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.
The epoxy fill coat that I did on the hull yesterday smoothed out beautifully as it cured. I couldn’t be happier with the result. I have one little bit of touch up to do on the cockpit coaming, and then the Ronan is ready for varnish!
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.
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.
Then more hand sanding, and finally, spar varnish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.