TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

I got the glass installed in the inside of the hull this evening. I will post pictures of the progress tomorrow. I am planning on getting up extra early in the morning to do the fill coat while the saturation coat is still green. I hope it will cure in time for me to install the bulkheads late tomorrow afternoon, which leads me to my next question. Do you fiberglass the bulkheads in or just fillet them?
I wrote the following thinking of the typical sit-inside kayak design. I haven't seen your plans, your boat may not be typical; may very well include the bulkheads as key structural components, so take whatever I say with a HUGE grain of salt. But since it's still sound advice for most sit-insides, I'll go ahead and add it to the collective.....

Fillet them, and keep the fillets small .... the installation will be plenty strong without trying. I removed the bulkheads from my S&G Cormorant when I reconfigured its cockpit, and it took an impressive amount of demolition effort to get 'em out, liked to tore up the whole stinkin' boat. And those fillets weren't big. Now I use little bitty tiny ones!

In most sit-inside kayak designs, call 'em whatever you will, but bulkheads are not structural components and the boat can safely be built and paddled without 'em. So on my new OI I was going to lay up fiberglass bulkheads without any wood whatsoever, just two layers of 6 oz cloth, to save weight (and make cool translucent bulkheads!). Now, all of a sudden, I'm thinking Corroplast, or however you spell it, might be just the thing. Some sea kayak builders use minicell foam for bulkheads to avoid building "stress risers" into their hulls (whereas the bulkhead's presence can cause a localized inability for hull flexure, which absorbs impact forces, a curious case where reinforcing actually produces a certain type of weakness). These are installed with silicone caulk, and for that matter, your bulkheads could also be installed with silicone caulk .... if your design permits it from a strength standpoint.
I generally use 4mm plywood for bulkheads. I apply cloth on both sides before installation. I USUALLY fillet and later add strips of fiberglass over the fillet--but not always. Fillets have proven to work fine without the added strips of fiberglass. I like bomb proof bulkheads.

...and let's not get into this light weight nonsense. We all have our reasons for doing things. Let's just say that I build to fit the task--or in expectation of surviving worst case scenarios. There ARE times that I will use a minicell foam bulkhead, but not in most general purpose boats.
Gerald, repeat after me ..... light weight is gooood..... :monkey:

Seriously, we're talking about two different things here, so stop calling my highly fabulous brilliant ideas 'nonsense'. I tried to be clear that I was referring to sit-inside kayaks, and will even admit that I probably should've specifically said SEA kayaks, which have much smaller bulkheads that are tucked way out of harm's reach. In such case, they become waterproof membranes more than anything, and that is why I'm going ultra light with mine in the new OI. Heck, I got the idea from my Valley Nordkapp, a high-end composite British sea kayak known for robust construction ...... and never accused of being lightweight anything....

I also tried to be clear that my comments were not applicable to the boat this thread is concerned with. I am sorry for trying to enlighten you heathens. You may beat me mercilessly now.

Gerald ---> :horse: <--- Pogo
There, feel better now?
If you're stuck in a hotel room with decent wifi, a laptop, and too much time, might take the opportunity to d/l a new browser and give it a whirl. I've been using Chrome lately, and understand the latest Firefox is much improved. I use Photobucket as the least troublesome of the free photo-hosters, but even it can rare up and give grief. Using an alternate browser often ends up as the work-around. I always keep at least two different avenues available to whatever I do on the 'net.

Oh, and be sure to do a little research on spyware/adware/malware while you're at it. I never have problems at home any more, but still pick up an infestation occasionally on my traveling computer. Not sure how it works, but learning a little bit more a little bit at a time. Whatever, if you have wifi and time to kill, can't do better than take an aspirin and explore some tech crap. I recommend Googling up geek radio dot com and checking out Jay's patented spyware removal stuff.
I also use chrome. It's faster--few little problems but seems to be the best of the bunch right now. I believe Google also just released a new version with a lot of improvements.

I have my own gallery so I don't use any other site for that. I have a guest album where anyone can post pictures if they want. I have the gallery set so really big pictures can't be uploaded. Don't want to run out of space--of which there is no danger of that right now. Can't remember what it is right off hand--I think something like 2,000 kb. I just resize all the pictures I post to 640 X 480 anyway.
I think I have it worked out now. Thanks for the tips, I usually use Firefox but we got a new Dell Mini Ispirion for our travel computer at work so I was using the built in Internet Explorer. Anyway, here is my update.

Finally finished the fillets in the ends, took some real patience but I think they came out nice, real shame I am going to cover them with a deck.


Did a pre coat on the interior and got a look at the near future.


Looks like a ghost has taken up residence in my garage :shock:


It looks much better saturated! One question I do have, when I wet out the cloth I had a hard time getting it to smooth out along the top edge. I am not really concerned since I am planning on installing gunnells later but for future reference how do you avoid this?


I needed to cut a 1/4" strip out off the hull so when I install the deck it will all lay nice and flush, so I took advantage of the opportunity and bought a pull saw.


It works really well if you don't get in a hurry, you could have put a level on this cut when I was done.


Next, I permanently installed the bulkheads. You can get a good view of the fiberglass not smoothed out here.


Since I am impatient I set up a couple of heat sources to "motivate" the epoxy. It worked, but with the recent rains my garage was like a sauna!


Here are a couple of views of the overall progress


Next I flipped it and filled all the cracks and sanded them smooth. I actually did a precoat when I finished this step but I guess I forgot to take a picture.


I am in Virginia until the end of the week, but when I get back in town I start my vacation :clap: :clap: :clap: so I should get a lot done next week.
Last edited by Dogpaddlin on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As for the cloth not smoothing out well at the sheer while you were wetting it out--it's because you had so much cloth hanging on the outside. You should always trim your cloth closely to the edge rather than having a lot hang over or splayed out. That excess cloth keeps the top edge from laying well.

I didn't see the comment mentioned by preacher about the fill coat not filling well on the sides. Maybe what I already comment on what he was talking about. In any case, when doing fill coats on steep slopes, you CAN come back and squeegee the epoxy when it gets gummy to help fill the weave. You might have to stay with it a bit. This is the same way I get a good finish coat with a brush--I stay with it.
I have finished fiber glassing the hull, I still need a final fill coat but I am going to wait until I have it all trimmed out for that. I am getting ready to start the decks and was hoping one of our gurus might post a quick list of does and don'ts for this step. I spent last night sharpening my block plane using the Scary Sharp Method (thanks Pogo) and it worked like a charm. The initial sharpening was a little slow but it did work. I am going to build a scarfing jig (similar to Pogo's here http://mysite.verizon.net/NGC704/newOI/page_2.htm ) this morning and hope to start laying strips by lunch but I want to research the process a little more before I start (meaning I am procrastinating). Here are a couple of questions to get the discussion started.

1. Does the hull need any additional prep for the strips? i.e. I noticed on Gerald's website that he installs a strip along the interior gunnell of the bulkheads. Is that just needed for a particular stripping pattern or all stripped decks?

2. I am using Titebond II glue and the instructions/corrections say not to stress the joint for 24 hours. Does this mean I can only lay a few strips per day?

3. Once the decks are stripped, do I need to soak them in clean water to swell the wood?

4. Is there a staple less way to do this?

5. How long should it take to strip the decks?
1. (Note: I haven't seen the plans for your specific boat.) If the boat's cross section is rounded or otherwise shaped to where the hull and deck meet edge-to-edge, then you'd need to run a strip along the sheer line to establish your stripping pattern. But if the deck and hull meet at or approximate to right angles, the strips may be started at the centerline, each course run parallel to the centerline, and simply run off the edge of the boat where it becomes overhang, then just as simply trimmed to shape as if it were plywood. But most builders choose to follow the gunnel line with a strip or two or three for a more pleasing visual result.

2. While I applaud and encourage the reading of technical literature on glues, epoxy, etc., I have to say don't worry about it on this one. Just be reasonable. If you see you're messing with a glue joint, then better give it a little more time; but if it doesn't look like you're hurting anything, then you're probably not. I built my first Outer Island in 29 days from thin air to launch, and I didn't do it by adding only a couple strips per day. You learn to blow and go in a cabinet shop, and Titebond II never let us down.

3. Don't need to, but you're going to want to, because it's tons o' fun and super cool looking when you get that first preview of how she's gonna look when finished out. 8)

4. Absolutely. But I'm not the guy to explain how since I don't actually do it.

5. How long ya got? Um, seriously, not an answerable question, too many variables. My very first strip project was the deck on my 16' x 22" Cormorant hybrid, took about four days (just for stripping, no sanding, fiberglassing, etc., in that time estimate).

Addendum: Tasks like sharpening plane irons or fitting strips start off slow as glaciers because you've never done it before and gotta learn how. So resist the temptation to panic and think it's always going to take forever. With each repetition you get faster and better, and before you know it, it'll have become so routine you'll scarcely give it a second thought. When you do think about it, it'll be to marvel at the skills you suddenly find yourself possessing -- and talk about FUN!!
Answers to"

1. This depends a lot on your stripping pattern and the shape of the hull. With a sharp transition on the hull like this boat I use the strip which is added 1/4" below the sheer. The strip also adds some strength during the construction phase and helps keep the hull fair. I like to run the first 3 or so strips along with the curve of the boat then change to straight, or whatever. This also helps make the curve of the hull uniform. It is similar to a sheer clamp on some other boats, but I don't like that name and my strip is much smaller and neater. I also glue it and the deck with epoxy rather than nails or screws. You can just let the strips extend over the edge, but even in this case the little strip (which would be even with the sheer in this case rather than 1/4" down) will help keep the hull fair as you work and give more glue surface area.

2. I generally unclamp the strips at about an hour--sometimes less--and do the next strip. Usually I'm working around the boat in one direction or the other, so by the time I get back to the start it's about ready to go. If you get to a point where you have to wait for awhile, do something else for the boat, or go pester the wife.

3. Soaking with water to swell the wood is only to help close small cracks and holes that staples may have left. I think it's best to do it before you start sanding because the sanding dust tends to get in the little cracks and holes and can cause a definite change in color. If you're using staples learn to understand that the holes are just part of the job. I endeavor to make them less noticeable but they are still going to be there.

4. Oh yes. These decks are the perfect place to try the stapleless method. You'll have to experiement with different methods on how to keep the strips in place but you can use a dab of hot glue (hot glue gun) which I use very sparingly, clamps, weights, straps, clips, rubber bands, and various kinds of tape (which I use a lot of).

5. I could do the stripping (on these decks) easily in one weekend. Once they are stripped you should wait at least overnight before you start sanding on them. Do them in steps just like the hull. Sand the top, precoat, fill cracks (if necessary), apply cloth, do one fill coat. Then remove the deck and do the bottom. Then you can cut the hatches and start on the step.
1. (Revisited) Dang it, I should know better than to trust to memory. That gunnel strip you mention is Gerald's little lip, or shelf, or whatever he calls it (what DO you call it, Gerald?). It's a neato idea I've never seen anywhere else, but can't say much more about as I haven't tried it for myself yet.

Gerald, if that thing installed in lieu of interior tape where it exists, or tape over it? I mean, I understand you only use in in the ends, and then use tape inside the cockpit where access is freer.

I showed that idea to Ross Leidy a while back, and his first reaction was "how strong is it with the grain running lengthwise that way?" I meant to ask you, forgot, then this reminded me, so I throw it at you now. I know you're gonna say it's strong as a dead cow in a creek, but can ya comment on the grain orientation question?
Well I hate to call that little lip a sheer clamp because I hate that name and my little strip is so much neater, smaller, and completely glued in. I just use one of the strips that I round the edge on. I use it only in the closed in hatch compartments. In the cockpit I use tape.

Ok...I'm gonna call them sheer glue strips. They also help align the deck and hull when you glue the deck on. No tape at all on the inside--just filleted corners. There is tape on the outside. I use it for S&G and strip building.

It's as strong as a dead cow in a creek. Seriously--I've never had a taped joint on the sheer fail and I've never had sheer joint fail using my sheer glue strips. So--I'd have to say it's strong enough. Strong as a taped joint? I don't know. Certainly stronger than a poorly done taped joint--which is what you'll see a lot of back in those tight spots. I'm gonna say my complete, overall method is as strong as a taped joint. Got nobody who can say otherwise....

Ross Leidy may not remember me but I'm also the guy who built the first kayak using his design program--Kayak Foundry. I got a golden guinea pig for that.
Does anybody know what it is like to watch glue dry? When I started building boats I thought it was an excellent way for me to develop patience but this is ridiculous! On a brighter note it gives me a chance to post some of the pics of the progress.

Looks like the ghost moved back in...

I used some binder clips to hold the cloth in place and then a squeegee to pull the epoxy towards the other side of the boat. It worked pretty well, no air bubbles.

Here is a shot of the hull wet out, looks good, makes me want to leave it natural and not use the graphite.

I used a few more binder clips to take up the slack on the ends. After it had set up for a while I came back with a razor and trimmed the extra off.

During the fill coat I added an extra layer of glass on the keel.

I used duct tape to create a dam for my end pours.

I installed the glue sheer strips.

I had time to kill while I was waiting for the epoxy to cure so I built a jig for making the bevels for the deck.

I hot glued a block of wood on the bulkheads to have something to clamp to.

I started laying the strips on the stern first.

A few more strips installed.

I realized I was going to need a few more clamps so I went to Harbor Freight and spent $36. Turns out the little ones are the most handy and only cost $1 a piece.

After building my confidence on the stern I decided to start on the bow.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: you're a natural! 8)

Have to admit having a bit of a chuckle at your scarf jig going together with glue and clamps. When I make mine it's all over in about four minutes or less. I just use the trashiest scrap for materials, strips pieces for spacing gauges, and an pneumatic brad nailer. Bap! Bap! Bap! Then when I discover it doesn't work because it holds the strips too tightly, or not tight enough, it's easy to pry off a piece and try again. But if yours works, then it's put together a lot better than mine. Now drill a half-inch hole in it and drive a nail in the wall where it'll be out of the way and hang it there.
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