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

Posts tagged “kayaky adventures continue


As I said yesterday, it was time to take the kayak formerly known as Serena out for the very first float. In this time loop, I missed a full two months of water time: the first go-round, Serena had her first float the day before Turkey day. This round, I didn’t even have the skin on the boat until after the New Year roll over. Reasons, but I finally managed to do the deed.

No pictures. The water was 40° and I was dressed for such and since I was alone, decided to forego any distractions like GPS, Phone, extra paddle, paddle float and bilge pump. Just an easy little paddle around the bay of one of my regular put-ins. The wind was kicking HARD and I didn’t want to get out on open water, solo, in a new to me boat. Prudent too, because at one point the wind picked up and I could see the wake pattern shift as the boat was pushed laterally while moving forward. Interesting aspect, she did not weathercock: she held her heading even though she was being pushed sideways. No meed for a skeg on this girl!!! She is completely weather neutral. (No ‘good’waves so I dont know how she handles chop other than the frog ripples kicked up in the bay. Those don’t even register anymore.)

But her new name is SELKIE. And I am IMPRESSED. Great initial stability, solid wall secondary, even though she rides an inch higher in the water than Serena did. Easy hip snaps(though I didnt try a roll yet), perfect tracking even in wind, a little edge and she turns fast,and. FAST. Two or three good strokes of the blades and she is moving quick from a standing start. A couple more and she is cruising and then easy peasy maintain momentum strokes. No GPS so dont know what cruise is, but from experiance, I’d say 4.3 is close. And she holds it with so little effort, I could paddle all day and still be energized at the tail end.

Oh, and that hard decked cockpit? Frickin AWESOME. Control is rock solid with those thighbraces in there, and the adjustable footplate I made worked perfectly. (Tempted to find a ratchet system from an old IR reggie backband and improve what I have, but no rush)

She is gonna live on the truck now and gear will stay there as well. I intend on paddling at least once a week for the rest of the year. My drytop and other gear did just fine while trying my hipsnaps ▪︎(cold head but I do have just didn’t use, a neoprene hood.) My reactor Pogies always blow my mind at how warm they keep the forefeet, even when dipping them in 40°water repeatedly. So cold weather ain’tagonnabe a show stopper anymore.

(I promise action pics/vid soonest, just not this time)

▪︎ there was some leakage around the cockpit while hip snapping. I think, dunno for certain, that my spray skirt was not seated properly behind me. But the end amount of water in the boat was less than a 16oz bottle worth so I am not overly concerned with it.


Failure is NOT an option

Cut my rib stock today as mentioned.  Have around 30 peices 5′ long so roughly 60 to make into ribs.  They are all different lengths so in some cases, I may get three from one section. 

This stuff was so green, tree sap was blowing out of the kerf.  If it won’t steam for bending, nothing will.  (And the smell, gah!!!  Like being near a bus station bathroom: Blech!!!   Would make some great wood alcohol if I were so inclined: I’m not, just sayin’)

Made one tentative rib just to check the new gage.  Layed it on top the stove for 10 minutes to heat up and it bent fairly smoothly, though not as well as if it had been steamed.  Gage is off a hair, and I adjusted it.  Will still need to adapt as things progress,  but that will be trimming ends; Easy peasy,,,

Now the sun is setting, and my work shop porch is losing the battle to Can’t see/frickin COLD.  Stoke up the fire and call it an evening watching the boys do their thing of gaurding the house from those damned field mice.   Grizzy caught two last night, Zooms one.  The mice try to move in when the cold starts, and my boys do a fine job of keeping that in check.  Mama? Not so much.   She is still playing GrumpyKat and staying out until the tummy grumbles.  But she is a long hair and the cold doesn’t phase her like it does me and the boys.  She does come in around 4 or so and curl up at my feet on the bed,  but come day break; C-YA!

A good day, may the trend continue,,,,

baby steps

So, working on that cockpit thingy this weekend and the desire to start cutting into the Jefe was mounting.    I tried to remake the ‘jig’, ‘mold’ what have you and was successful to a point, but making the actual form to fit the glass to,,,   um, not so much.   

Got with B to see if he knew of an old busted hull, won’t float, can’t weld closed kayak laying around anywhere, put of a bleg on Fakebook marketplace, and am now waiting on word back.  Looking at all of my plasti-yaks, the coaming shape is perfect (with a little trimming for making it into a mold) and being the polyethylene, won’t hold that resin once its cured.   I did find that hairspray works AWESOME as a release agent, far better than that wax crap.

that was my baby step.  I had some one inch vinyl tubing laying around, cut a shape in some 3/4” foam insulation I have left over from lining Voo’s dawg-haus, and played around.  I made a hatch coaming 12”x14” oval shaped (more egg shaped, but hey,,) and set up a single layer on it.  Once cured, that tubing rolled right out of the piece like no-ones bidness,,,    Clean up the edges, and I can make another layer and round the lips at the same time and ouila!!! hatch coaming.

SO, when I do get access to a boat ready to be chopped,,, I have a method that works.    I have a back deck hatch ready for that skin, and I will make a foredeck hatch later using the same idea.   I have already made neoprene hatch covers for the Vizcaya, so that is not a learning curve, but I will have to figure out how to make the hardcovers to keep them from imploding under waves.   Prolly by using the side of a 5 gallon bucket and a lot of heat applied judiciously,,,  Won’t be the first jury-rigged part I have built, sure as shit won’t be the last. 

Big Country has a new Vid up, Play it in headphones if you aren’t at home, (ask me how I know,,,  LOL)but if you are familiar with BC, you already know that he is NSFW, at least verbally,,,  . and now I have that song stuck in my head.   Not that its. ‘new to me’, seeing how its a riff on “old Maui” a sea shanty, but damn man, the lyrics they wrote work perfect to the tune.  

It’s back to the grind tomorrow.   Welders, grinders, hopefully, maybe a new plasma cutter,,,  Been waiting for that toy for a couple years, but recently the old man surprised Son and myself with ‘We need one of those,,,,”    blew both us out of the water for a split, but we both busted out with shit-eating grins purt-quick-like,,,   Now, If I can get them to breakdown for an honest to Dawg DRILL PRESS,,,,    stop busting my thumb with a handdrill.    Heck, by the time we have all the tools I would prefer us to have to make all the krazee-assed shit I come up with, I will be leaving it to rust away cuz they have a hard time getting basic laborers let alone a half-way decent fabricator.

Hopefully Sarahs’ life will get back in order soon, I know how she’s sitting with two houses eating at her lifes work and how they seemingly take EVERYTHING,,,,    If you can, send her some love, good thoughts and prayers.  Seriously, she provides a lot of focus in times like this, a little help is just good karma.  (even this tight assed curmudgeon sent a few dimes her way.)