Somedays, the bear gets you
This ‘bear’ has been creeping up on me for awhile. Not real certain how it came to be, or if there is even a ‘fix’. But the problem is very obvious now.
The gunwales in Serena have warped and the entire boat now has a noticable twist from bow to stern. Seen on deck the bow leans to port where the stern deck leans to starboard. At the hull, the keel, which when I first skinned her was dead straight, now has an obvious ‘S’ shape and the cutwaters are leaning at odds to each other. Last time I had her on water was for rolling practice and she was quite damp inside after the fact. Being tied down to the rack probably helped keep things from being worse than they are (and a possible clue to a fix, maybe,,,)
She can be paddled, she will roll, but she is no longer the “Expedition class ” kayak. Sure, you could do it, and after a 1/2 mile, the correcting strokes would be as absent minded as my ex-wife, but you would feel it the next day. And getting into a ‘good’ boat would have you flustered in seconds until your hind-brain adapted again.
I’m tempted to try this and see if it fixes the issue. Fill her with water and let it soak in for a period of days/week. Drain it out and clamp in the rafters of an out building over the winter. Let the frame ‘relax’ by being wet then ‘train it’ with the clamping. Over the winter because the humidity slowly shifts from “scuba req’d” summer months to “dry out a mummy” winter chills.
That will likely be my course of action as I have time and money tied up in her . If it doesn’t work, I’ll strip the frame, clean it up and put in on the market as a conversation piece. I’ve seen yak frames in th Rafters of seafood places a time or two, and if she isn’t a good boat afloat, she can be a great wallflower for others to enjoy seeing.