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Help with skinning a SOF


May 9, 2006
I'm looking for some generous soul to help me out. I'm having a lot of problems skinning my SOF. I have a decently clear picture on what to do in general, what I had intended to do, and different ways of skinning. However, my actual execution is really poor. My fear is that I may spend several more hours sewing, and in the end I'll have to turf my nylon and start all over again. This also means I would have to drive to Bellingham again to get cloth, etc. My troubles are pretty much explained here: Qajaqusa forum post by me.

I live in Vancouver (east van) and would be happier than pig in a poo pile if someone local could drop by and help me out and get me over my learning hump. I could also pay that person with money or beer, or combinations thereof. I may be able to drive to someone's place too, since I have the skin tacked on the kayak and maybe with a few wraps of plastic wrap it would be safe for carrying on top of a vehicle. I know it's not likely that people have much free time and this is how they would like to spend it (I'm in the same boat!) but I thought I would take a chance and ask.

The main trick is to sew the skin SOAKING WET!!!! if you go back, wet the skin down really well, you will probably be able to pull another 1/8- 1/4" out of it, and sew that with the overhand stitch, and, if you have any further doubts, you could fix the seam with a tiny bead of aquaseal, or Lexel caulking.
Personally I prefer the look of a meandering seam, over a truly straight, too neat seam, so you're doing fine there.
Thanks for the help and advice, I've managed to almost complete the sewing - I still have to stitch on the coaming.

I have a couple of wrinkles, and I'm not sure how common this is, or if it will give me problems later on. What are people's thoughts?



Those wrinkles could be shrunk out by wetting the skin again, and either sun drying, or ironing it with a hot iron, or a heat gun (be careful not to melt the skin, though).
Check out the tutorial at skinboats.org for shrinking it out. Also, depending on what finish you are using, Cory's Goop. or Coelan will also shrink the skin a bit more.

Nice looking kayak, so far, are you going to dye it?
I was originally planning on dying; however I seem to have picked up some water stains on the bottom. So dying might be in order. I'll have to research it. Right now I'm leaning towards Corey's pu, it's not much more $$ than $40 for a hardware pu. The skin is 8oz nylon.