Been busier than I could express on this end. Between the domestic duties thing, laundry, straighten up after a four day weekend of running hells-bells all over SE-KY, and ‘Oh yeah, there’s a kayak frame on my porch’ realizations,,,,
While doing the laundry, I cleaned up those parts I cut out on Wednesday, drilled alignment holes and ran both through a belt sander to get the edges lined up to perfect match. (yeah, redneck machining trick 101). Later on, Dad and I went to my Uncles place for lie-swapping and cowboy coffee (that shit WILL make you hair stand on end!!!). He has a 48” Bench Brake and I was able to get a perfect bend in those two parts as needed. Pics will be posted, just not today since I haven’t the band width to upload those files here on the hill.
Get home, loaded my side porch with a couple loads of Cherrywood that has been seasoning for about three years. My dad is trying to clear out his wood shed of the dead weight to clear space for all of this pin-oak he picked up the past couple of weeks. No worries, I have no issues taking what he doesn’t want. Makes what i have in my shed last that much longer and the way this year has started; every little bit is gonna be needed IMO. And I kept tripping over that kayak frame on the main porch,,,, Load up an armload of wood stack it, go in for something, and start noodling on the kayak, “oh yeah, I gotta finish putting wood up”. Back to loading wood, noodle with the kayak, load wood, re-think what I was gonna do on the kayak, clean the stove out and start a new fire, sharpen my chisel so I can get clean cuts on the kayak,,,
You get the picture. Some days I multi-task pretty well, and not even realize it. Sitting here, I look at all the stuff that I did get accomplished and swear to you I didn’t even TRY,,,
She is almost ready for skin. Setting up the deck stringers and that will be done shortly since I only need 4 small spacer blocks to finish that off. and she will be ready for skin.(but not today, the sun is gone and its getting colder than I care for out there.)
Still don’t have that coaming finished yet.
Still looking for a donor’Yak for a cockpit I can use as a mold, and if I don’t see one soon, I am gonna break down and buy some marine grade plywood and go that route. Skin is here and waiting on me, Dope is on its way and will likely be here before I am ready for it (but thats a plus.). LOL, funny how I ‘compromised’ and said I wasn’t going to cut that skin off until I had a coaming DONE, and here I am almost ready for new skin and still don’ t have that coaming. Yah, I can be obstinate even with myself.
One thing I did that wasn’t ‘constructive’ was taking her off the cradles, putting her on the floor and sitting in her. I wanted to finalize where my feet will be so I could set up the footpegs/sliding bulkhead (leaning towards a bulkhead setup) She is gonna be a torpedo. No rocker until you get past my ass and then it is very slight, maybe 2”. She is gonna cut the water like a knife with very little wake. The chisel point bow is going to slice waves instead of trying to climb them so she will be fast even in choppy water. and there is just enough v-hull that edging should make her maneuverable without needing a rudder. The shape is definitely ‘Swede form’ at the waterline so no need for a rudder to control tracking.(that may be partially true, Wind may indicate need of a skeg or rudder, but until I have her out I won’t know if she is weather helmed or neutral, No/near zero rocker, she may be neutral in that aspect).
Numbers that I can say for certain right now. Length 16’2” Beam 23”. Loaded waterline 15’10” Beam @WL 20”. Not as long as a surfski, but no wider than one, She won’t be much of a river-runner, but open water; she is gonna be a Barracuda. Search for ‘barracuda attack’ on UToob and see what I mean. And I THINK she will be much more stable than Duh!kee is. More near flat hull where Duh!k has a sharp V almost her whole length. The only time Duh!k feels stable to me is when the water is trying to stand up, and I don’t get out in storm waters often enough to need that “Bobber” attitude.
Working on a post for the AM, gonna have several links for ya: HIGHLY recommend you follow them, forward them to others and try to spread messages. Kind of a “Make these Viral” bleg. Look for that tomorrow. Don’t want to put anything in this post on those lines for ‘reasons’, you understand when you see them.
More tomorrow, stay tuned for that.
First up, NO, I am not letting the world at large slow me up in my personal endeavors, and neither should you. I may get the depressions, blahs and what not, but I am not going to stop being ME, just because there are evil shits loose in the world that aim to make us serfs, slaves or DEAD.
and with that little rant out of the way, onward to the point of this post in general.
been doing the experimentin’ things, and was quite pleased with one in particular, nut just this morning, figured out that its a damned NOPE!!!
What that experiment entailed was trying to find a different material combination to make this kayak skin out of. Materials in question, Ballistic nylon (known unit) Polypropylene cloth (unknown), combined with Two part Polyurethane,(well known) and polystyrene resin (known unknown) and combinations there-of. Ballistic nylon and Polystyrene, rocking for coamings and other hard points, SUCKS for skin. the resin doesn’t flex like it did early in the experiment process. It now cracks, and cracks mean leaks. A leaky boat is not my goal. the two part is the way to go no matter what cloth I use, and the BN for making the hard points (vs the glass since its TOO fragile in those areas. The polypropylene works for the skin, but nothing else no matter what I use for the resin. And I like the polypropylene since I can shrink it with a heat gun and it is NOT hydroscopic like the BN is. That was my biggest beef of all with Serena: if the humidity was high (or she had been capsized and filled with water) her skin would go all loose and floppy. Not really an issue performance wise that I noticed, but she looked bad and it would take weeks for her to dry out enough to tighten back up.
Now, the Oh-Sh!t-Yeahs. Single chines. With the rocker knocked down to near nil, single chines look awesome on this hull. What I am doing is a single chine between keel and gunwale, with a false chine at the base of the gunwale( to smooth the lines) that will allow some flex of the skin before it hits rib at the waterlines. That set, she has a very shallow v at the cockpit area that rides true up to past the feet and well past the cockpit before converging towards the ends. Very sweet liines that way and better cut into the water without plowing. With that shallow V, she will have good stability in all waters even if she feels tippy in the calm. She will feel tippy, but not nearly as much as her former self did. The former ‘shallow v” was very short, less than 4 feet, and was almost useless with that radical rocker stem to stern. The ONLY advantage of that rocker was maneuvering, and she was so daggum long, even that was a chore: she didn’t have that spin in place thing going like the Jefe does. (and the Jefe is ALL rocker in ALL directions)
Now the Mehbes: Still have a couple ribs left over from redoing the original ones. Ones that I replaced just because of changes in lengths or didn’t like the original bends with the new units installed. And I think, I am going to use a couple of those ribs combined with fiberglass/resin to make the new deckbeams that need replaced. I dropped rib seven in place of one of the deckbeams ‘just to get a look-see’ and the profile was encouraging. Those ribs are well cured white-oak so a layer of glass wrapping them will be even stronger, and lighter than the 3/4” laminated beams I am replacing. I will have the chines cut tomorrow, the wood is sitting in my rafter right now with the splice curing under clamps. I should be able to lash it in before dark tomorrow and then, flip the old (new) girl over and start on the deck. (I have the bow cutwater done, and the stern will be pretty quick too. Pics of that forthcoming.)
And I am not worried about keeping to pure skin-on-frame materials for the build, nor strictly tied and mortis/tenon construction. Yes, the keelson and chines are tied in, but that is not because its traditional (it is) but for flexibility of the frame as a whole. I am not building a traditional Greenland type kayak, I am building MY version of what I have wanted, and what I found works for me. (thanks Ghostboat for showing me a different path). I know the mortis and tenon build method works, as well as lashing: Duh!kee is still holding together after 3 years, me beating on her in less than optimal conditions, sinking her, capsizing her, and even jumping on her to show others that she is one tough boat. Yeah, the method is tried and true and proven over centuries of use in bad conditions. And it’s not like I have been a purist from the get-go anyways. Using two part poly on synthetic skin, using synthetic sinew to lash the boat together, Yeah, Not so much a purist as THIS IS BETTER, DO IT! LOL
just going through the routines currently. Fighting a mild case of depression, a usual for me this time of year, and no need to delve into the ‘why’s’ as there is reason enough watching the world slowly devolve; like watching a dementia patient slowly slide into the final state. Oh, wait, just like watching Emperor Poopy-pants the first discuss the economy by citing “I. Pencil” for dummies after reading only the opening chapter.
Lots of good stuff out there on the webs, Sarah’s pointing out that our IMMIVASION is nothing new and very much an old tactic for softening up a resident populace. I take back my statements of “replacement population” and will resort to “INVASION FORCES”: in all reality, there are real fighters in that mess, and I have mentioned to keep an eye out for ‘strange conex boxes’ in obscure locations. And if you find one before kick-off of the festivities, consider it an early Christmas for you and yours, distribute accordingly, and KEEP YOUR DAMNED MOUTHES SHUT!!!!
Just going through the routines. Going to the J.O.B. every day, making sure to represent my skills the best way I know how, and watching the supply chain issues slowly creeping our way. Granted, we have had supply side issues for months now, but I am beginning to see them stratify into my areas. We are down to roughly half a bundle of pipe that I use for building most of our products. A quick calculation tells me that if we don’t get a shipment in this Friday, I am on temporary leave until such time as we have the materials needed. I currently have 4 pages of build notes, and those four pages easily burn through our existing stock and into another bundle, and NOT BE COMPLETE. And those pages are added to daily.
No, that’s not the cause of the depression. Honestly, I could take the next month off and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit. Might dig into my finances, but it wouldn’t bother me to maybe get some of those other things done thatI get distracted away from by having the daily duty of making a paycheck, (and feeding four-feets, keeping the homefires burning (literally this time of year) and all the other stuff that accumulates on a single dood curmudgeon living on a hill in KY)
YAY, Grizzy just brought me a very young mouse, quite dead, and looking pleased as punch with himself. ANother problem that irritates the hell out of me this time of year, and my Furbabies are doing danged good at dealing with it. (and when he isn’t looking, in the toilet it goes. Don’t want him thinking I don’t appreciate his ‘gift’.)
One thing that messes with me this time of year, probably the trigger for my depression is loss of daylight. I work through most of the daylight hours, then have almost none to work with for ME/MY PROJECTS, and I start feeling behind the eightball on things. That usually leads to me scrambling to ‘catch up’ and that is ALWAYS when the mistakes start piling up. I may not focus on “Perfect” but I hate redoing any work, especially due to me getting stoopid and (feeling) rushed. I am also wating on the fabric for the kayak build. Ordered, but, yet again, the company I ordered it through is sitting on things. I may have to start digging for a different company to deal with that I can rely on. This is the third time they’ve done this. The last two times, Order confirmed, but nothing ever shipped. At least they didn’t charge the card, even though it approved and showed transaction complete, it was never finalized on that end. Just frustrating when you are counting on something to complete a project, and find you have even longer to wait as you look for an alternate source/product/material to replace the original idea. At least this instance, this is a rebuild, and I am in no rush to complete since its colder than a witches teat in November (It is November Dio) and the water levels everywhere around here are sorely lacking for any reasonable paddle fun. Like B says, most of the creeks are ‘frigging goat paths” right now. Even the Cumberland river nearby is a ‘float scrape, scrape PORTAGE, float scrape” trip, and thats just in the first down-river mile from my place. It may be awhile before I can test float the “Rebuilt Kayak carcass formerly known as Serena/now Selkie”, and I want to do it on river as I want the current for testing handling and stability. Static water of an inland lake won’t do in this case. Just fiddlin’ details that I am trying to correct in this build.
Oh, yeah, for the test float, I won’t be using the new (when it ships if it ships) skin. I snagged a poly-tarp from the billboard guys and that will be my makeshift skin for the test float. (gonna look kinda funny with a giant cheeseburger design on the skin,,,, sure won’t be a permanent thing,,, ) Polyester shrinks under heat, so I can stretch the ‘skin’ on, then use a heat gun to tighten it up. Its already waterproof so I don’t need to seal anything up for a test run. Its not like I am going to try and roll it, and if I capsize, its a wet exit, swim for shore kinda day then. I don’t see that as an issue though, Serena was stable as all get out and I am not changing much in the hull shape in the cross section, just the longitudinal. If anything, she will be more stable since I am widening the beam by one inch and bring the CG closer to Keel by flattening that rocker. (and anyone that ever saw me in Serena prior will choke on that ‘stable’ statement, her primary was shit, but her secondary was a brickwall. She just ‘felt’ tippy in flat water, but she was stable as can be in wild water. A definite confidence builder when the waves started breaking on her bow. Even with that ‘brickwall’ secondary, she was an easy roller, and surprised the hell out of me at the pool. ). Maybe I can get some serious work done on the frame this weekend and get closer to that test day. As for a repeat of the time loop thing, not a complete fit this go-round. I had Serena wrapped and tested prior to T-day in 2019, and skinned and sealed by December 1. That may not happen again due to the skin supplier. (one alternate, pricey, but doable, is from an airplane materials supplier. Same concepts, and I can get NON-FAA certified material for this to save a little cash. No need to have the FAA dealing with a silly single seat boat, eh?)
outside of my darkened thoughts, Da is doing good. Bored, what with me gone during the days working, and not having much time between getting home and total darkness. Came home today and he and a neighbor were playing with a backhoe and digging the ducks a larger wading pool. Funny part is, they aren’t even HIS ducks. They belong to a local Gentlewoman Farmer, but Da goes out and buys 50# sacks of feed for them (and her free-range chickens), built them a pond so they didn’t have to risk going to the river, and even built them a nest site under his porch “so if the weather turns, they don’t have to waddle home”. He comes off like a mean grumpy bastard to most people, but the man has a soft heart for animals that most people would never guess at.
I wonder where I get it. LOL.
Anywhoos, y’all take care, I’ll be back tomorrow with something more inline with the currents of this blog. Just needed some ‘Me’ time.
SO, took Serena to the river. Didn’t make it to the water. Got a little ticked off at the situation at my usual put in/take out. Someone had dumped several tons of trash in the area where you can park at. This shit happens far more than I care to mention here. I call it the “someone else’s problem” solution, and around here, its common place. It will wash downstream in late winter when this area is prone to flooding, but that just puts the problem in someone else’s lap/backyard/riverfront/lower falls area. It is a problem and one that no one around here seems to give a damn about. Call the police and they ask if you saw the person, have video (and won’t do more than take a report if you don’t.) or have a bill or something with an address on it. Dunno ‘bout you, but I really don’t want to spend my afternoon digging through several tons of someone else’s shit to see if MAYBE, they left evidence of WHO they are.
And I picked up a roofing nail rolling out of there. Slow leak, easy fix, but dammit, if it weren’t for that crap tossed away in some ‘no-name’ back hollar, I wouldn’t have had to fix squat!!!
SO, I came home to cool off and do something productive. Even had Serena on the horses, knife in hand, and,,,
COULDN’T DO IT.
Ever had to put down a pet? It’s not quite that level of ‘couldn’t do it’, but not far from it either. She is a “made by hand, BY MY HANDS” boat and while I do want to fix some of her issues, if I cut that skin, she is no longer the same boat.
I made a compromise with myself (and her). I am going to build a new coaming, using a mold and fiberglass, and if it turns out right, THEN we do the reskin. That is one of the issues I want to fix. Her coaming is kind of pinchy. I can wet exit just fine, but its the getting in part that sometimes rips off skin. And I can’t loan her to anyone unless they are my size or smaller, and she rides where I am about the low limit of her ‘needs’.(My usual set up is to load camp gear, even if its just a day trip, just to ‘balance’ her ride) New coaming, +2” in width and length and see how things turn out. Not used to using fiberglass ‘in the raw’ on a mold, so this one is a learning curve for me. Spent the afternoon making the stuff I need to make the mold, put Serena back on the truck, just in case, and played with cats. Still miffed at the pile of trash in my only local place to hit the river, but it seems like I am the only person here local that sees it as an “Issue”. Frustrating, but, like I have said here before, “this area is not going to change FAST.” and that is one of those things that may never change around here. (like dropping off the pets in some no-name hollar when the cost of feeding them goes up. Another BIG issue around here.)
At least on my porch it seems. I started listing out the things I wanted to do to fix Serena, and that list is now a full page in length. BUT, I did start digging into what I will need to make some of the changes, at least the ones that have a dollar figure attached and THAT list is still under $300, I could leave the whole thing alone for a whopping $0, or I can make her into something more suitable to my liking. Not that I don’t like her, but that I know now, what I did wrong then and can correct things. Each boat is a learning process is what I am finding, and I seem to recall Brian at Cape Falcon Kayaks told me much the same thing. He also said that before any boat gets its maiden voyage, you are already planning the next one. That rang true for Duh!kee, and it rang true for Serena.
While I have purchased the forms to make a strip-built kayak, I haven’t started on it, other that to make the strongback used to hold the forms (and the horses, but those are utilitarian, not just for one boat.). Why haven’t I started on that. WOOD. As in, I have the log, but I have not taken it to the sawmill to get cut up, and until then, the whole project sits on the back burner. Why, if I have the log, haven’t I taken it to the mill? That, I dunno. Lazy. Not enough interest. Too many distractions in my life. all of the above? Probably that last. And I know that a strip-built boat is a months to years kind of project and I want dedicated space for that (though that is actually more of an excuse. I could make it a MONTH project, but I don’t like rushing on something as intricate as that style of build. And Skin boats I can design, layout and build in a week. Serena took me 2 weeks from first cut to last coat and I took my time on her. (and still managed to NOT see that damnable rocker that drives me nuts.) Duh!kee took a little longer but she was my first and I had zero clue what worked and what didn’t, and that was also how she gained her name: I had many a “DUH!” moment when building her. And she is still the Flagship of my little fleet, even if she sits in the top rung of the rack and gets dusty, she is on her throne. ( she was first for many things. The first to try and kill me. The first one I sank while still upright. The first to be made for a race she has never raced in. The first of many, but not the last.)
Current fleet is Duh!kee, Serena, Ghost the SWAG boat, and Jefe. Jefe is strict WW boat, sucks ass on flat water, but will run a wave train like a cork. I am fingering the idea of trading the Jefe for an oldschool WW slipper boat, like the Pirouette I used to own (that I am kicking my backside for selling). While I did good taking the Jefe down the Elkhorn, I honestly think I would have had a better time in the Piro. and of course, the only TRUE way to determine that would be to get a replacement of Piro, and try it. BUT, you go with your guts and the Jefe just didn’t “FEEL” right to me.
And you would be right! But, And I think I can say this with sincerity and to ALL, You can’t stop this trainwreck, and I want to maintain my sanity in the meantime. Kayaks are my current form of sanity. Just like Motorcycles were back in the Nineties. Just like X/1-9’s were in the early nineties.(with a brief foray into them again 2005-7) If I don’t have something tangible I can do something with physically, that is NOT geared to keeping me fed or roof over my head, I go a little nuts, and while writing does that to some extent, I need PHYSICAL too. Paddling my ass off across a lake or fighting to stay upright in water that is more foamy soup than water is that. At least in water, I don’t have to worry as much about getting run down like I did when motorcycling.
So, y’all need to find your place to ground and center. Building and using kayaks is mine currently.
Took Serena to the lake today for a test run on the new set up. Checks for performance changes and leaks in order. A new skirt to test as well.
Performance comes in MUCH better, she holds 4knots with bare inputs and an easy 5.5 with steady power pulls. Able to edge easier, with my weight forward she doesn’t want to slice off unpredictably, and setting blade as a keel rudder works like a charm. It took a couple tries to figure the correct placement of the paddle blade to make this work, but watching my bow wake, you can see the boat drift left by a wider wake on the right, and it doesn’t ‘turn’, just drifts aside. (easier to see that when you are on a glassy lake: one reason I chose to go in the early morning before the wind started chopping up the surface)
Having built up some confidence in the Arc, (gotta come up with a new name there) I tried a couple other techniques I hadn’t tried before. Edged turns, braced leans (super fun ) etc. Sweeps seem to work better too. Likely due to being more centered in the boat.
Started getting hot so found a convenient stump sticking out of the water and used it to practice some hip flicks and to check for leaks in my handiwork. Woot!!!!! Dry all around. Considering my Snapdragon skirt leaks during capsize and this new skirt did not, I consider the price well within reason. So now I have 5 skirts for 3 boats. (Well, technically 4, but the Feathercraft K1 is still out of service for repairs.) Of those skirts, the 3 I spent high dollars on are the worst for leaking. The Seals skirt may as well not be on, it leaks so bad nor will it hold up under a capsize: it implodes every-time. The two snapdragons are great when it comes to keeping splashes out but leak at the lip when submerged. Its not so bad as to be a worry of sinking, but is irritating. The MountainSurf and Appalachian Extreme are bulletproof above or below, AND able to be pulled with one hand unlike the SDs, which wanna wrestle going on and coming off.
Anywhoooz, I had fun and added to my growing knowledge of boat building, hydrodynamics, and self-limitations (that last is a bar that keeps getting moved up.) I refuse to let the world direct my aimless path of self-improvement, so to all the haters in the world burning police stations and trying to make “A better world”: Y’all need to get off the pot and start looking inside yourselves to see where YOU can improve. The world does just fine without your damned socialist inputs.
Took Sirena and the Carolina to lake Saturday. Had made plans to make a weekend of it with a friend, but, well, plans change. Friend hadn’t cleared things with wifey, or sumpin, dunno, but he was able to spend about 3 hours on the water in Ol’red. (The carolina14.5) fish weren’t interested in anything he tossed out and by 12:30, he was calling it quits.
About that time, another friend texted me and said he, his wife and son were near the ramp fishing: ‘swing by if’n ya can.’ Dude out with me was cool with that and wanted to head home. Me, being frustrated with friends attitude decided ‘sprint time!’. 1.6 miles, calm water and no power boats. Easy peasy! Sorry bud! Try to keep up,,,
Well, he held his own, seeing how Ol’red plows water, where Sirena cuts it like a knife. He did have a euro paddle and a stubborn attitude to not quit. Even so, by the time we made the ramp, both of us were a bit winded. Didn’t have the GPS with me, so guestimating speed at 5mph(based on distance and apx time by text message time stamps.) Not too shabby for this 51yo outta shape dude.
Sunday, after I finished my wknd chores of keeping my self and stead operational, decided my first boat was in need of some h2o time too. Duh!kee hasn’t seen water since last September when she squealed and had her hull ruptured. Repair made, but never tested. It was 84, rivers up about a foot and flowing fast, but Duh!k likes fast water. Water temp was near 60, chilly but ‘knock you to your knees’ cold.
Hard to see in that pic, but the water there is far more turbulent then normal. At surface, river seems to be flowing about 3, just below surface shes rocking at 5. Since I’m now accustomed to how stable Sirena is, I chose to NOT push my limits on the rapids. Duh!kee is similar to riding a freshly broken 1 y.o. horse: she’s just waiting for your attention to stray and is ready to throw you something crazy.
So, find somewhere near the eddies, practice rollling. Get a feel for my first girl again.
Know what that is? In some circles, busted paddle would be correct. In this case, blown roll would be more accurate.
Was not trying full rolls, just dip on one side, get duh!k over completely, then hip flick and lever back up. The current had drifted me into shallower water and the end of the paddle struck rock. Pressure went from whole blade to blade tip instantly and SNAP! I’m back in the water.
That smaller paddle on the deck is called a storm paddle and it was what helped me get back. With how swift the water was, it was time to call it quits without a full paddle. (The storm paddles work well enough, but its not a stroke I’m strong in. Not strong enough to get upstream in fast water anyways.)
Repair was a total success, no leaks; and Duh!k is back in the fleet again. She will continue to be my roller for learning that skill in detail, and for short days where I just want to get wet. Sirena will be my multiple day expedition boat as she can hold quite a bit of gear (and rides SO much better with a load). The Carolina is the loaner boat, also capable as a gear hauler.
Good weekend all around, mussed up plans and all. I feel a little more in-line with facing society again, and just in time for the workweek.
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.
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.
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.