Pygmy Borealis XL Build

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

  1. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    South Island, New Zealand
    I don't think that is a good idea. Why didn't you build one for her before you built your own? :?: Definitely not a pass mark there. I built the first one for my daughter's 10th birthday. Her older brother was not a paddler, managed to capsize her kayak within the first 50 metres. When away on the first holiday with both kayaks, she spent at least one morning (or afternoon?) learning how to capsize it and get back in - all her own idea.
     
  2. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Thanks James,

    Yes, I'm one of those builders who rounds over the inside edge of the combing. It makes it so much nicer to hang onto and just adds a certain amount of refinement to the boat. I'm considering painting this one with epoxy paint. I've got some dark red left over from a project and may use it. I will certainly round over the high part too, good idea!

    I'm writing a "Rogue Pygmy Manual" for alternative steps that many builders use. I'm certainly including the rounding over of the combing in the manual. The biggest suggestion that I'm including though is to NOT wire the boat, but rather to tape it. This is the third Pygmy that I've built using the taping method and they turn out great. I'm not sure why Pygmy hasn't changed their manuals over to the taping method as they use a variation of it in their hands-on classes.

    Do any of you have any other cool things that you do to your Pygmy's that I should include in my Rogue Manual? Just let me know!

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  3. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    South Island, New Zealand
    Interesting to see just how difficult it is possible to make what should be an easy build. We've never glassed our hulls. Just glass tape on the joins. We never build our decks separately. In fact, doing the decks the way we do allows for a minimum of accuracy to do and accurate job. We also use sheerclamps which I think makes for a more accurate curve to the sides due to the stiffness of the thick timber of the sheerclamp. The curved decks "drop" on to curved deckbeams and the decks are made too big and cut back later.

    Just proves there are "more than one way to skin a cat", as they say.

    Is there a link to it?
     
  4. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Mac50L,

    Are you building "Pygmy" kayak kits that way; without fiberglassing them and by adding a sheerclamp? You mention a curved deck which sounds like a CLC boat instead. I think CLC boats have sheerclamps.

    If you are actually building Pygmy kits that way then I'd like to see some pictures of them. I can't even visualize one built like that and am not sure I'd trust it. Yikes. Sounds like it all might pop apart without the glass to hold it together.

    Regarding the manual, no there isn't a link to it yet. I'm still writing it. When done I'm not sure if I'll try to sell it or just offer it to the public. We'll figure it out when we get there. If you have suggestions to add please let me know, but it's really only for Pygmy kits, not CLC kits as I have really no knowledge of them.

    Steve
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,261
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    That distinction between "Pygmy" stitch and glue boats and most CLC designs is accurate: no sheer clamps on Pygmies. Having built boats both ways, I have grown to prefer sheer clamps for the more robust deck hull joint, and the more measured way of developing the sheer curve, as Mac50L describes. However, there is some skill involved in tuning the curved deck beams and the sheer clamps for a fair surface if the deck is curved. Further, a four piece deck allows for a little more variety in deck curvature and shape. I am not at all convinced, however, that Pygmy's hype on the value of those varieties pencils out as bettsr performance. I think they sell because they look sexy.
     
  6. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    South Island, New Zealand
    It was a generic comment, not specific to anything other that S&T construction. Which then means some designs, ways of designing and construction methods are easier than others.

    As for life of ours, my partner's is getting on for 20 years old, my oldest one was built in 1983. Yes they get bashed around and a lick of paint sorts it out. Holes? Yes, dropping from a great height on to the corner of a workbench or some such stupid manoeuvre can dent the ply badly. Ply thickness? My last 2 were 3 mm, 18 kg ready for sea, my partner's 4 mm and her half built one, 3 mm with 4 mm bottom planks.

    And definitely NO, not CLC design, too high on the sides. They are all my design except for the first 2 which were an adaption of a scrappy blueprint with Kayel marked on it.
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,781
    They may make a curve, and it may be a fair curve - but curves from a constant dimensioned batten can't help but give a characteristic decreasing curvature toward the ends - where the bending moment approaches zero whether point or continuously loaded. It cannot be helped: it is their characteristic. Simple ways around it are to use a much longer sheerclamp than the panels, adhere or fix it, and then cut it off or use decreasing dimensioned sheerclamps. [I've never seen either advocated]

    That is why nearly all sheerclamped boats have such shape similarities - where the ends approach straight lines - which could be in conflict if other curvature characteristics may be desired.

    Of course with experienced builders or designers [ like Sandy - Mac50L ] , these characteristics can easily be overcome, but with many kayaks you can instantly see from where much of their shaping is derived. So aside from additional space, weight, and awkwardness - from a shape viewpoint, there are other serious reasons why sheerclamps may not be a first approach.
     
  8. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    South Island, New Zealand


    Except that is usually what is wanted or nearly so. Bulkheads are fitted (or I do) and they also hold the curve rate. However towards the stern we insert a block that takes the rudder up/down and steering cables and this can force a sharper curve if required. Mainly the sheerclamp helps stop having "ripples" and fairs up the curves.

    My construction steps are - bottom planks sewn along the keel line and then placed on two outside formers (formers are where the bulkheads will be on the inside). The formers (jigs) are fitted to the building table (or on saw horses etc.). Epoxy keel line. Bulkheads fitted. Sides with sheerclamps offered up and then cut back at the bow to the correct length taking the stern as the datum. Glue the sides on. Four laminated deck beams fitted. Deck cutout ~10+ mm too big and lashed, screwed, stapled down. Note - screwed on to the deck beams and bulkheads on the centre line to stop "humping up". A hand saw used to cut the surplus deck off with no precision needed. Epoxy has been spread on all inside surfaces before the deck goes on.

    Bow and stern - the side planks at the bow have a tapered bit of wood fitted and rounded on the front edge. The stern has a transom piece for the rudder to be mounted on. Just about everyone here uses rudders, it is a windy country, rudders are efficient (and they don't break).
     
  9. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Looks like we're getting a bit off of the "Borealis Build" topic. Perhaps this current discussion could take place in a new thread?

    Back to the Borealis - I'm installing my foot braces next, and then the deck goes on. Looking more like a Borealis every day!
     
  10. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    One thing I would have done (and still can do but since I am a procrastinator I have not done) is put a small hole (about 1/8" or less) at the top of each bulkhead. My rear hatch sometimes becomes sealed on under pressure. For instance, if you open it, allow warm air in, and then close and paddle in cold water. I usually have to use tool to pry the cover off, and I have seen the whole deck rise a little when the pressure is released. A small hole, or some sort of purge valve, would keep the pressure equalized.

    James
     
  11. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Great idea! I too have had that happen. My first solution was to put a notch in each of the half-dowels which really helped. But your suggestion is a good one. The manual suggests a variation of it too, but the one I like the most is to drill a larger hole (1/8", 3/16", ish...) and fill it with epoxy. When that's dry then drill a really small hole through the center of that. It will seal the edges of the hole plus the actual hole is so small that barely any water would go through even if submerged for a short time, but air can easily go through.

    Thanks! I'll add it in.
     
  12. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    South Island, New Zealand
    I put mine in the middle of the bulkhead on the grounds that that is the highest point for a hole to be if the kayak is rotated inverted and then righted.
     
  13. Stumpy

    Stumpy Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    543
    Location:
    staten island, new york
    A pressure release hole is essential, for the bulkheads, usually 1/3 down from top, to prevent water transfer, if you capsize. Proper method is to drill 1/4" hole, fill w/ epoxy, then re-drill through the epoxy only, with a 1/16" hole, leaving the wood sealed. this should be done before coating the bulkhead with epoxy, but it can be done after, as long as you get a good seal with the two epoxies.

    Does the Borealis normally have a rudder? I haven't seen one in a couple of years, and have forgotten, though I didn't think it did. I've always been of the opinion that a rudder on a single kayak was only employed by boat builders who lacked the skill, or were to lazy, to design the hull properly, but that may be due to the fact that I only build, and paddle sof, and it's almost impossible to efficiently install a rudder on one of them, nor have I ever felt the need.

    David Mills
     
  14. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Stumpy: Good thoughts on the pressure relief hole. I always put fiberglass on both sides of the bulkheads, so what I do is drill the larger hole, fiberglass one side and let it cure, then when I fiberglass the other side I make sure that I also fill the hole. Then when that second side is cured I drill a 1/64" hole through the epoxy.

    No, most solo kayaks from Pygmy do not have rudders. Pygmy leaves it up to the builder but suggests that you try the kayak for a time before retrofitting one onto the hull. I've never installed one and the only ones I've seen with rudders are the doubles and triples. I've had a Coho, Coho Hi, and now a Borealis and none of them need a rudder whatsoever.
     
  15. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    There's no need for a rudder on the Borealis, or most Pygmy kayaks for that matter. They all track very straight and the few models that do not track as straight are designed for surf and rolling, so a rudder would be pointless on those too.

    James
     
  16. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Hi everyone,

    I mentioned in an earlier post that I was writing a manual of all the tips and tricks that many Pygmy builders use but that aren't in the official Pygmy manual. The table of contents was just posted on a new thread at http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7744.

    Please take a look and let me know, on that thread, what you think and if there are any other tips and tricks that should be included. The manual is already 30 pages but I'd love to include as much as possible.

    Please put any comments on the new thread as it doesn't necessarily pertain just to the Borealis.

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  17. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    I've been making good progress on my Borealis! About two weeks to go until the boat is completed (not including varnishing though).

    Just did the first side of my bulkheads last night. See pictures and more details on my blog: http://pygmykayakbuildblog.blogspot.com/.

    Thanks!

    Steve
     
  18. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Steve:
    It's looking very good- nice work!
    :big_thumb
    What are your plans for deck perimeter (safety) lines?
    I don't remember if the Pygmy manual has details on deck lines (as opposed to bungies for keeping your pump and chart case in place). Lines are definitely 'missing' from a lot (most) of the Pygmy website pictures.
     
  19. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Thanks!

    On most of my kayaks I simply extend the shock cording to the hand toggles. They act as perimeter lines, albeit stretchy ones. This allows for a really clean deck and retractable hand toggles. I will route the shock cord through several soft padeyes to reduce the amount that you pull away from the hull. They've worked well in the past!

    See the attached pictures. These pictures are from a previous Pygmy kayak (a Coho Hi Volume) but my new Borealis will have the same setup. I especially like how I'm able to connect the hand toggles to make them retractable. The shock cording is connected to a stainless steel "O" ring. The lines from the hand toggles are then routed through the rings. They easily pull up to be used, but they never drag overboard or flop around.

    Also note that in these pictures the deck compass is attached separately. This is because the guy I sold the boat to wanted to be able to remove it. On my boat I will remove the bottom of the compass and route the shock cord through it and then attach the bottom back on. This will mean that the compass is permanently attached to the deck shock cording. It's a much better look than the extra black lines!





    Steve
     
  20. Steve Deligan

    Steve Deligan Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    I'm installing my bulkheads and have just run a bead of thickened epoxy around the perimeter of each on the forward side. The instructions say to also run fiberglass tape along perimeter too, but I didn't do that on my last boat and hope not to on this one.

    Any thoughts? Can I just use a nice bead of thickened epoxy and not use the tape? I can't see why tape would add anything structural. The bulkhead doesn't take any sheer. It's really only tension and compression so I would think that the thickened epoxy is more than sufficient.



    Thanks,

    Steve