Posted by: selfpropelledfun | June 15, 2010

Kayak Launch!!! :)

Wahoooooo!!!!!  I finally launched my kayak and it was fantastic!  It looked and felt great.

It is much faster than my plastic kayak, but it  feels a bit tippy and harder to turn.  Dad says that I will have to get used to it.

I tried a friend’s Greenland paddle and I told my dad that I would like him to make me a paddle just like it.

Well, it looks like the end of this project .  Thank you readers for visiting my blog.  Please come back for another self-propelled adventure with your hosts Sam and dad.


To my dad, the greatest dad in the world.  He has made both my kayak and  this blog possible.

Thanks dad, I love you .

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | May 30, 2010

I can remember it like yesterday when the plans arrived in the mail.  I can also remember when we where gluing strips of wood together for the deck.  I can’t wait to paddle my kayak for the first time, we’re almost done!!!

We are on the last big step: varnishing!!! Dad has already varnished the hull and only has to do 3 more coats of varnish on the deck.  The reason why dad is doing these steps without me is because he does not want me to breath in the varnish’s fumes.

Q: why is there plastic hanging from the ceiling ?  A: there is plastic hanging from the ceiling because  it keeps the dust from getting on the varnish.  Dad also moped the floor too.  We don’t want dust because it will ruin the kayak’s finish. 

I am so exited that my boat is almost finished.  Now all that I am worried about is  I hope that my kayak floats!!

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | May 4, 2010

Kayak Build

This past week we received a shipment of more epoxy to finish the kayak.  Do you know what that means?  If you guessed end pour (filling the kayak ends with epoxy), you are correct!

The epoxy that we used was a mixture of resin, hardener, and micro balloons.  The micro balloons are tiny hollow spheres that help lighten the epoxy.  The mixture is poured down the front and back hatches.  An end pour is done for two reasons.  First, it makes the ends of the kayak very strong.   And second, the holes that we drill in the ends of the kayak for carry loops will be waterproof.

We did not do this with my kayak on the saw horses in the shop.   We stood the kayak on end and tied it to the back of our house.

This is the first time my kayak has been outside.  It looked so shiny and big,  I felt very small standing next to it.  You don’t see a 14 foot long kayak on its end everyday!

My kayak is looking great.  Words or pictures can not describe how awesome it is.  Only a few more steps to go!

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | April 14, 2010

Kayak Build

My kayak is almost finished!!!  This past weekend I put an another fill-coat on the kayak deck.  The hull is finished but the deck needs an additional coat of epoxy.  I also put a coat on the hatch covers.

Dad is making hold down hooks for my hatch covers.  He has been having trouble deciding what he would do for a hold down system.  He  decided to experiment with carbon fiber hooks.  But he is not sure that he will use them.

We are almost finished with the kayak.  All we need to do is a few more things, such as, deck hold downs, carving my seat,  and end pours.  The final step will be to apply spar varnish to the entire kayak.

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | April 6, 2010

Kayak Build

Today my dad and I flipped the kayak over to work on the deck.  Dad gave the deck a light sanding.

Next, we put more epoxy on the deck.  The color of the wood is really starting to jump out!  The coaming also looks terrific, you can clearly see the pattern of the carbon fiber cloth.  Dad really likes how it looks!

My dad also glued together two pieces of foam so that he can make my kayak a seat.  He then  had me sit on it so that he could draw an outline of my butt on the foam.   He will use a grinder and a power sander to carve out my homemade seat.  These seats are more comfortable than the plastic seats that I have used before.

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | March 29, 2010

Kayak Build

This past weekend my dad and I took a big step forward with my kayak; we fiberglassed and epoxied the hull.  This is the last time that we will need to use fiberglass on the kayak.

Before we did this, dad attached small hull stem bands.  He used white ash because this type of wood is strong and bends easily.   Dad soaked the wood in water and used a heat gun to bend the wood around the ends of the kayak.    Then I helped glue them to the hull.

A day later, after the epoxy hardened, dad sanded down the stem band to blend in with the hull.    We were then ready to fiberglass the outside of the hull.  Dad and I put the first layer of fiberglass and epoxy on the hull.  Next, came the second layer, which gave us a little trouble.  But we soon were able to fix it.

Everything went very well.  My dad says that we only have about ten more steps and the kayak will be done.  These steps include: epoxy fill coats, plenty of sanding (done by dad), end pours, finish the hatches and the hatch hold-downs, make a seat, varnishing, and attaching decorations!

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | March 16, 2010

Kayak Build

Yesterday my dad and I completed a major step on my kayak;  we glued the deck to the hull!!!  First, I had to put thickened epoxy on the shearclamp attached to the hull.

Dad put more epoxy on the underside of the deck.  Then came the big moment, dad picked up the deck and we placed it on the hull!

My dad and I clamped the two halves together with straps.

Hey, my kayak has a new friend!

The new kayak next to mine  belongs to our friend, Kathy.  She has moved her kayak into our shop because she does not have heat in her work area.  Epoxy does not cure very well in the cold.

Kathy (builder) is on the right and Sarah (supervisor, quality control) is pictured on the left.

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | March 8, 2010

Kayak Build

Sorry that I have not updated in a couple of weeks.  We were out of town last weekend.  My dad and I have managed to do several important additions to the kayak since my last post.  The hatch lips are epoxied in place.  Dad still has to do some sanding on them, but we are pleased, they look pretty nice!

We are getting ready to permanently attach the deck to the hull.  Dad decided that we would reinforce the sheerclamp (the wood that the underside of the deck is attached to).  We put thickened epoxy and fiberglass under the clamp.

Next, we put a second coat of epoxy on the bottom of the deck and the inside of the hull.  I then put an extra layer of carbon and fiberglass  cloth and more epoxy to reinforce under the deck in the area behind the cockpit.   This area needs to be extra strong to help with self-rescues.

Dad attached the hip plates to the under side of the deck too.  He is also working on thigh braces that we will attach later.

Finally, my dad had me sit in the kayak for the first time.  We did this to check the location of the foot braces.  It fits pretty good!

We then glued the foot brace studs on the inside of the hull.

Soon the deck and the hull will be glued together and become one.  I look forward to when my kayak takes its place in the family fleet!

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | February 23, 2010

Kayak Build

This past weekend my dad and I worked on a lot of different things.  Dad worked on getting the deck ready for the composite seal channels (hatch rims) while I worked on putting epoxy and fiberglass over the plywood bulkheads.

Dad put duct tape on the bottom of the the deck along with some clear sticky plastic over the hatch bottoms. Then thin pieces of foam weatherstrip were placed on the plastic.

When the deck was ready, we both worked on putting thickened epoxy over the foam mold.  Then dad added several layers of fiberglass and carbon fiber cloth.

When this all hardens, we will pull the entire piece off and remove the foam.  We will have perfectly molded hatch channels!

Posted by: selfpropelledfun | February 8, 2010

Kayak Build

My Dad finished the coaming and it looks great.  It has hardened enough so that we can now pull it off.  Next dad and I removed all the tape and plastic on the kayak.

This is what the coaming looks like.  We will have sand it smooth and then permanently glue it to the riser strips.

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