Sanding for the third (final) coat of varnish.

Over the course of the kayak construction I have found that it saves me a ton of work later if I mask around the cockpit coaming before sanding the underside of the coaming. When I didn’t mask I scratched up the cockpit apron badly and had to spend a bunch of time getting the scratches out of the apron before I could move on with the rest of the sanding.
My sanding Achilles heel, the hatch covers.
Above: My tool of choice for sanding before varnish. Your mileage may vary.
Above you can see how torn up the masking tape gets when I sand under the coaming. Those scratches would be on the cockpit apron if I hadn’t masked.
Rare action shot!
Masking tape removed and moving on to the apron.
Hull sanded and ready for the final coat of varnish (unless I screw it up and have to do a fourth coat to fix it).

Kayak finally sanded for varnish.

I finally had time after work today to hand sand the Ronan. It is ready for varnish (I hope). This is one of the many stages in the kayak construction in which I have no previous experience. I have already been further down this rabbit hole than I should have gone, adding additional coats of epoxy to the hull and the deck because I didn’t think it was thick enough and was worried about sanding down into the fiberglass cloth where the surface wasn’t completely smooth. If I don’t quit messing around and put some varnish on this thing I’m going to get caught in an endless loop and I’ll never finish the kayak. I still have the hatch covers to sand. After everything is sanded it gets wiped down first with denatured alcohol, and then with mineral spirits to remove any contaminants, followed by the first coat of varnish. Then sanding between each subsequent coat of varnish. Onward.