Ronan finished!

Construction complete. I am officially calling today, April 28, 2020, the day that I completed construction of the Pygmy Ronan that I started back on November 10, 2019. This has been a very satisfying experience, and for that I thank John Lockwood and everyone at Pygmy Boats. Mr. Lockwood, Laura, Jim, and Suzanne (I spoke with one other person, but regrettably I can’t remember his name. Matt maybe?) have all been remarkably patient every time I called with a question, and have helped me through several stages of the build in which I lacked the confidence to move forward without guidance. I’m sure that I asked all of the stupid questions that could possibly be asked, and they were all answered with professionalism, patience, and kindness. Thank you Pygmy Boats!

Today at lunchtime I glued the hook and loop (Velcro) material for attaching the seat pad, to the inside of the kayak. This is the only step in the instruction manual that I chose not to follow exactly. Pygmy says to use epoxy to attach the Velcro. Instead I used Barge Cement to glue the loop side of the Velcro to the inside of the hull. I reasoned that it is much easier to work with than epoxy, and if it holds, great! If it doesn’t hold I will then use epoxy.

It took me a couple of days after I finished the kayak to complete the thigh braces. I finished them on May 1, 2020. Here are a few photos of the braces by themselves and installed in the Ronan.

Sorry for not showing how these were made. The wood plates have been fiberglassed on both sides. Pygmy offers two different kinds of foam. This white foam is very stiff, and comes pre-cut to the approximate shape of the wood backing plates. After the foam is epoxied to the backing plates it is then cut/filed/sanded to the size and shape that works best for you. They also sell blocks of softer, gray foam that they say is easily sculpted to the desired shape. Pygmy also supplies a pair of threaded inserts that are hammered into the underside of the backing plates prior to the foam being glued to them. This means that a machine screw inserted from the top will pull the threaded insert up against the bottom of the plate. This makes for a very strong mechanical attachment to the kayak when paired with the fiberglass slot that was fabricated when making the underside of the deck.
Auto-focus fail. Sorry.
Above you can see the Slidelock footbraces that I chose to use (forgive the dust in the front of the cockpit), and the foam knee/thigh pads that I installed, as well as the new thigh braces I just finished. On the right side of this photo, this camera angle shows pretty well how thigh braces fit into the fiberglass slots that I made under the deck. Those slots, along with the machine screw that goes through the flange on the coaming, make a very strong mechanical attachment between the thigh brace and the kayak. The Ronan is truly ready to paddle. Done! Finished! Complete!
Almost looks like nothing ever happened here, except for the new Ronan on the floor!

This will most likely be my last update to this blog. I want to thank everyone who has stopped by, and I want to remind you that if you have any questions I encourage you to leave them in the comments and I will be happy to try to answer them. I will get an email if someone leaves a comment, so it shouldn’t matter how much time has elapsed.

Happy paddling!

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