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Frej XS

The scraper did a great job cleaning up all the epoxy I had run out of the seam. I then used it to correct the mistakes I mentioned in my last post. The walnut ends I put on weren't quite perfect so I shaved them with the scraper until they were flush. I didn't want to over sand them previously and had stopped short. On the seam I also had a bad gap pictured where I was too aggressive on the hull with the sander. For that gap I squeezed it down then taped up the ends (carefully this time) and did the first end pour. The end pour should fill it from the inside and then be tough once the outer is glassed over. I used a cardboard tube to try to keep from slopping blackened epoxy everywhere. It worked ok but I still managed to get a few drips in the wrong spots.
 

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Flipped it over and did the stern. It's funny you don't see any gaps until you get some light behind it. Gave the kayak it's first mark tonight too. While turning it in my crowded garage I whacked it on something that left a line in the glass on the deck. Hopefully it disappears with varnish. I should also mention that each time I work around that skeg box I wipe the threads down after just in case I got any epoxy on them. I had it taped up before and I probably should have just left it on there.
 

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When I lifted the cardboard tube I made contact with the deck and filled one of the holes for the carry handle. Needs a quick re-drill. So the end pours worked out nicely for filling the gap. Here's a before and after I made a made a few passes with the scraper.
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I made joke this morning about plugging the skeg box and taking the boat for a test paddle. My wife then made a comment about not paddling a "drowning boat", a nickname for boats without bulkheads. So bulkheads were on the menu today. The one at the back of the cockpit was an easy fit but the forward bulkhead was in an awkward spot. Taping a stick to it really helped keep it even taking it in and out for sanding. After fitting them I sealed the back side of each with painters tape. I stuck the boat vertical again and had to enlist my wife as the front hatch was too small for me to work in. On the front since it's also a foot plate I'm going to glass both sides. My wife painted a layer of epoxy around the outside edge, then a fillet joint of epoxy wood flour from and icing bag rounded with a tongue depressor and followed by 4" long pieces of 1.5" tape I had on hand. We used short pieces of tape with a small overlap since it was so tight to work in there. I'll sand it clean later. For the rear bulkhead I only intend to glass one side. For this side I just went around and around painting epoxy into the joint with an acid brush. I then dragged a foam brush around bulkhead cleaning up/smoothing the epoxy.
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I have a couple of flecks in the coaming I'd like to fix. If anyone has any input I'm thinking I'll take a burr bit in my Dremel and grind out the fleck and re-fill the hole with epoxy?
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Taped for 1" on either side.
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Layed some bias cut 4oz S glass in place
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Wet out over the tape
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Cut the glass just above the tape and re-taped down a bit
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Did the fill coat and re-taped down again making for an easier sanding transition.
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I might have spaced the re-taping a bit much but I wanted an easy sand without getting into the graphite powder.
 
Drilled the holes for the toggles this morning and cut some stainless tubing to go inside. I was pressing too hard when drilling the first one and it popped the glass free as it came though. I let the bit cut on the other end and there was no issue there. I trimmed the loose glass off and will re-cover it when I glass the stems. I spent a fair bit of time feathering the outer seam with 120 grit emery cloth and only got one side mostly done. I went over the top of the seam after with 220 on the random orbital. All the jobs seem to be taking so long at this point.
 

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Having a coffee and waiting for the next fill coat. I rolled up some paper towel and stuffed it into the skeg box. I then wedged some weather stripping into the opening along with a little cardboard before taping and glassing over top of everything. I did the bow as well.
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I find that with 105/207 that after 3 hours at 20 degrees it's ready for me to cut the glass with a utility knife and peel off the masking.
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Then time for a re-mask and a fill coat. I also added another piece of glass to the stern at this point. I did it in two pieces as I didn't think I'd get around the corner without wrinkles.
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Now I wait to repeat the process again.
 

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So it turns out that I shouldn't have gone over the skeg box when I glassed the stems. When cutting out the box I had some de-laminating despite only cutting on the push stroke. Since it's just an extra protection layer for the skeg box I just dripped some Krazy glue in as best I could and we'll see how long it lasts. I can tidy that up when it's not paddling season. I sanded everything and used my Dremel to grind out the stainless tubing inserts I glassed over. After wiping the hull down multiple times cleaning up all the black I put a coat of varnish on to seal it. That should keep it clean for now and I can do the deck rigging before finishing the next 3 coats of varnish.
 

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So the final coat of varnish has been applied and it's drying in the garage. It should be dry enough to start bolting the deck rigging back on tonight and get the skeg controller back in. I had it all rigged up then stripped it down for varnish.

I followed the same deck rigging pattern we did on my daughter's Tern. I find it pretty practical for normal use. I used 3/4" wide rated webbing that MEC used to sell, 3m tracer perimeter line and the 4mm? (narrow) shock cord. With the shock cord and the rope I pull the sheath back slightly, trim the center back a hair then re-extend the sheath and melt it. It keeps it nice and black and makes a solid end that won't pull through the webbing. I epoxied an eye bolt into the ends that I have to drill out slightly for the rope to fit through. With the webbing I melt the holes in it a little short so that it bites tightly onto the rigging.

I ended up having to glass the rear bulkhead on the cockpit side as it was just too tight inside the hatch. I just epoxied the back side of it. On the front bulkhead it's now glassed in on both sides.

I ground the two flecks out of the coaming with my Dremel. It's better than it was but made it a clear spot where I ground out the glass that was giving the cloudy look.

I'm sure the experienced builders have known for some time that I did not succeed in building a light weight boat. I'm guessing 45lbs but we'll find out soon.
 

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Time for a test paddle now.
 

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Time for a test paddle now.
Looks fantastic! Good work! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Frej is really a good design - time after time I grab my Frej when I go paddling- and I have a few other options! :)
The Frej deck - like the decks on other Bjorn Thommason boats in the same 'family' - is a challenging build, especially when the boat is finished clear. I use paint to hide my mistakes. :)
 
It was good, she likes it! It seems plenty stable and she liked the outfitting (IR Reggie back band). It was hot so she had her feet over the side a few times. Loose initial for easy edging but plenty of secondary. She said it feels fast which is nice, doesn't take much to out run my Scorpio though. Sadly we had no waves today just a light breeze. We hoped some boats would go by but there weren't many out being a Wednesday. She said it needs a whisker of skeg where her Avocet RM rarely does. We only did 6kms today so I'm sure she'll have more feedback as she gets more seat time. Hopefully some waves next time.

We weighed it this morning and it came in at 39lbs so much better than I thought. From what I can see this boat has the best waterline of any small paddler boat that I've seen her in. Definitely a size down from the Pilgrim, Avocet LV and Reval mini. She likes a loose boat and loves her Avocet RM. I was worried never having tried a Frej but John's review seems pretty spot on. So far she's really liking the Frej XS.
 

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A couple more details. I forgot to add that after drilling for all the deck rigging I epoxy sealed all the holes and then the varnish gets in there too. So when you screw the deck rigging bolt back in it cuts threads for itself making it pretty watertight. To help with that I wrapped teflon tape around the threads on the bolt as well.
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I'm pretty impressed with the System 4 Skeg set up from Kajak Sport. The only issue I had with it is that the included bolts to join the control box to the adapter box aren't long enough for wood construction. They are sized for a composite hull thickness so to work with 1/4 cedar strips I ordered some 5x16mm countersunk head SS Allen head cap screws. That allowed me just enough length to use their supplied O-ring, washer and get all the way through the SS nylock nuts I had on hand.
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For the regular deck rigging I used 4mmx20 countersunk head SS Allen head cap screw with a cup washer, regular washer and a nylock nut. Where the skeg tubing ran I used a 4x25mm and after tightening the nylock added a fender washer and second nylock to secure the tubing in place.
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This was the fastest way to make all the webbing pieces. Cut length, burn the ends then melt holes with a hot nail.
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Lastly here's a width comparison with my Daughter's Arctic Tern and another picture of the Frej in some brighter sunshine.
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What a nice pc of work you've accomplished!
This photo really demonstrates to me the completeness of the vision you've brought out:
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everything working together to paint a full portrait.
congratulations, it's just great!
 
Thank you Mick, I really appreciate that. Also big thanks to everyone who gave me advice along the way especially John. He spent a lot of time sharing his knowledge with me via email. You don't realize how much you aren't clear on until you get to it.
 
Mike: Taking the time to document your project will be appreciated by future builders. It's a beautiful and well-rigged boat.
Watching DIY projects unfold is fun and interesting for me. If I can prevent somebody from repeating one of my mistakes, that's an additional benefit! :)
Hopefully this excellent resource (WCP) will continue to archive the treasure of information contained here. So, from me, a note of appreciation to the forum administrators and moderators, too.
 
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