Epoxy touch up on cockpit coaming finished. Ready for varnish!

Late in the game I decided that I wanted to soften (sand down) the inner edge of the back of the cockpit coaming so that it wouldn’t bite into the small of my back when I am attempting layback rolls. When I did the final fill coat it was apparent to me that the coaming needed one more coat of epoxy in the area where I filed and sanded at the back of the cockpit. So I sanded the whole coaming and gave it all one more coat. I can still see that cut I accidentally made in the fiberglass cloth, deep under the epoxy, but I have made my peace with it. Overall, the coaming looks good I think.

Autofocus fail. Sorry.

Final fill coat on the hull finished.

After the epoxy that I just applied to the hull cures, all that is left to do is sand, then varnish, then sand, then varnish, then sand, then varnish. Repeat until satisfied. Then clean the Ronan inside and out, and install the seat pad, back band, and deck rigging. Then paddle.

Shear line masked right on the edge of the epoxy that I applied yesterday to the deck. This should blend well enough that there will not be a significant bump or trough, and it will be sanded before varnish is applied anyway. Also, I chose to mask right below the shear seam, so that will help hide any imperfections when the kayak is in its normal orientation (deck side up).
This was applied with a foam roller and tipped off with a 3″ foam brush, as was done with the deck yesterday.

Holes drilled for the deck rigging, and then the final epoxy fill coat on the deck.

I spent the morning deciding where I wanted my deck rigging and paddle park, and drilling the holes in the deck for that stuff. Then I rolled on, and tipped off the final fill coat of epoxy on the deck. The hull comes tomorrow.

I taped just below the shear line and folded the tape under, on itself so that any epoxy that might run over the shear wouldn’t run down the hull, but would drip onto the bench or floor instead. I spent too much time sanding the hull smooth to have to do it all over again to get rid of runs and drips.
Here you can see the holes for the straps on the port side, forward hatch, and the forward hole for the bow deck rigging. I will make sure that the open grain in all these holes is saturated with epoxy. I have pipe cleaners specifically for this purpose.
Holes for port side, aft hatch cover and deck rigging.
Starboard side, aft.
Starboard side, forward.
View up the port side.
As per Pygmy’s recommendation, I use 1/8″ nap, foam rollers to apply the epoxy to large surface areas. I have found that cutting the 7″ roller covers in half, using a sharp utility knife works very well for reaching the tighter areas on the kayak. It also doubles the number of covers available to use during each application. This is important because in a relatively short time, the epoxy starts to become foamy in the roller cover and the cover must be discarded, otherwise, the epoxy finish will be cloudy rather than clear. That said, I was able to coat the entire deck using only one half of a roller cover. I may need to use two for the hull as it has a larger surface area.
Epoxy rolled on with a foam roller, and tipped off with a 3″ foam brush.
I used a 2″ foam brush to carefully apply epoxy to the cockpit coaming and hip braces, and also under the cockpit coaming and around the cockpit apron. I did this before I rolled out the rest of the deck so that when I tipped everything off it would all blend as I worked into the wet edge of where I worked on the coaming area.

Hand sanding in preparation for the final fill coat of epoxy.

Then more hand sanding, and finally, spar varnish.

Just to confuse everyone, the kayak is turned around so the bow is facing the corner of the shop. Actually, I just wanted to make sure that I could see everything in the same light, so halfway through the sanding I turned the kayak around.

Holes drilled through the hull for hand toggles and perimeter lines.

I drilled the 1/2″ holes through the hull at the bow and the stern that the hand toggles and perimeter lines will go through. The great news is that my end pours were definitely deep enough and I drilled through wood and epoxy as planned. The not-so-great news is that I was worried that I wasn’t going to get the holes drilled straight through the hull perpendicular to the center line, and my fears were somewhat justified. The holes aren’t perfect, but nothing else on the kayak is perfect either. I think that once the holes are saturated with epoxy and the hand toggles and perimeter lines are installed, that the fact that the holes are a little wonky won’t be so obvious.

Bow hole, starboard side (with flash).
Bow hole, port side (without flash).
Stern hole, starboard side (with flash).
Stern hole, port side (with flash).

I know that everything kind-of looks like hell right now, but these should look a lot better once everything is sanded smooth and gets a coat of epoxy. That goes for the hull and deck too. This is one of those times when I have to make things ugly in the short term, to make them pretty at the end of the process.

Bow end pour.

This morning bright and early, I took the Ronan back outside to do the two bow end pours. After the epoxy cures completely I will drill the 1/2″ holes in the bow and stern for the hand toggles and perimeter lines. The only things that remain after that are the sanding and varnishing, and installing the seat and deck rigging, etc. As of this writing, the first three ounce pour is done and I’ll pour the second three ounces about ninety minutes after the first one. Then it is just a matter of waiting until I am certain that the epoxy has gelled enough that it won’t slump when I bring the kayak back inside. It certainly won’t hurt anything to leave it out all day, so that’s what I’ll do. I am very happy that I got a break from the weather this weekend as I have been waiting for fair weather for quite a while to get these end pours done, and it is supposed to start raining here again tomorrow and continue all next week.

First 3 oz. pour above, second 3 oz. pour below.

Stern end pour.

This morning I finally got the Ronan outside and standing on her stern tip, strapped to a ladder. I poured three ounces of thickened epoxy into the stern tip. It looks to have filled about 4″ of the tip of the kayak, but I am not sure that is quite enough, so after this batch of epoxy has finished its exothermic reaction I will mix and pour another three ounces in just to make certain that when I drill the holes for the hand toggles/perimeter lines that I will be drilling through wood and epoxy. I will repeat this in the bow tip tomorrow.

First 3 oz. pour above, second 3 oz. pour below.
The wind picked up a bit, and you can see in the photo above that in an abundance of caution I decided to add a five gallon bucket of deicer to the weights I used to make sure the ladder wouldn’t tip over!

Hatches finished. Half-round pieces applied to hatch covers. Four more steps and the Ronan is done.

I am officially done laminating fiberglass to this kayak!

Only four steps remain (or ten I suppose, if you count the individual parts of each step). End pours. Sanding and one more fill coat of epoxy over entire kayak. Sanding and varnishing entire kayak. Installing deck rigging, perimeter lines, foam on hatch lips, seat, and back band.

That’s it.