Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hull Off of the Forms

Having given the hull fibreglass a few days to cure, I pulled the hull off of the forms last night. It was a bit tough to break it free of the forms. The contoured shape lends itself to hugging tightly to the forms, especially at the ends. Also, every staple hole bled epoxy through and into the form where ever a staple used to be. These tiny epoxy bonds aren't much individually but they add up over the whole boat. A third factor was the masking tape I used to prevent glue from sticking to the forms - glue & epoxy stick to masking tape quite nicely. Clear packing tape would have done a much better job and allowed easier separation. A fourth factor was the internal stems that were hot-glued in place to the end forms (masked with duct tape) and I had also added epoxy thickened with sawdust in that region in order to strengthen the bond between stem & strips, but some of this bonded to the duct tape on the endforms too (not a strong bond, but something extra holding on to the forms).

In order to separate the hull from the forms, I had to go along the boat, breaking the bonds at each individual form - first breaking the sides at each form on each side, then going back and breaking the bottom of the boat away at each form. With only the endforms holding things in place, I used a screwdriver to pry the boat up off of the endform prying against the internal stem (mahogany) piece. With a minimum of disturbing cracking sounds and groans the hull lifted up off of the forms.

With the half-glassed hull off of the forms, I took the opportunity to lay it on the lawn and take a couple of photos along with the unglassed and somewhat fragile deck. I allowed the kids to try it out, but refrained from sitting in it myself.

Above: A look inside the hull. You can see the masking tape that pulled away at each form, staying with the hull as well as the duct-tape I used to mask off the internal stem before hot gluing it to the end form. You may also notice the tons of epoxy drips where epoxy leaked through all my loose joints between strips. Anybody know the best way to remove those rock-hard drips?

Above: My daughter shows off the partially completed kayak. Below: Both daughters try out the boat for size. I made sure that they put no pressure on the deck at all, especially the cockpit recess. I decided they could forgo the life jackets this time around.

With a look at everything in the sunlight and having satisfied my curiosity regarding what it might look like when complete, I turned the forms around on the stands and put the deck back on the forms. I have a bit more sanding to do to remove excess dookie schmutz/epoxy filler on the deck (seen as a brown splotch near the stern in the second photo above) but I should be able to glass that on the weekend (Sunday?). The hull is now sitting on the same cradles used to support it while I stripped the deck so that I can work on smoothing the inside and preparing it for glass. Perhaps I'll be able to do that at the same time as the deck's topside.