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Construction continues (click any photo to see a larger version)


The construction method of the kayak is called stitch and glue. Along the edges of the bottom and side pieces I drilled 1/16” holes every four inches, 3/16” in from the edge. Short lengths of copper wire were then inserted into the holes of the corresponding pieces and twisted tight. As they were tightened, the kayak took shape (photo 3)!

Then it was time to install the bulkheads, the pieces that divide the inside of the kayak in waterproof fore and aft storage compartments plus the central section to sit in (photo 4).


The inside joints are then all taped with epoxied fibreglass (photo 5) and, when it is dry, the copper wire, which is no longer needed, is clipped off (photo 6) and the outside joints are also fibreglassed and epoxied.

Where the sheer clamps meet at the bow, they are shaped to fit closely together and the bow is epoxied. The hull is now essentially complete and all the inside surfaces are epoxied.


Fitting the deck panels


After completing some other small jobs, it was now time to fit the deck panels. First they are epoxied on the underside since the inside will be difficult to get at once the panels are installed. This must then dry. The manual called for the rear deck panel to be epoxied in place but I decided to dry-fit it first. Ropes are used to pull the panel down to the sheer clamps and I used a stick to prevent the rope from pulling down the inside edge of the panel (photo 7).

Then it was time to dry-fit the foredeck panel.


Disaster strikes!


I found it took a lot of pressure to pull the foredeck panel down towards the sheer clamps. It was so resistant that, when it was almost there, I left it for a while to let the plywood settle in. Then I applied more pressure to the ropes and... CRACK!... the panel split several inches down the centre (photo 8). I released the tension and inspected the panel. I wondered how I could fix it.

I live in a boat-building community and so I asked around what would be the best way to fix the panel. The consistent answer I got was that it couldn’t be fixed: I’d never be satisfied with it; I should replace it. Well that stopped me in my tracks and the kayak building went into hold status for several months.

Then, in July, I decided to write to Roy to tell him what had happened. He replied that he had not experienced this problem with other kits although there had been some plywood supplied that was not up to par. He said he would sent out replacement deck panels. They arrived a few days later.


Construction resumes


I decided to fit the new foredeck first in case it gave me further troubles. This time it went without problem (photo 9). The new plywood has three layers of equal thickness whereas the plywood that cracked had two thin outer layers and a thicker inner layer. Notice that it is now August and I am working outside in my garage.

I then installed the rear deck panel and, after trimming the edges, the deck was complete (photo 10).


Now it was time to construct the cockpit coaming, It is built up from of several layers of plywood, each one having to be separately fitted, glued and clamped. As you can see, this is a job for which you can’t have too many clamps (photo 11).

When the plywood hull panels were stitched together, the process left joints on the outside that need to be filled with filler and sanded down. Here I am applying filler mixed from epoxy and glass micro-beads (photo 12).


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