TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

When installing the foot pegs do you reinforce the mounts (i.e. use glue another piece of ply to the inside of the hull)?

If I go with a Surf to Summit seat, do I need to build a platform for the seat or will it be comfortable enough sitting directly on the hull? I know this would make it a little more stable.
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By Pogo
I drill holes, seal the exposed raw wood with super glue, and install the footbraces. I locate them with much care, but actual installation is pretty casual. But I've had a little wood-bruising and other slight injury occur around the holes, so in the future I'm going with the drill-fill-drill routine that everyone's been recommending for the past ten years. :roll: And let me tell ya something, I romp and stomp on my footbraces. I'll break plastic ones in short order, and use only Yakimas. So no, you don't need to reinforce the structure, just the hole itself. The drill-fill-drill that Gerald and Ron tout is perfect.

The lower the seat, the more stable. The higher the seat, the better to see around you (plus, all race paddling coaches want you up as high as possible for maximum leverage on your forward stroke). I absolutely love the ~11" high seat in my Merlin, particularly for fishing. The increase in general visibility is just outstanding. If I were you, I'd grill Gerald mercilessly on a good adjustable height scheme. (In a canoe, if you want stability, you just go to a kneeling position and you got all you're ever going to get right there .... but that's in a canoe.)
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By gerald
Start out with the seat on the floor and go from there. It always takes awhile to sort out the seat.

I drill my holes oversize for the foot peg bolts, fill with goopie, then redrill to the correct size. The purpose of the goopie is to seal the edges and provide a hard plug so the wood won't compress. For standard use boats that's all I would need to do. All bolts should be truss head--meaning big. I might put a ss fender washer between the footpeg rack and the hull--probably would since I have them. For marathon boats and/or those that will see hard use I put a fender washer under the bolt hole on the outside of the hull as well.
I also have special bolts and nuts for use when one doesn't want to drill a hole in the hull. I don't use them unless the owner of the boat specifically requests them.
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By gerald
Yes...I agree with pogo. Thicken the epoxy with one of the preferred fillers. I mostly use wood flour because it's a better color match. Certain fillers make a stronger glue. Straight epoxy would be ok if it didn't run away from the joint. You also don't want to clamp tightly like you do with wood glue.
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By Pogo
Dogpaddlin wrote:Man this thing looks good, I am glad I went with the stripped decks.

On this particular boat builders' forum, little emphasis is put on aiming for high cosmetic goals. I can start to understand it since some might point out that this is a kayak fishing haunt, and boat building is only a serious afterthought at best. But I refuse to give into it. There's just too much to be said for taking extra time to polish the appearance. There's a ton of personal satisfaction to be had, and there's also the joy of often having strangers approach to strike up conversations over your creations. To put it simply, the better you make it look, the more of this you get. I've had people leave hand-written notes on pieces of scrap paper on my windshield saying how beautiful they thought my boats are, and a little thing like that can leave you smiling for weeks and months and even years afterward. Not bragging, just noting that the good stuff goes straight to the heart and lifts the spirit as few other things can. Yes, I go to some lengths to achieve just plain ol' looks alone, and unabashedly urge everyone to give it a little more thought always.

I tend to get in trouble here because I'm forever squawking about building them light, and building them beautiful, but nothing will stop me (he said just before being run over by a truck). It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it. 8)

Remember, there's a Messabout at Inks Lake Sunday, Oct 11. That's a week from now. Bring your pirogue if this baby is yet too tender for travel. :mrgreen:
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By gerald
Pogo is not going to get in trouble. I think he's a bit gunshy though. I actually agree with him in more ways than we disagree. I believe he is a great asset to this form and the boat building community. I'm glad he's here. I do believe that we should strive to build boats as light as possible for our purposes. In some cases that purpose is to build a "light" boat. That's great. The boat serves it's purpose. All boats that I build are as light as possible for the conditions I expect them to perform under. Sometimes I miss my target but I won't quit trying to build light boats. I'm just not going to build light boats to say I can build light boats. I already know I can...

Degree of finish is the same kind of thing for me. Finish the boat to the degree necessary for the intended use. That's it. Showboat=showboat finish. Fishing boat=fishing boat finish. Beater boat=beater boat finish. General purpose boat=general purpose finish.

I frankly tell you that when I build a showboat it will NOT get scratched up or be used where it can get scratched up, or bumped, or stepped in by sandy shoes.....
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By Pogo
gerald wrote:Pogo is not going to get in trouble. I think he's a bit gunshy though.

Um, Pogo kids once in a while. I know that's hard to believe, but I swear it's true....

Ron! Good to hear!! But 'gassing up the truck' sounds like a bean burrito for breakfast. TMI, dude, TMI.... :P

After you have installed both of the gunwales do you round them off and put a piece of fiberglass over it (i.e. stretch a piece of glass from inside the cockpit to the outside of the hull)? It seems like this is going to be the most abused area of the whole boat, but it seems like it might be difficult to glass.
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By gerald
Dogpaddlin wrote:Gerald,

After you have installed both of the gunwales do you round them off and put a piece of fiberglass over it (i.e. stretch a piece of glass from inside the cockpit to the outside of the hull)? It seems like this is going to be the most abused area of the whole boat, but it seems like it might be difficult to glass.

I round the gunwales but I do not put fiberglass on them. It's better not to have fiberglass on wear edges like that. The gunwales will look good, last very well, and be easier to bring back to snuff when you do your yearly refurbish. If you put fiberglass on a relatively sharp edge that is going to get bumped a lot it will look worse because the fiberglass will break loose, get ragged, and be very noticeable.
Time for an update :D . Sorry I have been so slow to post pictures, between work and trying to finish the boat it has not left much time for posting anything but questions :( .

Installing the deck on the bow. The decks had so much recurve after fiberglassing them that it took a substantial amount of weight to make them seat like they were supposed to. I still need some practice with the block plane.

Stern deck installed under the supervision of my number 1 quality control man.

Next I installed the trim on the bulkheads.

Next I installed the outer gunwales.

Drilled the holes for the handles on the bow and stern. I filled them with goopie, while it was still soft I worked a straw though the center to use as a pilot for the final hole. When I drilled the hole it splintered pretty bad. Any suggestions on how to avoid this in the future?

I also drilled the holes for the footpegs and filled them with goopie.

I think I deserve the award for mixing the smallest batch of epoxy, 1ml hardener, 3ml of resin.
When you drill the holes for the grab loops drill a pilot hole as you did then drill with the larger bit just over half way on one side. Finish up from the other side. The type of bit you use can also make a difference. Use a bit that a small starting point and an edge that cuts the circle before it begins to drill out the body. Mostly I just use a spade bit with the little tips on the side that start the cut smoothly.

http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jht ... Prod100186

That is exactly what I did. I used a good sharp spade bit that cuts the hole first, I guess the wood was just to soft?

Also, I have sanded and scrubbed the boat down to get rid of the amine blush. If it sits for a while will the blush rise to the surface again, meaning do I have a limited amount of time to put on another coat?
Depending on the type of epoxy you are using you have up to 24 to 48 hours to do the next coat without worrying about blush (more when it's cold). Once you have passed this initial period you may see amine blush. Once you have washed it down and sanded it you shouldn't have any problem. You shouldn't see any more blush rise to the surface after that but I wouldn't say it can't happen. I always go over the surface with a 100 grit scotch brite pad before I do another coat. Fish eyes really piss me off....
Wash, then sand. Wouldn't hurt to wash again. If it's been awhile since I've prepared the surface I sand again with the scotch brite pad. Then wipe well with a soft cloth--or even clean wet sponge if I can let it dry. Sometimes I don't wash...just sand....

Another thing about splintering the grab loop holes. If your pilot hole is too big--bigger than the center point of the spade bit--the the spade bit can walk, chatter, or otherwise move which will cause tear out like you have. What you did by filling it in is fine. When you drill the final hole you'll be rounding that off pretty good. Should look fine.
So it should be o.k. if I sanded, scrubbed with soapy water and scothbrite, hosed off in the driveway, wiped down with a wet (clean sponge), and then repeated the process and let air dry?
I am being a little paranoid because this was the same procedure (short of hauling it out in the driveway and hosing it off) that I used on a previous step and I wound up with fish-eyes there. I am tired of sanding that cr@p out! :x
I hope so! I get paranoid about it sometimes as well because I've gotten fisheyes or bad spots regardless what I've done (rarely)...and I've done a lot of boats. Sometimes if I see a bad spot while coating I'll rub it with a fine scotchbrite pad and then brush it out. You just do the best you can.
I had a HUGE disaster last night. :cry: :x :cry:

I thought I was putting on the final coat of epoxy on the decks and gunwales. Everything was going well, I was "babysitting" the epoxy as Gerald says and kept having little bugs flying into it. After about the 20th gnat I started getting really pissed, then I realized I had my neighbors mosquito fogging machine :idea: . I thought to myself, I will just open the garage door and fog these little #@!$%#@ out of here! That is where it went wrong. I started fogging and noticed that as soon as the "fog" hit the wet epoxy everything shriveled up and started running :evil: . I thought I was almost done! Now I have to sand it smooth AND sand out all the little dead bodies that got in after my fiasco. Gonna be a long weekend... So much for taking it easy and going to HOW. :cry:
Oh gosh...that would do it. One reason why I don't use a kerosene heater in the shop as well. We learn from mistakes like this...and everyone has learned from this one since you posted about it. That's a good thing. Once it's cured good you can get out the old ROS and sand it good. I also try not to do epoxy or varnish under lights any more than I have to. If I do I get them turned off as quickly as I can. Once I've finished brushing out the epoxy the last time I leave the gnats and moths alone when they get in the epoxy. They make less damage than I do getting them off.
Mistakes build character. You are now a character....
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