Pygmy Borealis XL Build

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Whidbey, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    I wonder if that is why people choose the WR-LPU cause it dries in less than an hour? Sounds like it goes on the same way, just the dry time is 24 hours.....
     
  2. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    That's one reason. It also lasts longer because it is a little harder. The easy clean-up with water is nice too.
    Maybe when my boat is due for a re-coat in a few years I will switch to WR-LPU, if it is OK to apply WR-LPU where varnish has been previously applied.

    The brown santa delivered my PFD early. Once the varnish work is done, then I am off paddling!

    James
     

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  3. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    I applied the final coat to the deck today. It's looking better and better with every coat and I can't wait to get paddling this weekend.
    I'm having a minor issue with the final coat one one hatch cover. For some reason, the varnish is drying looking all "crackled". I'm not sure what happened, the first and second coats looked fine. I guess I'll have to sand it down and start over. Not a launch stopper though.

    James
     

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  4. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    looks really nice James! I am waiting for a crummy weekend to sand and LPU. Every weekend has been nice so I keeep putting it off! Procrastinate?? Who me?
     
  5. KathyD

    KathyD Paddler

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    Looks really great. Isn't it nice how it looks better and better after each coat?

    Sound almost like there was some kind of contamination (maybe grease or oil???) on the hatch cover to make the film of varnish not stick evenly. I remember a small spot on my hull where one coat of epoxy didn't stick right. I sanded and cleaned well and the next coat was fine. Might want to make sure you clean the hatch with an appropriate grease solvent for your varnish just in case?

    Kathy
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Suspect Kathy's diagnosis is correct. Does not take much silicone or oil contamination to produce those fisheyes. Sanding back to good stuff is the only sure cure. A hot soapy water scrubbing, followed by a clear water rinse is probably a better cleaning regime than a solvent.
     
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Ditto the above messages. On my first build I had trouble getting the epoxy to lie "flat"... after reading about I discovered that I should have washed out the plastic mixing cups before I used them. That seems to have cured the problem.

    Then on the second build I sanded "between coats" of epoxy at one point. The next coat went on all crappy and runny. (It sanded out OK, although I still have a couple of spots that need a slight resanding to get a perfectly even surface). I attributed the problem to a possibly dirty rag used to wipe down the boat after that first light sanding.

    Freshly laundered rags are the way to go now. (but it's OK to use a new, unwashed cup for mixing up the "bondo"). The nice thing is that although it's PITA, you CAN generally clean the mess up with a bit of patience, time, scrapers and wet sanding.
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Epoxy is funny stuff. It is critically important to have an oil-free surface or it will not bond well at all, yet it is a petroleum product, albeit heavily mofified and no longer "oil-like." It likes a freshly washed surface, well and good. And, freshly sanded, also. Even just hitting the high spots with a light pass of the ROS with 80 grit on it seems to help it lie down and avoid runs and fisheyes.

    Some claim that solvents like acetone, frequently used as a last-pass cleaner on a surface to be coated with resin, often contain residual contaminants because a lot of the hardware-store quality acetone we buy is reclaimed from prior uses. IOW, tiny traces of oils are carried along with the acetone we think is "cleaning" a surface. I don't know if this is true or not, but I've avoided using it as a last treatment on any surface to be painted or to be coated with resin.
     
  9. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    Hey guys thanks for the tips and advice. I was having trouble with the varnish on my hatch covers dowels not curing and staying sticky. I used some acetone and thinner to clean of the sticky stuff and try again. I wet sanded them and washed them with water as well. After they were dry, I recoated with varnish.
    Fast forward to the present... The front hatch turned out perfect, dowels and all. The rear hatch's dowels turned out fine. The surface of the hatch cover... not so fine. The only thing I can figure is that when I was drying the hatch cover off, I must have grabbed a dirty rag by accident. I must have gotten lucky with the dowels and whatever contaminent that was on the rag didn't get spread on the dowels.
    Anyway... easy fix since all I have to do is sand down the hatch surface and refinish. After launch that is!

    James
     
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    "Launch"? or "Lunch"!? :D
     
  11. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Quick question for those "in the know" while we're on the topic... what grit final wet sanding is recommended prior to varnish? Would a #220 wet be too glossy?

    I will be using System Three Spar Varnish cut about 20% with mineral spirits for the first coating.
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    No. However, assuming you are going to lay on 3-4 coats, I'd guess somewhere in there you will wet-sand 220, and then 400 or maybe all the way to 600, if you want a showroom finish, so 150 or 180 is probably good enough.

    I never take mine past 150 before finishing, anyway, because I mainly care about durablity, and use satin in clear finishes.
     
  13. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    I re-attached all the hardware and epoxied in the Velcro for the ThermaRest seat today. In order to get the epoxy to cure faster, I put on the cockpit cover and set the boat out in the sun, hoping for some solar heat. It also made for a nice photo opportunity!



    James

    PS: The buoys in the background came all the way from Nova Scotia. There's some great paddling there and I would love to be able to take my kayak there someday.
     

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  14. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    Nicely done, James. In spite of a couple of minor setbacks it looks really good. Just remember - you may find yourself looking for a different seat from the Thermarest!

    I've got a seatblank on order from Redfish (along with some extra bungee cord for the hatch cover clamps) but if it doesn't arrive before next Wednesday for the May long weekend (21st) I'll be using a doubled up Thermarest and "hoping for the best". I now have two coats of 80% Spar Varnish on the deck; tomorrow will get 2 coats of 100% on there and then final wet sanding maybe on the weekend. No wrinkles or "fisheyes" so far (fingers crossed). I'm thinking I might wait until after the long weekend to do the hull but had to get the deck done "soonest" so I could glue in the soft padeye loops for the deck rigging. Just depends on how smoothly the weekend through to next Wed go for me.
     
  15. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    Thanks! I do have a second seat that I have carved from a block of minicell foam. I plan on paddling with both and see which one I like the best.

    I weighed my boat today. Pygmy rates this boat at 43 lbs with no accessories. Mine, with the bulkhead and hatch kit, seat adjuster, hand toggles and deck rigging came to 50 pounds exactly.

    James
     
  16. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    Re: Pygmy Borealis XL Build (First Paddle)

    It was nice last Saturday, so we took my new kayak out for a paddle on Lake Stevens, WA. All in all, a good day, fun time paddling around. Even though I lost my wife's cell phone in the lake and the digital camera took a dunk too. Phone is gone forever, digital camera has since fully recovered.











    James
     

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  17. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Looks like fun -- good to get them started early. Hope there is some flotation in that aft compartment when the youngsters are aboard. It will become a spar buoy if you swamp without help in the stern!
     
  18. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    note how high the bow rides in the last pic.
    you'd best be friends with the folks living on the downwind side! :wink: you ain't going upwind in that configuration!
    if you're going to haul the kids around in the back hatch, i'd suggest you add some ballast to the bow.
     
  19. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

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    Hi everyone,

    It's been a while since anyone posted on this thread, but now that I'm building a Pygmy Borealis I thought I'd chime in.

    I'm running my own blog about it instead of posting here, but if you're interested in see my progress you can go to: http://pygmykayakbuildblog.blogspot.com/

    Just turned my deck over today and added the tape on the seams.

    My intention is not to go over the entire build but rather to focus on those areas where I deviate from or add to the Pygmy manual. The biggest change that I do is to tape the boat together instead of sew it with wire. That way I there are no holes. Pretty cool, huh?!

    This is my fourth Pygmy kayak and hopefully it will be my best so far. I've been working on it for a month and have just glued up the deck panels.

    By the way, I'm also writing a "Rogue Manual" for Pygmy Builders who are interested in doing the taping method instead of sewing with wire. It also has many other "improvements" and alternative ways of doing things to make your Pygmy as good as it can be. If you are interested in looking at it, please let me know. Also, if you are interested in contributing to the manual let me know! IT could use all the hints and advice that you have to offer. I'd love to have a supplemental manual for all of us who just can't leave well enough alone!

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  20. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

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    Hi Steve,

    Great looking build! I've had my Borealis for about 5 years now and it still looks great. It's due for some dry-dock work (refinish, sand/fill a few gouges, replace the keel tape) which will make it look like new again.
    Suggestion: After you fit the combing to the deck, it may be a good idea to sand smooth the point on the front center of the combing before applying glass. I've noticed that point puts a stress area on spray skirts. My neoprene snap dragon spray skirt has a few broken fibers at that spot.
    Some builders also round off the inside edge of the combing which looks great.

    James