Sunday, April 27, 2008

Skinning Begins

Last Thursday the girls & I got started on skinning the hull of their Sea Flea. Below, they cut 18 ounce PVC fabric to the correct width to cover the kayak hull (bottom).
With her sister at school, my younger daughter checks out the fabric draped over the hull.
The hull has been stapled into place. As more staples were added, it was pulled ever tighter. I would pull out the original staples as I went along, replacing them with ones that pulled the fabric more tightly.
Most of these wrinkles worked themselves out.
However, I did have wrinkles at the stern keel that I could not work out. The waves along the side are not my main concern but the ridges right over top of the keel I think is not great. I tried every which way to minimize them, including warming up the PVC in hopes of getting some stretch to get rid of the wrinkles but they remained.
I could have probably left them, but I opted to slice the fabric along the keel about 18" allowing the fabric to spread follow the hull without the wrinkles. I then placed a patch over this area to rejoin and seal the hull.
I'll add pictures of the completed hull including the stern stem patch later this week, probably as a new post. I'll add a couple pictures of the bow and stern float bags I made to keep the kayak afloat when swamped.