Building Wee Rob – October 2015

Progress has been substantial (by my standards anyway) this month, and has incorporated a couple of major decisions, even design modifications, for which I hope Iain Oughted will forgive me!

The hull is developing as per the plans, and is exhibiting quite a long cockpit area. It’s going to be a solo boat though, so how best to manage the spare space and in particular to produce a storage area for anything from a sandwich or two up to a portaging trolley? Deciding on the allocation of space was easy enough ….. sit on the floor, take a measurement or two between buttocks and feet and apply these measurements to the hull. The space left over can be used for storage and an extra bulkhead put in to contain the space. Access will be by a hatch …. which is where it began to be a little more complicated. The main problem that emerged was that there is no hatch that will fit to a curved surface (for obvious reasons in fact), so some sort of flat area has to be built on the curved deck. This troubled me over a couple of early hours ponderings until the obvious solution finally clicked in my slow moving brain.

Most kayaks are plastic (nothing wrong with that of course!) and are simply moulded with flat bits to which hatches can be fixed. So we do much the same with the decks on Wee Rob and, as the pics indicate, that became the way forward. A piece of flat decking immediately behind what will be the cockpit. I obtained the necessary kit, decided that I could in fact drill the ABS plastic for some reinforcing nuts and bolts, bedded it on Sikaflex and, so far so good.

Floors next ….. some fun with the spiling to get a decent enough fit and they’re ready to epoxy in once the weather warms up a few degrees to within the temperature tolerances. The actual floor boards will come out of some knotty pine t&g cladding (with the t&g planed off) that I found in the roof of the garage.

So – up next? The quite intriguing questions of deck beams and carlins around the cockpit and foredeck; tidy joints (interfaces????) between curved and flat decks; the size and shape of the cockpit opening ….. and how the cockpit coaming manages a series of bends.

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