Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

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And the leap has been made

Went to Cincy yesterday, and while there picked up 2- 2″x6″x16′ western redwood cedar planks. I like the place I get them from: you can go out and pick through the wood to find good pieces. $38/board but worth it in my opinion.I could have gone the same route as last time and had a lumber yard cut a coffeewood tree up, but in the end, I get better wood, less waste, and spend the same amount. The trip was already planed for a different purpose so that cost doesn’t apply. Anyway, I only needed to cut up one of the 2×6’s and so have another for later use, or even to make deckbeams from if I am so inclined. I was able to get all the long parts cut from that one plank and still have an extra stringer if needed. The local lumber yard here had a huge pile of cast off cuttings and we were able to get a bunch of 1/4″=1/2″ thick pieces so I’ll have plenty of rib making stock to choose from. I was going to make the coaming from it: there are just too many bad sectons for that length of wood to be successful. I’m going to break down and just order one from Brian (along with the matching spray skirt so I have it all here at the same time.)Now, I said in my last post, I’m not gonna bore y’all to death with this again this year. I intend on holding to that promise, and not just for that reason of being boring. I am going to try something different this time to address an issue I have with Duh!k, and I intend on documenting the hell out of it and writing another “how to” book out of it. Not the building a kayak itself, but how to fix that issue. Very small audience there, but, Who knows, maybe the end result will pay me back for the boat I am building. You may call me a greedy Capitalist as you feel. I happily admit it. (And yes, I am still working on that fiction thing too. Its not going to happen fast as I am making sure I like what I have written, and that means there are times where I have to do some heavy edits.)

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Gonna do it!

I shared in another post that I’m contemplating another Kayak. Well, I made my decision today.

Took Duh!k out for a spin on the lake after attempting to repair the leaks she acquired on that last scrape run down the river.

Nope, leaking worse. Not enough to sink me, or not enough to sink me fast, but definitely leaking more than I am comfortable with. The scrape marks aren’t the issue. Its the seams at bow AND stern. I buggered the welting up good, scraping along the Cumberland river two weeks ago and the leaks are graduating from drip to dribble.

So, while Duh!k can still float, for awhile, before needing bailed out, she isnt going to be trustworthy of a longer run. My fault of course, so she hasn’t been ‘trashed’, and there may be some strange thing I come up with to seal these leaks from the inside. (Can’t just reach back in those cubbies, they are 6′ from the cockpit)

Besides, she was the learning boat, and she has taught me well, and still has that potential for more, like the rolling thing! What little water she is taking on is minor compared to what I will deal with when rolling.

So! The other boat is on the drawing board, and the plans are being laid. First order of business is to go ahead and get all the little geegaws and stuff together before hand, unlike with Duhk, where I ended up waiting for stuff to ship, and one one occasion ‘over-engineered’ out of antsy-ness.

I’ve already discussed the details I am looking for in previous posts, so no need to go there.

As for why the sudden ‘git-r-dun’ shift. It spurred from a conversation. Someone mentioned failure/success and talked about how they’ve never been successful: and I thought to myself ‘only because you’ve never Failed! And only because they never TRIED!” (And there are those that say ‘I could never do that’ and I have to clamp down on my tongue to keep from saying ‘You’re right!’. Most people would take it as arrogance but its more agreeing with them, because they have already talked themselves out of “Do-ing”.) So, while Duh!k was a success for a first time boat where I had no real experiance to support me, she has failed. The failure is due to my inexperience, both in the build and use, so I take that failure, learn from it and make this one that much better. More elbow grease, more research, more materials, combinations thereof, but this one WILL be better.

I won’t bore you all to death with continual updates, but I will post the occasional pic as things go along. Thats in the near future: gonna order all those geegaws and bric-a-brac before the saw blade touches one gunwale. Those geegaws are extra sinew, skin and dope kit, more pigment, and another sprayskirt for a larger cockpit opening. I’m considering ordering the coaming and skirt together from Brian as the coaming takes way more clear wood than I have available currently. It requires a piece over 8′ long and I do have sections that length, but not clear. Pin knots sneak out on you when steaming them. I have had three attempts and had each attempt split out on me ; so far. Thats fine as the wood can still be used for ribs or lammed up for deck beams; it wont go to waste.

Addendum: I started writing this just after returning from the lake. Next Yak is still on, but I managed to fix the leak in Duh!kee. I mixed up a batch of 5 minute epoxy and injected it (killing a good 50cc syringe) into the skin of the area where the dribble was at. I then clamped off the area with a handclamp and a section of polyethylene cutting board, tipped Duh!k tail high and poured 5 gallons of water into her. The water was to force the epoxy back out any offending holes. I waited 20 minutes, removed the clamp and had to pry off the plate. Sanded the exposed epoxy smooth, but no leaks! Then did it again on the stern.

She should be good to go now.

But I’m still going to follow through and make another one. Just improved from all the silly mistakes I made on Duh!k.

A confession

I’ve written a couple of posts this week and hit the delete an ’em all.

Why?

Because something told me to sit on them for 24hours and re-read them. And glad I did because for some reason, they all came off as if written by some pretentious arrogant prick.

Anywhos, Something is percolating below the surface of my subconcious and its causing conflict. I’ll get it sorted out yet, but damn! I managed to piss myself off with that tripe and certainly didn’t want it to carry over to all of you.

I’ll be back on soon enough.

Just thinking

The more I get the Duh!k on water, the more comfortable I become and the more we ‘fit’. That odd rib beside the point, things are getting better. I did a little edging today and while she seemed sluggish, I did find that if I leaned enough to get the gunwales in water, she would turn. And thats not quite roll zone. I have to have the gunwale and some of the deck and cockpit submerged before she hits the “lets duck daddy in the water” mood. Granted, thats flatwater only. You start tossing the surface around and things can get squirrelly fast. That was one aspect I wanted to learn today by going to the bigger lake. Power boats make wakes and thats the one thing I don’t get at the small lake I usually head to. Even with a 6″ swell abeam, she stays stable, though she feels goosey. I’d venture she could ride much bigger with no issues. Driving into the swells, I found that timing my dip and stroke to the bottoms worked great: reach the top and set up for the next stroke, hit bottom and pppuuullllll,,, repeat on next swell. She would hit that next swell, slice right into it and raise her nose like a breaching whale and I would set the next stroke up. Waves abeam were ok, so long as I was moving forward: goosey, but not hateful. Getting caught standing made her wallow like a pig and really taxed me on supporting strokes. I only let that happen the once. I wasn’t out long enough for a try with a following wave; maybe after I get the leak fixed and hull retrimmed… All in all though, I am not sure I need to make another kayak. The Duh!k is filling my ‘needs’ quite well, and the Carolina fills the gaps. The only real downside to the Carolina is weight: no load, she comes in at 63 pounds. Thats a beast when you’ve been paddling for several hours and you need to climb a hill to get to the take out. And those climbs are frequent enough around here.

If I do build another, and it is still quite possible, it will be as proposed already; wider in beam, slightly longer and flatter mid-hull. But I am thinking that I want to experiment on bulkheads and hatches in a Skin on Frame design. I have seen Tahe Marine Greenlands with hatches and am pretty certain they are SOF. Having separate chambers for gear would be nice, but the addition of a pair of float chambers in the event of a capsize is an even bigger incentive.

Change is never permanent

He knows that changes are not permanent, but change is. Tom Sawyer by Rush.

The only true prediction is that shits gonna change. How is where things get murky.

The book I was reading (The Rational Optimist) was published in 2010. The author kept bringing up climatechangeglobalwarmingnexticeage hoopla throughout it, but towards the end showed how it didn’t really make a dent in his perspective. What struck me was how quickly thoughts have shifted from one paradigm to another in such a short span of time.

Yeah, I’m a global warming/climate change denier, and proud of it. But thats not the point here, its about how shifty ‘collective thought ‘ is. More so since the advent of the internet. Even more so since the near ubiquitous use of smartphones.

This is also in no small part due to news sources, the above items are only vehicles. It shows me that programming is even easier once you put the source closer to the person. The flip side of the programming is that having the source closer to the person also allows for them to have counter-programming available.

But not always.

One example I’ve personally seen is in a friend of mine. No net, no TV, no smartphone (oh yes, this is a real person, I’m not making this up.) Whose only news source is NPR. You can probably imagine how specific his opinions on world events are since he does not recieve any counter-viewpoints through ‘reliable sources’: my points don’t count because he knows me. Its funny how that works; he accepts as word of god, the opinions from people he has never, will never meet, over someone he sees everyday and works with and knows.

“Why would they lie?” He’ll ask. “People would call ’em out if they were lying”. To which point I say “people do call ’em iu, but you don’t hear that because you don’t see/hear/read those sources.” Its not 100%, but more information access should help a person form better opinions.

Not.

Most people don’t want to think for themselves and the newsie types and their controllers are well aware of that fact.

Another item I have heard frequently is how there is a growing concern that a majority of people have zero savings and live paycheck to paycheck. They talk about it but never offer any solutions. What burns me about is ‘the problem’, as they put it isn’t a problem, but a symptom. I was there where they are talking just a couple of months ago. Zero savings, one check away from catastrophe. The problem, as I see it, is education or lack thereof. I didn’t understand how fluid money is and the reason for that was I had been taught wrong. Those questions I had made me learn. Maybe too late in life to leverage them properly, but I am seeing improvements now. I have money set aside, and its not hurting my day to day.

That just goes to show, that even with a plethora of information available, its not the information, but questions that matter. If you arent asking the right questions, the answers don’t mean anything.

So how do you know what questions to ask? That’s the real trick. My answer is ‘just keep questioning everything!’. Don’t settle until your answers answer themselves. No one can ‘know it all’, that prospect is just way too big, but a body can know enough, if what they know answers the questions of their days. I despise specialization, but it does have its merits in many cases. The main reason I despise it is in scope: a specialist has a narrow scope on the world and there are times when a broader scope will provide solutions unable to be seen by said specialist. Points of Merit: a Doctor specializing in Cancer Research. Points of Failure: a Poitical Scientist specializing in Socialism. One of those benefits humanity, the other is a parasite.

Live and learn

Took Duh!k out to a different lake today. A further drive, but larger lake and more places to put in, and much better maintained boat ramp areas. Was quite pleasantly surprised at seeing trashcans, not overflowing piles of trash.

Ended up beaching after about three miles of paddling. That rib in Duh!k was just killing me. Decided that it was time for surgery: rib reduction time.

Theres the offending rib in my hand, and yes, thats a pack of reds in the day bag. Thats the first pack I bought in a month and they taste so damned awful now, that I ended up giving them to a guy at the ramp when I was headed out.

Water clear, warm and mostly flat, with the exception of the occasional power boat zooming elsewhere. Water was on the lively side then, and Duh!k weathered it all perfectly. Beam waves feel goosey as hell, but headed into them, she cuts the chop like a pro.

I was taking on water too. Not much but enough that after an hour or so, my backside was getting damp. Damper than usual I should clarify. Where there is always some water just from my shoes and boarding the boat, this was more, and enough that I beached, again, to look for leaks.

It wasn’t where I expected. Apparently on my last trip, I dogged a screw holding the wear tab on the stern. It had torn loose enough to let the water seep in. Just a steady drip every 5-6 seconds, but that drip can turn into gallons given time. When I beached, there was about a half gallon sloshing around, and thats how I found the leak.

Easy fix and it can wait till the polyurethane comes in (it hadn’t shipped as of yesterday, but Chris does have a Class scheduled this week and past, so he’s busier than hell.)

So, back home, decided to make the new seat a little better than some paracord.

That should do the trick. Now, twiddle thumbs time till I can recoat the hull.

Seating (more yak-stuff)

Pulled out the horses so I could work on Duh!k at a reasonable level. Pulled all the old foam out of the seat area and cleaned things up. Found one of the ribs had taken a convex curve on the width at the bend and that was what was riding on those nerves, bones and blood vessels. It was definitely the problem all along as it was that cheek that was aching. A strip of 80 grit and some elbow grease and I smoothed that lip out and rounded all the corners just a bit more. Not too worried about structural issues as there is another rib 2″ forward of that one. Touch up the area I just worked on with some tung oil and spent some time looking at things, thinking.

I gathered up some materials, 550 cord, another sheet of 1/4″ foam, contact cement and I was ready. I laced that cord between the ribs and snugged the lacing tight then locked it with a double hitch on the end to hold it all in place, then moved the boat to the floor for a test fit. Much better even without the foam pad. Back to the horses, cement and foam layed over the lacing and a bag of sand to hold it in place while things cure. Without taking her out and doing a long run like I did this past weekend, I can’t know if this ‘fixed’ the issue or not, but things definitely felt better. I may find my balance point is higher too and that will effect handling. Maybe she’ll turn now. Maybe she’ll roll like a spindle on a lathe. Can’t know till she’s afloat with my knock-brained self in it.

I will use this for the next Yak before it gets skinned as its much easier to access the area then.

I also flipped her over to really get a look at those wear marks and was even more impressed by this skin. There are three places where the outer urethane was rubbed off right to the nylon! She never leaked! Not one drop! The water I had in her when I got out was from my shoes when getting in her. Not enough to reach the end of the bilge pump and barely enough to get with the sponge. What was in there flowed out when I hefted her up to portage up the bank for pick-up. (Note: the bottom finish was done in three layers. The first to saturate the cloth, the second to fill any odd spots and the final to smooth it all over.)

I’m going to go ahead and order the touch up kit anyways, but it is not essential, more cosmetic; and peace of mind as where its worn won’t take as much to wear through. $15+s/h is cheap peace of mind in my opinion.

Now I’m anxious for another day on the river. We had a little rain today, and are expecting more this week, so it could be the water level will be up some. That makes for a more enjoyable run for certain. Even if I don’t get things touched up, I’ll get out and see how my modifications worked out.