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.
This evening when I got home from work I was able to give the hatch lips their final adjustments and epoxy them in place. All that remains to do on the hatch lips is to laminate a little fiberglass cloth at each seam to make them one solid piece. This is a HUGE milestone, as it is the last fiberglass that I have to apply to the Ronan.
EDIT: I’m going to have to wait a couple of days to finish the hatches. The weather is pretty good for the next couple of days, so I am going to have to mow the property after work instead of working on the Ronan.
Then a little cleanup with fine sandpaper and a light coat of epoxy over all to make them pretty. That’s it! Well, almost it. After the finish work, the hatch lips get a foam strip all the way around to create a watertight seal between the lip and the lid. But I am going to wait until I have finished sanding and varnishing the entire kayak before I do that. The foam will happen at the same time as the deck rigging. The only construction steps that remain are the “end pours.” I am not sure when I will be able to do those, as they are weather dependent. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I need two dry, warm (over 55 degrees F) days to do the end pours, because the kayak must be taken outside to stand on end (probably strapped to a ladder) until the epoxy cures, in order to create a solid epoxy plug in each end of the kayak so that I can drill 1/2″ holes for the hand toggles and perimeter lines and not have any leaks.
Hatch lid spacers installed. I also cut the half-round pieces that will live on the hatch covers to provide a elevated surface for the tie down straps to ride on. These will allow the straps to provide enough pressure on the hatch lids to create a good seal against the foam that will eventually go on the hatch lip. The next step will be to install the hatch lips themselves, and to glue the half-round pieces onto the hatch lids.
Today I got the spacers for the hatch lips fitted, and the hatch lips themselves cut to size and ready to get their final fit. I will glue up the spacers tomorrow and should have the hatch lips finished by the middle of next week.
I finally had time after work to get the hip braces finished. IMHO they look good. I also sanded the hull inside the cockpit as far forward as I could easily reach, and gave the whole thing a light coat of epoxy since I had to feather in around the braces anyway. It covered a multitude of sins. I still need to mount the back band and glue the Velcro patches on the hull that will hold the seat pad, but I will do that after I have sanded and varnished the outside of the kayak so that I don’t coat them in sanding dust, etc. Otherwise, the inside of the kayak is complete!