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.