Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Facts & Figures

  • Kayak Design: Guillemot
  • Kayak Designer: Nick Schade
  • Length: 17'
  • Beam: 21"
  • Waterline Length: 14.7'
  • Build Start: October 2005 - setting up strongback and forms.
  • First Strips On Forms: ~Nov 8, 2005.
  • Point I Thought I Was Practically Done: June 29, 2006 after joining the deck and hull from the outside.
  • Point I Realised I was Nowhere Near Done: December, 2006
  • Completion: June 2007.
  • Official Launch Date:June 16, 2007
  • Total Time: 20 months with some interruptions.
  • Woods Used: Western Red Cedar (hull & deck), Alaskan Yellow Cedar (bow of deck), Ash (stems), Walnut (accents on carved deck insert), Basswood (carved insert on deck), mahogany (hook for paddle park and inner stems), Pine dowel (grab loop holes), Birch plywood (bulkheads, cheek plates, coaming), unknown plywood that looks like mahogany (moby latches).
  • Finished Weight: 42lbs fully fitted out, according to the bathroom scale.
  • Amount of Epoxy Used: 1.5 gallons (approx.) West Systems
  • Biggest Challenge: Taping inside seams then getting them smooth all the way to the stems after the epoxy had fully cured.
  • Pleasant Surprise:Working with Alaskan Yellow cedar is very easy, and it smells nice too.
  • Things To Do Differently Next Time:
  1. Build internal and external stems a la Ted Moores
  2. Move the front bulkhead aft at least 4" to increase hatch volume and decrease cockpit volume & wasted space.
  3. Mill my own strips, or ensure the quality of the milling.
  4. Don't use duct tape on the edges of the forms to keep the strips from sticking to the forms (it doesn't)
  5. Don't use the waxed masking paper to prevent epoxy from sticking where you don't want it to (it doesn't).
  6. Use fiberglass tape for the inside seam rather than strips cut from the regular cloth.
  7. Make the moby latches stronger, there's a surprising amount of force on them when they snap closed.
  • Things I'd Do Again:
  1. Plywood coaming & riser. I wasn't sure the conventional method was best so I came up with a method using 1/8" birch ply that worked well for me.
  2. Create a design on the deck &/or the hull that breaks up the stripping a bit, reducing the number of finely tapered joints and making things easier in the long run.
  3. Carve an insert or inlay. I had never done it before and it turned out to be fairly easy & makes the boat totally unique.
  4. Use the internal strongback, mounted on an external strongback with wheels. Gives a secure and stable set-up. and creates a long narrow table which is a great place to keep tools handy.
  • Atypical Features: Carved deck feature in the same pattern as our wedding bands, birch plywood coaming, "swoop" pattern of light wood across the bow & pin stripe down port side, moby hatch lid hold-downs, built on a "schade-style" internal strongback, supported on a "Moore's-style" external strongback.
  • Tools Purchased For Kayak Building: Honing guide, glue bottle/spreader, saddle square, cornering tool, cabinet scrapers & case, carving knife, carving tool set, carver's saw (for cutting the cockpit hole, but a jigsaw with good blades worked better), fine cut jigsaw blades, rasp & blades (worked well), collapsible bottles for varnish, HEPA filter for shop vac (a very worthwhile purchase), latex gloves (turns out I might be allergic to latex now), many disposable brushes, radiant heater.
  • Best Cheap Tool: A tie - the paint scraper and a $2 stamped metal small plane bought at a garage sale. Once sharpened properly, the paint scraper worked wonderfully for removing high spots, bumps, drips, runs, edges and excess glass/epoxy. The little hand plane just fits so nicely in the palm of my hand and it works very well for trimming strips and all sorts of other things while stripping. If I had lots of money, I'd upgrade to a Veritas apron plane. The microplane rasp gets an honourable mention.
  • Tools To Buy Next: Better sharpening stones, dust collector with cyclone (but I probably won't). I'm sure I'll think of lots more when I start the next one.
  • Money Spent: Not sure. About $1200 for wood, forms, fiberglass cloth, epoxy, varnish, glue, staples, cordage, etc. An uncertain amount went to electricity to heat the shop, tools, sandpaper, and other incidentals. Plus there was the paddle float, paddle, cradles for the roof rack, etc.
  • People That Were a Big Help: Rob, Martin, my wife, Andy, Rod Tait (without whom I wouldn't have gotten the wood or the forms), Cory (my cousin that brought the lumber & forms from B.C. for me), and of course my daughters. Plus, everyone over at the Kayak Building Bulletin Board and the Bear Mountain Boats Forum for all the ideas, motivation, advice, feedback and problem solving.