Sunday, March 18, 2007


Well, after consulting with the online kayak building community I went ahead and got to work. With respect to bulkheads I decided on ......


OK, not really. The above is a cardboard template being used to determine the exact size and shape needed for the rear bulkhead. The bulkhead position falls between forms 10 & 11 so just using either of those wouldn't quite be right, especially since the shape of the boat changes markedly between those two forms. In order to get the right shape I traced both forms onto a piece of cardboard, ensuring they were precisely aligned. I then cut out the cardboard template to the widest set of lines. Then, by testing the fit in the boat, I kept trimming until it fit well in the space. I then traced that shape onto a piece of 1/8 birch plywood and cut that out with a jig saw then checked it for fit in the boat. It had to be trimmed somewhat but eventually I ended up with a good fit. The same basic process was done for the front bulkhead except in that case the location is close to a form so that became my starting point for the template.

Again, cardboard templates were used to determine the size & shape of the cheekplates (another decision I made since last post - I decided that putting them in was just as easy as making and installing the padeyes that would be needed to hold the backband up). In this case, two overlapping pieces of cardboard were cut and put into position, then held together with a spring clamp. Thus, not only is the proper length determined but also the precise top and bottom angles required to fit the space. Once cut out of the plywood, a 1/4" x 1" slot was cut (by drilling a series of 1/4" holes and filing out the rest) into the cheekplate for the backband webbing to pass through.

I then laid out the newly cut pieces and glassed them before calling it quits for the night.

In the morning, I filled the weave with a second coat of epoxy and tonight I will trim the pieces from the excess glass. I may glass them on the other side tonight yet, or I may wait a couple of days since the temperature outside is dropping (-9 right now and -19 forecast overnight, with 50 km/hr wind gusts) and it will take more $$ to maintain a warm garage for the epoxy to cure.

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