Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Pondered for along time about this because I didn't really want to have to drill though the hull in order to attach the original footrests included with the kit, since these were probably the best to go with since they are easily adjustable. You can see that I've cut two pieces of 1 1/2" by 1/2'' red oak about 17"s long which I will attach the foot rests to once the wood is attached to the inside of the hull using epoxy mixed with coilidal silica. I created a notch on the back sides of each piece in order to use a screw thru the outside of the footrest frame, thru the red oak. then a back up locking nut on the backside next to the hull. What I've done so far is cut and coat these pieces with epoxy and again filling the predrilled holes with q-tips coated epoxy. Tomorrow, I'll attempt to attach these wood strips to the inside of the hull.

Hatch Hold Down System

Decided to go with a clean deck look and epoxy in some triangular blocks inside the hull which bungees will be threaded thru, then hooked onto the underside of the hatches to hold them down flush with the deck. Following is a few pics of that process. I screwed the undersides of the triangular blocks onto a small piece of scrap wood in order to cover all surfaces with one batch of clear epoxy. In order to coat the insides of the thru holes, I used a q-tip to completely coat the interior of the holes, which incidentally were drilled before the triangles were cut. the bungees will be hooked to solid brass cup hooks screwed into the undersides of the hatches. Also applied foam insulation gasket directly to the hatch sills, I think this will be sufficient

. Still haven't figured quiet how to lift the hatches. So far I'm trying to come up with some kind of pop-up circular grab to work with. Such as drilling a hole in the hatch with a hole saw, then using some kind of spring loaded pop up and attaching the cut out from the hole cut with the resulting wood piece attached resulting still in a flush fitting hull with a small spring loaded pop-up hold to grab onto in order to lift the hatches enough to unhook the bungees from underneath.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Long Week of Hard Work

Well its been a while since my last post but have been hard at work completing the finish of the exterior. After completely wet sanding the entire exterior with 1000,1500, and 2000 grit paper.

The next step was machine polishing with 3m's Finesse-it using a wool pad.

Next used the polisher to apply Wolfgang's paint sealant. Then hand waxed with Pinnacle Sovereign Carnuaba wax. The resulting finish is smooth as glass and feels soft to the touch. There's one picture where I show the products used sitting on the rear deck and the area was almost flat. I had a hard time keeping all three containers from sliding off of the surface because it was so slick. All that is left now is to complete the interior; seat, back brace, install blocks inside the hatches so as to hold the covers on with bungees from underneath, work out some form of foot brace.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hull Wet Sanded

Today, I was able to wet sand the hull with the 3 grades of previously mentioned sandpaper. I tried using my sanding block on the flat areas but it didn't seem to work very well. I also used a pump spray bottle to keep the surface wet enough, but it crapped out on me. Surely I'm not the first one to discover this, but I came up with a couple of ideas to make the job faster and easier. For the sanding, I cut the sandpaper sheets in half which fit perfectly around a plain kitchen sponge. The paper wrapped around the sponge like 4 times so I was able to rewrap the sponge at times and in doing so was able to use all surfaces of the sandpaper. Next was the task of keeping the surface wet without the spray bottle. I tried to just use my hand and scoop the water up out of my bucket but this was not very efficient. Remembered that I had a large grout sponge (unused) so I just saturated the sponge and was able to easily and evenly wet the surface. The bare varnished surface was shiny with many surface imperfections due to dust settlement during drying phase and a couple of small insects. When you would run your hand across the surface, you could feel these specks easily and your hand would somewhat drag across the surface A drastic change was noticed after the wet sanding was completed. If you were to look down the length of the boat, it appears to have a mirror effect however, if you looked at the surface straight on the appearance is somewhat dull looking from the sanding. Now when you run your hand across the surface, it feels smooth with no drag and feels very polished already. The polishing compound ( 3M Finesse-it) applied with a Dewalt polisher should bring out the shine more and remove any remaining minute sanding marks left by the 2000 grit paper. Flipped the kayak over in preparation for the wet sanding of the deck before I quit for the day.

Varnishing Done! Yeah

On Wednesday, I finished the varnishing with 6 coats. The Fuji HVLP gun with the G3 pro turbine worked great. Pics are basically the same, but I'll show some anyway cause I pulled all the plastic sheeting down (the paint booth) which made the garage seem so much larger and cleaner. I think a lot of builders stop at this point, however I am opting to wet sand with 1000, 1500, 2000, the buff out with a polishing compound.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Little Bonus, trip to Weed,NM pop. 19

My folks are on the move from winter quarters (Rockport,TX to Weed.NM) for the summer. They stopped by on the way and am really enjoying the home cooking. Pot roast, gravy, green beans, brown and serve rolls, mmm mmmm. Reminds me almost of Thanksgiving sans turkey. Sorry Lauren but I am eating some for you, don't worry bout that. The Rav 4 reminds me of how the Expedition was packed the first year we moved Lauren to Vandy. Packed to the max.

Yakima Bowdown Kayak Carrier

Well I received today my Yakima Bowdown Racks via Ebay at a substantial savings (I'm all about saving a few bucks here and there) compared to local retail. Of course I couldn't resist setting the almost finished Shearwater 17 on the racks just to get a good visual. Everybody knows how guys think! You can think about it but until you actually see the real thing it just does not mean as much. The Yakima Bowdown is a very good looking and working transport system and I couldn't be more pleased with the system. I still need to get a good 350 grit wet sanding done and one more good coat of varnish, but couldn't resist removing the almost finished boat from the pristine confines of my professional spray booth (ha ha) to get an idea of how nice the finished product would look on my lowered Scion XA. Check it out!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

-4th Coat of Varnish - Success

With the kayak now mounted in an inverted position and fully supported from inside the hatches, spraying of the varnish can be applied to both hull and deck in one full step. This will have been the 4th coat on the deck and either the third or fifth on the hull depending on how you would perceive the previous applications. Pictures now do not seem to matter much in that in all appearances seem to be the same. I can attest to the fact that the finish seems to be taking a deeper, thicker clear coat buildup and more covering up of previous blemishes Don't forget to please click on a link or two while your here, you never know what you might run across that you can't live without! Thanks.