Wee Rob, September 2015 (1)


4.9.15

Good beginning to the month. Both sheerstrakes are on and look reasonably good, though I shall be glad to finally see them the right way up – and shan’t attempt to fit the gunwales until I’ve done so and am sure that all important sheer line is something like right.

I’ve put together the douglas fir for the stems – aka cutwaters – and after a deal of tweaking with plane and spokeshave, have glued on the after stem. It’s the most success I’ve ever had with a round bottomed spokeshave, and am quite pleased. Shaping the outer curve of that on the boat will be interesting – very much a “carving” process, and intuitive rather than to measurements.

I’ve started the fairing process, using “microlight” and “colloidal silica” as fillers in rough proportion of 2:1. That’s worked reasonably well without much in the way of sagging. Sanding is easy enough and the long sanding board that I’ve made up from scrap seems to work OK.

Onwards!

7.9.15.

Good progress. Both cutwaters now shaped – interesting almost sculptural process. The whole thing done with planes, smoothing and block, which can shift a surprising amount of wood given a bit of application. Oddly, my “fitbit” interprets every stroke of a plane as a step taken so my step count for the day is astronomical! More significant is the “active minutes” count which I guess is accurate, and I burnt lots of calories!

I’ve bevelled and sanded the stems and the keel and they begin to seem to be a unit rather than three separate bits of wood. I’m going to have to decide whether I can finalise the shape of these with the hull still inverted ……

15.9.15

If there hasn’t been much to add during this last week or so, that’s not for lack of progress. It’s been something of a drudge though of fairing and sanding and fairing and sanding. I’m pleased with the result though, and think the shape of the boat is now looking not so far from right, even upside down!

Couple of things ….. I’ve decided that I will after all seal the whole boat with epoxy. There’s enough of a consensus amongst the contributors to various fora, and West System say their fairing compound should really be sealed, and while they would say that wouldn’t they, I’ve decided to go ahead and do it, and have bought yet another “A” pack in anticipation of doing that next week.

I also decided to add a couple of bilge keels / protectors / runners, whatever the correct term is. We were walking a canal towpath and I was contemplating how one would launch / retrieve across the banks of the canal which are often (rightly) reinforced with stone or steel; and which incidentally often stand 1/2 metre or so above the water. My guess is that one would lift from one end rather than midships, and then slide the boat across the bank ……. so reinforcements seem like a good scheme. They will themselves be protected with a keel band of some sort, as will the keel itself.

Third thing ….. implied a little by the last paragraph …. I’m beginning to contemplate using the kayak somewhat rather than simply trying to sell it. It’s been interesting researching what options might be available and in particular local canoe / kayak clubs. Big question of course is about my ability to fold myself down into the boat …. and then unfold out of it at the end!

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