Monday, February 13, 2006

Deck Completed

I had some help from my wife last weekend fitting some of the final strips on the kayak deck. Here are a couple of photos of her working on her boat for the first time.

Here's a picture of my main helper, Kaya:

I recently set up a tent over the kayak to keep things a bit warmer over the boat without having to keep the whole garage warm. I ran a rope from one corner to the other to hold a plastic sheet over the boat, then ran a string of lights under the tent to throw some heat in the enclosure. Wire hangers with the bottom cut and spread apart are being used to spread the plastic away from the lights (credit for that idea goes to Paul G Jacobsen). The plastic is sealed up at the ends with a few clips and the lights are plugged in. Six 100 watt bulbs keeps it about 12C under the tent while it is about 0C in the garage (and -15C outside). That's better than keeping the 4800 watt heater on until the glue cures. In order to work on the boat I raise the plastic and fold it up over top of the whole apparatus and add a couple of clips to keep it there. It's not too annoying to work under but if I were any taller I'd want to raise it more. The lights are also helpful to work by.

The final strips over the deck around what will become the cockpit opening proved to be rather difficult. Those last 4 strips were buggers because they are so short and they twist so much, with not much to actually attach them to. A little heat and lots of bungees, staples, clamps and a couple of nails helped to get them in place and hold them there.

I then pulled most of the staples from the deck. I had a major "Oh Sh*t!" moment when I pulled the last staple from a region of the deck just behind the cockpit. A section three strips wide and ~2 1/2 feet long broke free from the deck along the glue joints, but remained attached on the end. I had been pulling the staples by using a pliers and simply yanking the staples straight out. I hadn't realised that the staples actually had a pretty good hold on the cedar they go through and that hold proved stronger than the glue and wood on the back deck. I was able staple it back down and glue the piece back in place using cyanoacrylate glue (a thick version of Krazy Glue). It should be OK now, but I was more careful removing the rest of the staples, choosing to pry them out with a screwdriver rather than yanking with pliers.
Here's a couple more pictures with all the strips in place, no bungees or staples.

Next, I need to cut out the opening for the recessed cockpit and plane, scrape & sand the deck until it's smooth and fair. Once that's done I'll flip the boat back over and put the hardwood stems onto the ends of the hull then repeat the fairing process on the hull. But, first I have to get over this cold.