's already quite firm. Hopefully I can get a quick test paddle in on Monday afternoon or Wednesday some time. I want to take the Romany out tomorrow to test the new back band.
     
  16. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mark, I am perplexed at the leakage you are experiencing around your padeyes. Sikaflex, in my experience, flows into the tiniest of crevices. And, looking at the photos of the hatch strap installation, I can't imagine how there could be any gaps in the bead after the plywood backing is pulled into place.

    Do you think the leakage comes from around the perimeter of the backing, or is it wicking through the webbing where it passes though the backing?

    You have gone where few of us have gone before, so I'm hoping to learn from your exploits! :)
     
  17. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    It's difficult to see from the photos, but there's no chance of water wicking thru the webbing, as the webbing was completely saturated with epoxy under the padeye. So, there's a completely water-tight layer of epoxy in the slot cut in the scrap of wood that makes the padeye, as well as more at the bottom.

    Here's what I suspect happened. The padeyes are placed near the taped sheer, so at least most of the padeyes are straddling the ridge that the glass tape makes against the flat deck. I had thought that the SikaFlex would flow out to make up the difference, but I guess there wasn't quite enough to make a perfect seal.

    So, in short, the padeyes are trying to bond to uneven surfaces under the deck. And we all know what water is like - any tiny little pinhole will seem like a geyser when you're trying to make a watertight boat!

    I'm confident that the new layer will have solved this problem completely - I applied a pretty generous layer around all the edges of each padeye. When it comes time to re-finish the boat in years down the road, I'll be able to remove the padeyes, scrape all the old SikaFlex off, and start again with the knowledge attained by this experience. Where possible, I'll scrape the tape edges down to make a flatter surface against which the padeye will sit, and I'll apply a more thorough bead of caulk around the web on the padeye to make a watertight seal the first time around.
     
  18. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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    mark, the sikkaflex is also a great glue :D
    just for fun: glue two pc. of ply together and try to rip it apart :roll: :? 8O :wink: then let me know if you are still thinking of removing the padeys in the future :lol:
     
  19. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Oh no - really? 8O :eek: :evil: I'll have to try that.

    Well, when it's time to refinish, they will come out, one way or the other! I'm hoping that the SF won't bond quite as well to epoxied wood as it would to bare wood that it can permeate into.

    Will do a little test on bare wood later today.
     
  20. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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    oh yea you could get them out..... i'm thinking about a jig saw,hole saw :twisted: :lol:

    but, try it out it's nice to know what you are dealing with