Aft bulkhead epoxied and glassed.

This evening I was able to complete the epoxy fillets and fiberglass tape on the aft bulkhead. There is undoubtedly some technique for making nice, clean fillets to embed the tape into, but I clearly don’t know it. The instructions said to “smear a fillet of thickened epoxy around the bulkhead and glass it in place.” So I thickened the epoxy to the same consistency that Pygmy recommended for the fillets on the shear seams (thickened to sag, but not run), but I think I should have made it thicker (like putty maybe) and applied it by hand instead of using the dental syringe to squirt it into the gap and then trying to smooth it out like caulk. I got the job done, but it isn’t pretty. At least it is consistent with the appearance of the shear seams I suppose. One thing is certain though, these bulkheads are water-tight and aren’t going anywhere! In the next couple of days, and before I start on the hip braces, I will knock the rough, high edges off the fiberglass tape on the bulkheads and give them a light coat of epoxy to make them smoother so nothing can catch on them.

:^\

The next step on the kayak is the hip braces, and it is something of a relief that those are the last fillets and tape that I will have to do. Ever. Unless I decide to build another boat.

I actually did a less messy job on cargo hold side of the bulkhead (above) than I did on the cockpit side (below), which is irritating since nobody will ever see it and everybody will see the cockpit side. I’m not sure how this happened as the cargo hold side was much more difficult to see and reach than the cockpit side. The camera makes this area look HUGE but there is not much room in there. I could barely get my arm and my head in the hatch at the same time and then could only move my arm in a very limited way. I even thought about cutting the handle off of the bristle brush I was using to apply the epoxy so that I would have a tiny bit more room to work. Very tight!
If you zoom into this photo (above) you can see that my thickened epoxy is kind-of all over the place under the tape. The epoxy started out as a fairly uniform bead in the 90 degree joints, but as I smooshed the tape into it to bed the tape, the thicker areas of epoxy squished out here and there and once the tape was down, there is no way (that I know of) to clean it up, or smooth it out under the tape. At least the tape is nice and straight, and bedded in well. I suppose that the seat cushion and back band will obscure this so that it won’t be so obvious, but I have to admit that I am disappointed with it. Not so disappointed that I was willing to peel it up and start over though.

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