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

sumpin a lil dif’ent

So all of ya that get bored to tears by my kayak building posts: Fair warning! that is ALL this post is about.

Been doing something QUITE different on the Kayak Carcass formerly known as Serena. Decided that all the issues I have been having with building a cockpit coaming could be alleviated by going ‘Hybrid’. There are several different ways to build a boat, and the more popular versions for wood built are Strip, Panel, fuselage, and Skin on frame. Technically, those last two are both Skin on frame, the difference is the type of frame. I have a set of forms for building a Strip built kayak from Guillemot kayaks and hadn’t built myself up to that challenge yet.

Until now.

I decided to make the cockpit deck as a strip built one, directly on the frame of Selkie. The following pictures are of just the deck, I start working on the coaming now that the deck is in place. Still a lot of cleaning up, sealing gaps and shaping to do yet.

The wood: Ash thanks to Bruce. Cut down to 1/4″ thickness and a little over 1″ wide. Should have cut them further to 1/2″ wide so that the bends would be easier to accomplish and there wouldn’t be any strange humps. No worries, that’s what a planer and sander are for. Once I get the coaming glued in, I glass the whole thing up. Since I am running low on that ash cut to the right thickness, I am going to use left over white oak from all those left over ribs I have. Just putting together a big puzzle of little pieces with lots of glue to hold it all together, then the fiberglass/resin to sandwich it all up. its tough NOW and. that fiberglass is going to make it even tougher. (there will be a layer of 6oz glass inside and out. Its a permanent part of the boat and this boat will never be the same.)

This is going to work better for all the other things I had planned with this boat. You can see it in that third pic somewhat, but there is a sliding bulkhead for the footrest. Thats all done except for fiberglassing the bulkhead part. I have a floorboard in there too, so that my feet don’t get hung up on the ribs (why I became a barefoot paddler. Lost a few pair of shoes before I decided to just leave them out of the equation). And with the deck set up as shown, I can make a set of sliding thigh braces. The intent was to make this boat a little more flexible so that others can use it. Most Inuit/Greenland style kayaks are custom fitted for the paddler, and unless someone is your exact build, they won’t fit very well and that makes for a rough day on the water. You don’t paddle a Greenland Kayak (proper spelling is qajaq) you WEAR it, like you wear a PFD or a Wetsuit. This arrangement means the boat can be fitted to the paddler, on the fly.

So, Wider cockpit area than usual for my boats, longer as well, adjustable footrests that aren’t mounted high on the gunwales, and soon (crosses fingers) sliding thigh braces.

When I skin this one, its not going to be the single piece of fabric like I did with Duh!k and Serena, it will be three. One for the hull, and two for the top decks; fore and aft. Lots more sewing obviously, *sigh*,,, All the sewing is going to be at the edges along the gunwales, and I am going to cut grooves around the edges of the hard-deck to ‘glue’ the skin in there. (Think re-screening a screen door). I’ll be able to seal those points with the two part Poly and that will also be my ‘glue’. Running a polyester fabric, I can heat shrink the skin in place and its not hydroscopic like the nylon so won’t get saggy if it gets damp (and it will, kayaking is a wet sport). The Two part Poly is too thick to penetrate the skin fully or it would be a non-issue. But that thickness is a good thing to: there is uncoated skin that retains its flex, and you want a SOF to be able to flex. Running the hard deck cockpit, I still have flex in the frame fore and aft, but I have hard-points to do other fun stuff with.

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