Communications on building a strip kayak - Part 2

(Back to Part 1)



 Date sent:        Mon, 2 Feb 1998 21:17:12 -0500
To:               kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: More progress on Pintail

Karl,
 The boat looks great! It will only get better looking from now on in.
Although you are over the biggest hump, you are not done yet. Sanding,
glassing, sanding, varnish and other finishing tasks are still ahead and
they can seem to drag. Luckily the results of each step are worth while.

 Forget about the post cure idea. "Creep" requires force and stress, and
there really is not that much stress involved in sitting on a rack. I can
not imagine any need to post cure a boat that is being used by anyone other
than a racer.

 The MAS epoxy cures slowly and will not heat up too much. You can let it
get quite hot without damaging the boat. I tried dunking the end once and
decided it was not worth the effort. Saw dust should reduce the heat.

 The intention of the thin strips is for the coaming. But I have usually
had enough to do the stem and stern as well. It should take about 32 ft to
do 5 layers of wood on the coaming. You should have receive 40' of strips.
All you need is one or two layers on the ends.

 I sand to about 120 grit. This is enough to hide the scratches but still
leave some tooth to bond with the epoxy. Hows that for a compromise?

 It is much easier to varnish epoxy than it does to bare wood. It will not
flake off like it does on your sailboat. I like to revarnish once a year
but with some of my boats I have gone several years. If the boat is stored
indoors the varnish will last a long time before anything needs to be done.

 Michael at Newfound Woodworks has been experimenting with the waterbased
varnish he is selling and has pretty much decided it is not worthwhile yet.
I would stick to the old spar varnish. It has a long history of working
well.

Nick

From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Fairing Pintail
Date sent:        Mon, 9 Feb 1998 10:26:05 EST5EDT

Nick--

Finished stripping the cockpit flat area.  It took forever.  One 
benefit of stripping this area cross-ways that you don't mention is 
that it also helps to stiffen the deck just aft of the cockpit.  Mine 
was very flexible, especially since a I used a bunch of thin strips 
right there.

Of course, the _real_ reason to build the kayak was to have an excuse 
to use a spoke shave on something.  This is my favorite tool.  You 
have more control than with a plane, and it works better with all the 
curves.  What is especially impressive is when the scroll of wood 
coming out includes two adjacent strips, and the boundary is so 
perfectly mated and glued that even the paper-thin shavings stick 
together as if it was one stick of wood.

It didnt really take very much shaving to get the boat in shape.  
I made a fairing board like you suggested, and found that it made 
very quick work of smoothing out all of the remaining bumps. Why 
would anyone want to take a power sander to this job?   I 
worked on the deck first since the boat was already right-side up;
 I havent started fairing the bottom yet.  After sanding, the joints 
between the planks practically disappear.  Even the staple holes seem 
to disappear -- at least where the staples went in with the grain.  
They are so tiny that they seem to fill up with sawdust.  Will the 
epoxy bring them back out again?

Now for the questions of the week:  (1) once I am satisfied with the 
shape of the hull using 60 grit sandpaper and a fairing board, can I 
go straight to 120 grit to sand out the scratches?  Should I hand 
sand, or is it ok to use a random orbit power sander for the 
smoothing sanding?  (2) Looking ahead, I see that I have two rolls of 
fiberglass in the kit, one wide and one narrow.  I am assuming that 
all of the cloth is the same weight (4 oz?) and that the narrower 
cloth is for the second layer between the chines on the bottom.  Is 
this correct?  (3)  How long does it take you to wet down one layer 
of glass?  When I start epoxying, I want to be able to plan on 
one step per evening/weekend day, so that I dont have to leave the 
boat  partially epoxied for more than a day (as you might guess, I am 
a little paranoid about bent-boat syndrome).  This would mean : day 
1, seal the hull; day 2, glass layer one on the hull, day 3 glass 
layer 2 on the hull, day 4, glass layer 2 on stem and stern, day 5,  
fill coat on the outside, day 6
fair the inside (and, with luck, glass layer one), day 7  glass layer 
2 on the inside.   I usually can devote about 2-3 hours per evening 
to this project.  Is this realistic?

  I am still enjoying this project immensely.   Robin jokes about my 
obsession with that "long skinny girl" in the basement.  But my 
family has been great about it.  Even my three year old daughter 
comes down to help (she helps sand the hull with fine sandpaper, or 
measures things with the measuring tape).

                                                               --Karl

Attachments:
  A:\yak9.bmp

Date sent:        Mon, 9 Feb 1998 20:12:09 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Fairing Pintail

Karl,
 The boat is really shaping up.
 There are few things more satisfying than a shaving of wood coming off a
good sharp plane are there?

>Now for the questions of the week:  (1) once I am satisfied with the
>shape of the hull using 60 grit sandpaper and a fairing board, can I
>go straight to 120 grit to sand out the scratches?  Should I hand
>sand, or is it ok to use a random orbit power sander for the
>smoothing sanding?

Work up gradually 60 -> 80 -> 100 -> 120. You can do this all with the
fairing sander, but at this point the random orbit may be quicker.

>(2) Looking ahead, I see that I have two rolls of
>fiberglass in the kit, one wide and one narrow.  I am assuming that
>all of the cloth is the same weight (4 oz?) and that the narrower
>cloth is for the second layer between the chines on the bottom.  Is
>this correct?

You should have a 60" wide and a 38" roll of cloth (6 oz). Cut the 60 roll
in half to make two 30" wide pieces for the deck. The 38" is for the hull.
If you lay the cloth diagonally you should be able to get the inner and
outer layer and a narrow piece for the second layer on the bottom.

(3)  How long does it take you to wet down one layer
>of glass?  When I start epoxying, I want to be able to plan on
>one step per evening/weekend day, so that I dont have to leave the
>boat  partially epoxied for more than a day (as you might guess, I am
>a little paranoid about bent-boat syndrome).  This would mean : day
>1, seal the hull; day 2, glass layer one on the hull, day 3 glass
>layer 2 on the hull, day 4, glass layer 2 on stem and stern, day 5,
>fill coat on the outside, day 6
>fair the inside (and, with luck, glass layer one), day 7  glass layer
>2 on the inside.   I usually can devote about 2-3 hours per evening
>to this project.  Is this realistic?

I no longer do the seal coat step. The MAS epoxy soaks so easily through
the fiberglass that I just don't bother with the seal coat. Other than
that, a couple hours an evening should be enough.

Nick



From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Glassing pintail
Copies to:        "Robin E. Bell" <robinb@ldgo.columbia.edu>
Date sent:        Mon, 23 Feb 1998 13:31:59 EST5EDT

Nick--
    Things are coming along.  Fairing the bottom took much longer 
than the deck -- there's just a lot more of it, and more gaps to 
fill, too, as it turned out.

   BTW,  I am not sold on epoxy as a fairing compound.  It always 
seems to come out too dark.  I guess the trick is to use very very 
very small amounts of sawdust.  It takes too long to cure enough to 
sand (in my basement, about 3 days).   In the larger gaps at the bow 
and stern (those seams sure opened up as I faired the boat!), there 
were still gaps left after I faired the epoxy.  Ultimately, I let the 
epoxy fill them during glassing.

   Some of the bottom seams did let go as I faired the bottom, so  I 
had to reglue some of them (as you predicted).  

   So I finally started glassing on Friday evening.  The cloth coat 
seemed to go on well enough, though it takes some getting used to 
spreading the epoxy with squeegees.  The squeegees dont work well 
longitudinally  on 
the curves by the chine.  I ended up squeegeeing perpindicular to the 
centerline, then collecting the extra on a spreader and returning it 
to the top.  I am still not sure what the 
point of the grooved roller is.  The glass hugged the wood very well 
and didnt seem to need any pushing in, even at the hollows.  I did 
roll out the skim coats of epoxy, but I am not sure for what purpose.

   I also had no trouble getting the glass to lie flat around the 
stem and stern.  I think your advice to cut the glass on the diagonal 
helped.  Plus, I left the cloth draped over the hull overnight before 
wetting it out.

  I also followed your directions to put the smaller pieces of glass 
over the larger ones on the bottom.  What a mess!  I wasnt sure 
whether to try and cut the stray strands of glass off as I glassed (there were 
lots and lots of them, and they were very sticky) or sand them off later, so I left them in.  
Each coat of epoxy built up the stray glass strands, so now there are 
prominent ridges running vertically down the sides of the boat from 
the edge of the double layer halfway up to the shear.  It looks like 
a murderous sanding job later on.  I think, in retrospect, I might 
have put the smaller pieces underneath and not worried about 
perfectly fairing in the boundary.  That result may ultimately have 
looked better than what I have now, depending on how successful I am 
in sanding down the glass ridges.

   I skim coated on Saturday, and put a second skim coat on yesterday 
also.  I am a little worried about the way the epoxy is lying in one 
or two sections of the bottom.  It is as if the second skim coat of 
epoxy just didnt "take" in a few places and wanted to run away.  Is 
this the dreaded "orange peel" effect (the surface does, indeed look 
like an orange peel).  In fact, none of the second skim coat of epoxy 
ended up perfectly smooth -- all of it is at least a little wavy.  Is 
this a normal situation that is cured by the fairing sander?  I 
figure that I can probably safely fair out the "orange peel" areas 
too, as they are located near the edge of the second layer of 
fiberglass.  I am not sure what caused this effect -- I was careful 
not to use any solvents or anything on the hull.  All I did was 
brush and vacuum.  "Yak12" attached is a picture of the orange peel 
area.

   There are tiny bubbles in the epoxy in a few places (ginger ale 
sized bubbles), regularly spaced, so they are obviously part of the 
weave.  Is this because I squeezed too much epoxy out of the cloth in 
the cloth coat?  Applied at too low a temperature?  I am not too 
worried about them -- they are much less visible than the other 
imperfections that the epoxy brought out.

   Glassing will take much longer than I expected, in part because I 
had not planned on the cure time for each step.  The Newfound 
instruction sheets suggest leaving the hull on the forms for 3 days 
before glassing the inside, in order the let the epoxy set up hard.  
This seems like a good idea to me.  Even though the thermometer in my 
basement says 55 - 60 degrees, the epoxy is taking much longer to set up 
than the Newfound instruction sheet suggested.

  I see that your instructions  suggest glassing the outside of the 
deck, then building the cockpit coaming, then glassing the inside of 
the deck, then, finally, glassing the inside of the hull.  This 
leaves the partially glassed hull sitting around for a while.  I 
thought I would glass the inside of the hull before moving on to the 
deck.  Also, why not glass the outside of the deck, then the inside 
of the deck, then build 
the cockpit coaming, and then glassing the coaming in with a second 
layer of glass around the cockpit area (which is indicated for 
reinforcement, anyway)?  Should I worry about getting the second 
layer of glass to adhere to the cured epoxy?  Unfortuneately, I dont 
have space to let half the boat cure in one place while working on 
the other half somewhere else.  And I dont want to try to move the 
uncured part of the boat aside to make work space for the other 
half.

   The wood looks great with the glass and epoxy on it.  But the 
epoxy also brings out every little imperfection.  Each staple hole 
that disappeared during sanding returned with a vengeance when I 
glassed the boat.  So did every imperfect glue joint and small gap.

 I am a regular visitor to your kayak building bulletin board site, 
and continue to find useful information there.

  By the way -- there are two widths of glass tape in the kit.  Which 
 width is for which purpose?

  Thanks in advance for some more advice

                                               --Karl

Attachments:




Date sent:        Mon, 23 Feb 1998 21:00:27 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Glassing pintail

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>Nick--

>Each coat of epoxy built up the stray glass strands, so now there are
>prominent ridges running vertically down the sides of the boat from
>the edge of the double layer halfway up to the shear.  It looks like
>a murderous sanding job later on.  I think, in retrospect, I might
>have put the smaller pieces underneath and not worried about
>perfectly fairing in the boundary.  That result may ultimately have
>looked better than what I have now, depending on how successful I am
>in sanding down the glass ridges.

Use a scraper to remove the highest points off the strands. You can
probably completely remove the high points with the scraper. You can also
use the scraper to remove other high points on the epoxy.

>
>   I skim coated on Saturday, and put a second skim coat on yesterday
>also.  I am a little worried about the way the epoxy is lying in one
>or two sections of the bottom.  It is as if the second skim coat of
>epoxy just didnt "take" in a few places and wanted to run away.  Is
>this the dreaded "orange peel" effect (the surface does, indeed look
>like an orange peel).  In fact, none of the second skim coat of epoxy
>ended up perfectly smooth -- all of it is at least a little wavy.  Is
>this a normal situation that is cured by the fairing sander?  I
>figure that I can probably safely fair out the "orange peel" areas
>too, as they are located near the edge of the second layer of
>fiberglass.  I am not sure what caused this effect -- I was careful
>not to use any solvents or anything on the hull.  All I did was
>brush and vacuum.  "Yak12" attached is a picture of the orange peel
>area.

I don't try to remove all the ripples with coats of epoxy. Sand a bit
between coats of epoxy. You can go down until you start touching the glass.
Like you say the epoxy tends to build up on top of the high points and
every dimple and pimple gets worse with each coat unless you sand between
coats. The other way to keep this from happening is to use a squeegee to
force the epoxy into the dimples while you scrape excess resin of the
pimples.

>
>   There are tiny bubbles in the epoxy in a few places (ginger ale
>sized bubbles), regularly spaced, so they are obviously part of the
>weave.  Is this because I squeezed too much epoxy out of the cloth in
>the cloth coat?  Applied at too low a temperature?  I am not too
>worried about them -- they are much less visible than the other
>imperfections that the epoxy brought out.

The bubbles could be from returning scraped off epoxy back onto the boat.
This epoxy tends to have a lot of air trapped in it. Cool temperatures also
make the resin more viscous so the air has trouble coming to the surface.
The grooved roller can help get the bubbles to the surface.

>
>   Glassing will take much longer than I expected, in part because I
>had not planned on the cure time for each step.  The Newfound
>instruction sheets suggest leaving the hull on the forms for 3 days
>before glassing the inside, in order the let the epoxy set up hard.
>This seems like a good idea to me.  Even though the thermometer in my
>basement says 55 - 60 degrees, the epoxy is taking much longer to set up
>than the Newfound instruction sheet suggested.

Wait until you can no longer make a dent in the epoxy with your fingernail.
Wait  for this before sanding as well.

>
>  I see that your instructions  suggest glassing the outside of the
>deck, then building the cockpit coaming, then glassing the inside of
>the deck, then, finally, glassing the inside of the hull.  This
>leaves the partially glassed hull sitting around for a while.  I
>thought I would glass the inside of the hull before moving on to the
>deck.  Also, why not glass the outside of the deck, then the inside
>of the deck, then build
>the cockpit coaming, and then glassing the coaming in with a second
>layer of glass around the cockpit area (which is indicated for
>reinforcement, anyway)?  Should I worry about getting the second
>layer of glass to adhere to the cured epoxy?  Unfortuneately, I dont
>have space to let half the boat cure in one place while working on
>the other half somewhere else.  And I dont want to try to move the
>uncured part of the boat aside to make work space for the other
>half.

There is no magic order for doing the glassing. Whatever you feel most
comfortable with will be fine.

>
>   The wood looks great with the glass and epoxy on it.  But the
>epoxy also brings out every little imperfection.  Each staple hole
>that disappeared during sanding returned with a vengeance when I
>glassed the boat.  So did every imperfect glue joint and small gap.
>
> I am a regular visitor to your kayak building bulletin board site,
>and continue to find useful information there.
>
>  By the way -- there are two widths of glass tape in the kit.  Which
> width is for which purpose?

I use two layers of glass on the inside seam, the first layer of 2" the
second layer of 1" wide. I then put one layer on the outside seam.

Nick Schade


From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Glassing pintail
Date sent:        Tue, 24 Feb 1998 10:27:45 EST5EDT

Thanks for your quick reply.  Obviously, it is too late to sand 
between skim coats on the hull, but I will apply your wisdom to the 
deck and let it cure and sand it between skim coats.  I guess what 
makes most sense is to apply the cloth coat, wait for the set, then 
apply the first skim coat, then let the first skim coat cure 
completely and sand before applying the second skim coat.  The 
Newfound instruction sheet says you only have enough epoxy in the kit 
for two skim coats.  If it turns out I have enough epoxy (or want to 
buy some more), I suppose I can apply another layer of epoxy to the 
hull after the first round of sanding.

Thanks for the tip about using a scraper to take down the ridges.

From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Quick question about glassing inside
Date sent:        Thu, 26 Feb 1998 10:30:37 EST5EDT

Nick  -- A quick question about glassing the inside of the hull:  The 
Newfound Woodworks instruction sheet suggests that you only need to 
use a cloth coat on the inside of the hull.  Will this be strong 
enough and watertight enough?  I think I read somewhere on the BB 
about how the cloth coat is not really a complete barrier, or that 
there might be pinholes left.  Do you usually stop after the cloth 
coat, or do you put in a skim coat inside?  

BTW -- the "cove" on the sheer plank of the hull got all filled up 
with epoxy drips from glassing the bottom.  Is it wishful thinking to 
hope that the deck "bead" will ever mate tightly with the hull 
"cove?"  I spent some time  with a lineoleum cutter (the kind used 
for block printing) roughly cleaning out the cove last night.  Also, 
I mixed up some epoxy fairing putty and, besides filling in the gaps 
in the planks (they really open up near the bow and stern with the 
curve of the hull), I put a fillet in the groove at the stem and 
stern.  It seemed to me I would never really get a piece of glass 
all the way into the crack there.  Do you usually fillet this area, 
or just hope to get enough epoxy in when you glass it?

I found a sure-form "scraper", which has a convex shape to it, to be 
really useful for a rough fairing of the inside of the hull.  It 
left annoying scratches (since sanded out) where I used it on the 
outside, but for the invisible areas inside the hull it is a good 
tool to use, especially for someone who does not want to go to the 
trouble and expense of making a convex plane as you describe in your 
instruction sheet.

Thanks for the advice.

From:             kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu
To:               Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com
Date sent:        Mon, 2 Mar 1998 00:19:48 +0000
Subject:          More progress
Copies to:        kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu, robinb@ldeo.columbia.edu
Priority:         normal

Nick--
   Glassed the inside of the hull Friday night.  There were some very 
tense momemts.  I decided to put the smaller pieces underneath this 
time . . . and since I didnt want to count on saturating two layers 
of glass and the wood at once, I epoxied in the reinforcements at the 
bow, cockpit, and stern before rolling out the main piece of glass 
that I had cut the night before.  Big mistake!  Of course, the glass 
grabbed on the edges of the hull, but, evem worse, it grabbed the wet 
pieces of glass, and got wrinkled and stretched all over the place.  
Saturating the glass wouldnt make the wrinkles go away.  I was 
ultimately able to work most of the wrinkles out, but there were 
about four of them that I had to cut with a utility knife, then 
overlap.  For good measure, I put an extra strip of glass over two of 
these as a band aid.  Lucky no-one will ever see that part of the 
boat, although it isnt that visible anyway.

Yesterday morning I wet out the glass on the deck.  As you can see 
from the picture, I figured out a way to store the hull and work on 
the deck at the same time.  The cloth coat on the deck went 
beautifully -- maybe it helped that I let the glass lie on the deck 
overnight.  But I had no trouble wetting out the glass, no wrinkles, 
and very little drips even.   Is the wider glass material a tighter weave?  It seems to be.

I did notice when I put the deck back on the forms that it had 
splayed out a little bit.  Before glassing. I put one staple on 
either side into form eight, right at the edge of the sheer plank..  I figured that the edge of the sheer 
would ultimately be taped over anyway.  When I glassed, I cut a slit 
in the glass so that the staple would not be glassed in.

But today I noticed that the deck was splayed out from other forms 
two.  So after applying the skim coat, I made some clamps by putting 
a wood screw through scrap strips of cedar, then screwing the scrap 
into the form right next to the sheer plank, with a piece of wax 
paper between the strip and the wet epoxy.  Again, I figure that the 
mar in the epoxy will be underneath the seam tape anyway.  I want to 
make sure that as the deck sets up hard, it is in the right shape.

I also measured the hull in a couple of places and could see that the 
sheer of the hull was bending inward, but maybe a quarter inch at a 
couple of places.  So I put some wood props in, as you suggest in 
your instruction sheet.  Again, I dont want hull and deck to end up 
too far off to pull together.  I suppose that you can always pull the 
deck together when putting the hull and deck together, but it would 
seem to be much harder to pull the edges of the hull out.

I read in Bob Weir's account that he ended up with his deck wider than 
the hull and had to fair in some wood strips to get them to fit 
together -- that's a solution I'd like to avoid if I can.

I plan to let the deck set up until wednesday, then perhaps fair and 
glass the inside of the deck wednesday night.  I figure that by 
Thursday night I can put the hull and the deck back together on the 
forms to let the deck set up hard while I go away next weekend.

I have about a quart of epoxy resin left at this point, and a pint of 
hardener.  Hope that's enough!

The deck looks stupendous with a skim coat of epoxy on it.

Date sent:        Mon, 2 Mar 1998 19:21:16 -0500
To:               kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: More progress

Sounds like you are handling the inevitable shape change of the hull and
deck well. I have been able to do some pretty radical bending to get
everything back in alignment, so don't get too worried about it. Do what
you can to keep everything as close as possible.

A quart&pint should be enough. You've done more than 1/4 of the glassing.

Looks like the boat is going to come out great.
Nick

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Nick Schade


From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          No glue gun.
Date sent:        Wed, 4 Mar 1998 10:47:19 EST5EDT

Nick-

As I look forward to building the cockpit coaming, probably next week 
. . . I noticed that I do not own a glue gun and have never 
previously thought I needed to own one.

Are there any alternatives for sticking the coaming strips in place?  
I assume the point of  a hot melt glue gun is that the glue sticks 
instantly, so that you do not need to clamp the joint in an awkward 
position for a long period of time . . .  How about using regular 
wood glue and shooting staples through the strips into the edge of 
the cockpit flat?  This is one place that a few more staple holes are 
not going to be that visible.  Two other possibilities I have 
considered: (1)   "superglue" -- ("cyanoacetate" or something like that) 
-- the gel type is supposed to work on wood and set up in about 15 
seconds.  Would it be strong enough?  Would it be incompatible with 
the epoxy in some way? or (2) thickened epoxy, or maybe some hardware 
store quick-set epoxy (the 60 second variety).

My local old-fashioned hardware store also said they usually carry a 
cheap ($5) glue gun, but they were out and are not expecting more 
until the middle of next week.

Do I have to spring for  a $25 glue gun, or do you think one of these 
alternatives will work?

Thanks in advance for your advice

Date sent:        Wed, 4 Mar 1998 18:50:10 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: No glue gun.

Karl,
 Staples could be a pain. You will be shooting into narrow edges of strips,
and near the end of other strips. You could get a lot of splitting. I like
the superglue idea better. The bond here does not need to be super strong.
It needs to hold together while you sand it, then it will be solidified in
epoxy and glass.
Nick



From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Cockpit coaming update
Date sent:        Fri, 13 Mar 1998 10:46:32 EST5EDT

Nick--

    Just wanted to let you know that the super glue seemed to work 
just fine for gluing up the cockpit strips.  There were one or two 
strips that slipped, but the vast majority held in place just fine.  
The slip-ees were at places where there was not a lot of mating area 
because of a slight change in the angle of the cutout.  I just 
reglued and pressed the strips in a little tighter.  Now that the 
glue between the coaming strips has dried, the whole thing is pretty 
solid.

    I glassed in the outside of the  coaming on Wednesday night, and last night I laminated the coaming lip.  The glassing went ok, but I will have a 
lot of globs to smooth down, since I was working with the edges of 
two strips of glass.  For the lip, I took a hint from the CLC Light 
Craft shop tips page on the internet and made a bunch of clamps out 
of 2" PVC pipe.  They worked great.  I used epoxy thickened with 
cab-o-sil to glue the first lip-strip to the not-yet-cured glass 
layer, then used regular wood glue for each successive strip.  
Everything looks like it came out ok, but the moment of truth will 
come when I take the clamps off -- probably sometime tomorrow.

I am attaching some pictures of the coaming and lip.  Next comes 
rounding and glassing the lip and inside of the coaming, and gluing 
the cheek plates.  I hope to join the hull and the deck sometime in 
the coming week.

Your bulletin board is a great resource.  I check it daily.

Attachments:



From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Cockpit coaming & lip
Date sent:        Mon, 16 Mar 1998 15:27:02 EST5EDT

Nick --
     The coaming lip came out ok -- even though some of the ash 
strips popped out a little when I took the clamps off.  I was too 
stingy with the glue.  One strip actually split right near the front.  That was no problem -- I just  reglued with elmers and clamped them for an hour 
while I shaped the other end.  The sureform scraper came in handy for 
shaping again -- it quickly takes off cedar and glass, and since the 
blades are disposable, I dont worry about how dull I must be making 
them.

  Glassing the coaming and lip is another story.  Your diagram makes 
it look so nice and neat -- but you must have some secret to making 
the edge of the glass cloth end up flat against the coaming after it 
curves around the lip.  The edge of my glass strip was not even close 
to straight after I cut it with the pinking shears (BTW, I dont know 
why I worried about a $5 glue gun, when the $28 pinking shears I 
bought for this project are already duller than spoons).  And the wet 
out glass didnt want to lie down against the bottom of the lip at 
all.  Also, the glass didnt really want to make all of the curves and 
bends necessary to wrap around the inside of the coaming onto the 
deck, either.  I ended up clamping some of the wet  glass to the lip with 
binder clips, wood strips, and wax paper to let it set up in the 
right place.  But I have nothing at all like a clean edge under the 
lip -- there are stray strands, and many places where the glass 
doesnt even come close to butting up against the coaming.  I just 
hope that the glass is not really needed here for strength (I suspect 
it is not).  I will have to settle for a lip encased mostly in epoxy 
on the lower edge.

  If you have a secret for getting the glass to butt up cleanly 
against the coaming, please share it so that "next time" I'll get it 
right.  This was definitely the most frustrating glassing job yet.  

   To top it off, this time around the pot life of my epoxy seems to 
have shrunk dramatically.  The weather has actually been colder, not 
warmer, but I did put the unmixed resin and hardener in a warm place 
(near the furnace) before mixing it, to compensate for the cold.  I 
think this may have shortened the pot life.  Either that, or it's 
just that the dregs of the resin container are naturally thicker.  Of 
course, I have a fresh half gallon to work with now.

   Still, the boat looks fabulous from two paces back.  I can stand 
back and say I cant believe I made all those shapes out of wood.  The 
cockpit coaming and lip actually look quite nice.

   Meanwhile, I have glued and glassed the cheek plates.  Tonight I 
hope to join the hull and deck.  I am going to try and mate cove and 
bead -- I cleaned out the cove last night with my round file 
(actually the broken part of my round file after I tried to bend it 
to make it easier to fit into the cove).  The bead part was easy to 
clean up with the sure-form scraper.  I figure that with the cove and 
bead, the seam will line up better and tend to stay in the groove, so 
that the strapping tape just has to hold the parts together but not 
in alignment..  
Also, I can put a line of thickened epoxy in the cove, which has got 
to make a stronger hull-deck bond than just the glass tape. I'll let 
you know if it is a disaster -- I know that this is not the way you 
usually do it.

   Your instructions suggest doing the end pours before taping the 
outer seams . . . I can't figure out why.  Wouldnt it make sense to 
tape the outside seam , and that way none of the end pour will leak 
out, even without masking tape?  The best reason to do the end pours 
first, I can think of, is that way you will force yourself to let the 
inside seams cure for a few days before attacking the fairing of the 
outer seam.  That is a good enough reason for me, since 
thumbnail-hard cure times are running about four days for me.

  BTW -- your Expedition Single pictures on the web are gorgeous.  
Makes us mere mortal kayak builders a bit jealous.  But I can see the 
advantages of a large, well lighted workshop with clean floors.  I 
have to share my workspace with the kitty litter, the clothes dryer, 
my store of scrap wood, gardening tools, and all the storage tubs in 
the basement. 

   No pictures today.  I'll let you know how the hull joining goes.

                                                       --Karl

Date sent:        Mon, 16 Mar 1998 19:27:45 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Cockpit coaming & lip

Karl,
 My secret for getting the glass to lay smoothly all the way around the
coaming lip is to not bother wrapping it all the way around. The picture
shows an "ideal" case, but frankly, I don't try that hard.

 One of the reasons I have done the end pour before taping the outer seam,
is sometimes the bow and stern seperate a little at the sheer line. By
doing the endpour, I secure them together so I can remove all the temporary
tape and still have a tight joint. This is not neccessary if your joint
stays tight.
Nick



From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Joining hull and deck
Date sent:        Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:32:23 EST5EDT

Success!  Hull and deck came together without much trouble at all.  I 
thought better of trying to put glue in the joint though -- as I test 
fit the pieces, it became very clear that I was not going to want to 
be working with epoxy oozing out of the joint.  I figure that I can 
work epoxy into the joint when I glass the outside seam/

Your instructions are a little optimistic where they say to keep 
taping until the gap "disappears."  Because the edges of the deck and 
the hull did not end up perfectly flat and straight after scraping 
off all the globs of epoxy and glass, there are a few gaps of 
daylight left.  I tried fairing the gaps out by sanding and scraping 
the peaks, but it rapidly became apparent that _removing_ material 
was not going to be the best way to get rid of the gap.   But this gap
 will by no means be the widest gap in 
the boat -- that honor is still reserved for the bow and stern, and 
for the place where the planks cracked when I unbent the boat.

After all that, taping the first inside seam was relatively painless. 
 I used the bamboo pole that came in the box with the fiberglass -- I 
assume that is what it was meant for.  (My son assumed that it was 
meant to be a spear, so I had to rescue it from the woods behind our 
house.)  It is a little awkward working inside the boat, but the tape 
rolled out just fine.  There was an unsaturated strip in the middle 
of the tape, but it was 
easy enough to brush on more epoxy at this location.  I learned the 
hard way that it is much easier to saturate the tape if you roll it 
very loosely and leave a big gap in the center of the roll.  It is no 
more difficult to roll out the loose roll.

A few more questions about the end pour . . . 1) can you use 
styrafoam as a filler (I dont want to start cutting up the foam block 
for the bulkheads and seat until I know how much of it I will need)?  
2) just how much volume of "dookie schmootz" do you need?  I saw on 
the BB where someone opined that 8 oz. of epoxy should be plenty . . 
. even if I double this bulk with filler, a pint does not seem likely 
to fill in the one foot of space left between the end of the tape and 
the bow/stern.  Since I have more epoxy now, saving epoxy is not the 
big consideration, so weight is the main factor.

Also, since I will have one last chance to discover the "correct" 
mixture of epoxy, cab-o-sil and wood dust to make filler when I try to make 
the hull/deck gap "disappear"  -- is there any way to make the stuff 
remotely resemble the color of the white cedar?  Adding more 
cab-o-sil doesnt seem to do the trick -- the stuff just becomes clear 
(and dark).  Adding wood dust also just seems to darken the mixture.

Left my camera cable at home -- so no pictures today.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Date sent:        Tue, 17 Mar 1998 18:40:06 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Joining hull and deck

Karl,
 One reason I don't leave the cove and bead on the edges is it is hard to
make a tight joint after all they have been through. It is easier if you
have a flat edge to work with.

I'm not sure where the bamboo pole came from. If it came with the
fiberglass, you may have received a bonus. Bamboo is not something we have.

You don't need to fill the whole last foot. If there is a gap without any
tape or pour at each end, it is not the end of the world. 8oz or so will
probably be plenty. I've used just about anything as a filler in the
endpour including foam. Do not add Cab-o-sil as you want the stuff to pour
as easily as possible.

I've been adding a little q-cell (quartz micro-spheres) to my dookie
schmutz to lighten the color. I can't get an exact match, but I can often
get something that looks similar.

Nick


From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Photo update
Date sent:        Wed, 18 Mar 1998 17:04:20 EST5EDT

Nick--

Here's Pintail on its side for the starboard seam taping.

The port seam taping was a little less smooth last night -- the pole 
grabbed onto a stray stand from one roll and messed it up, so I had 
to pull it up and re-roll it.  Then I managed to mix up bow and stern 
with the 2" tape, so I had to pull that one up and re-roll it, too.  
But ultimately the tape went into place and seemed to stick down 
pretty well.

You'll see I posted a question on the BB about doing the end pour 
into a horizontal, inverted boat instead of a vertical one.  Having 
not received any cautionary responses, I think I am going to try it.  
The upturn at the ends is plenty to hold a pint of filler, and I 
think I can do an accurate pour by attaching a yogurt cup to the end 
of the pole I used to roll the tape out.  Two 8 oz (including bulk 
filler)  pours in each end 
ought to do the trick, and with the boat inverted, more of the filler 
will end up in the hull/deck joint where it belongs, and less in the 
keel, where it would just add weight.

I'll let you know how it works.

Regards,     Karl

Attachments:


Date sent:        Wed, 18 Mar 1998 21:11:15 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Photo update

I think your idea for the endpour should work. I would tip the boat down a
little to make sure your pour does end up in the ends.
Nick

Nick Schade


From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          No tipping necessary
Date sent:        Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:47:58 EST5EDT

Nick--
   Thanks for your reply.  Your suggestion to tip  arrived too late to make a difference, but, as it 
turned out, no tipping was necessary.  The schmootz stayed where it 
belonged, mostly, except for a few drops that leaked out the seam.

   I used two yogurt cups.  I nailed the top edge of  one to the side 
of the tip of the bamboo pole.  The nail left the cup free to pivot 
forward and backward.  Then I mixed the schmootz in the other cup 
and nested it into the nailed cup.  Then I moved the payload end of 
the pole as far into the tunnel as it would go with the cup upright 
(about 18" from the ends).  At that point, I tipped the cup by 
dragging the bottom on the inside of the deck.  Once the cup was 
tipped over, it fit farther into the tunnel, and made it within 12" 
of the end. By tipping and pushing quickly, very little of the 
schmootz landed on the deck, since the stuff flows slowly.  Then I 
used the pole to shake and rotate the cup until it was empty.  The 
entire contents landed exactly where I wanted.

   I also had a binder clip to attach the two yogurt cups together.  
Unfortunately, I forgot to use it on the first pour, so I had to 
used a nail at the other end of the pole to snag the cup and retrieve 
it.

  I ended up using wood chunks for filler, made by tearing up scraps 
of cedar with a pair of pliers.  Aesthetically, I like the idea of 
wood filler better than styrafoam or other synthetics.    Some of the 
chunks didnt flow all the way to the end on the first pour, so I duct 
taped a squeegee to the other end of the pole and used it to brush 
the chunks into the pool of schmootz at the end.  

  I didnt thicken the epoxy at all for the bow pour, since I wanted 
to recduce viscosity and maximize flow.  Since the pour pour went so 
well, I added a few pinches of sawdust to the stern pour.  This might 
be why a few drops of epoxy seeped out of the bow, but none came out 
of the stern.  I ended up wrapping both ends with duct tape to stop 
the flow.

  I had not trouble with the epoxy overheating.  In fact, the ends 
were barely warmer than the rest of the boat one hour and two hours 
into the cure time. 

  This way of pouring the end may not work for every design, but at 
least for the Coastal, the amount of room in the ends and the amount 
of upturn makes it possible to slide a one-cup container into the 
ends and make a precise delivery, all with the boat safely indoors 
and horizontal.

   I saw your posts about automobile pin stripes as a way of hiding 
an ugly hull deck joint.  Most of my joint came out fine; there will 
just be an area around two feet long by the cockpit on both sides 
that is a little ugly.  Still, I'd like to avoid anything that looks 
synthetic on this boat.  Actually, if I could find some veneer 
strips, that might solve the problem, since I could fill the seam 
with cab-o-sil, epoxy the veneer over the seam, and then glass tape 
over the veneer.

  This project is getting so close to being finished I can almost 
smell it!

                                                       --Karl

Date sent:        Tue, 24 Mar 1998 14:14:30 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: No tipping necessary

Karl,
 Some of the woodworking catalogs have veneering banding that is for
putting on the edge of plywood, some of this may work for you.
Nick

>

From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Veneers
Date sent:        Tue, 24 Mar 1998 15:27:18 EST5EDT

Nick -- Thanks for the tip about the veneers.

   As it turned out, I tried to make my own veneers by ripping some 
of the red cedar strips that were left over, then sanding and planing 
them as thin as I dared.  This turned out not to be thin enough, 
since when I put them in place over the sheer seam and tried to tape 
over them, it was clear that the glass was not going to lie flat over 
the edge of the strips.  Since strength is more important than looks 
. . . I took out the wood strips and just glassed right over the filled 
seam.  The result does not look bad -- just one of those defects that 
is obvious from 20" and invisible from 5'.  And there are worse gaps 
in the hull.   I am already resigned to 
the fact that this boat will not win any blue ribbons at the Maine 
Boatbuilders Show, or anywhere else.   At least I kept all of my 
fingers while ripping the strips on my table saw improvised from a 
circular saw.

    I finished taping and skim coating the seams over the weekend.  
Here's a trick I tried for reducing the amount of skim coat that just 
dribbles off the tape and down the sides:  I put the second skim coat 
on the side of the boat that was facing down instead of up.  Gravity 
and surface tension held the epoxy in place right on the tape, and 
surprisingly few droplets formed.  I smoothed off the two or three 
droplets that did form with the plastic spreader before the epoxy 
fully cured.

   The 8 oz. seam tape leaves a raised edge that will take some 
fairing to feather in, as I am sure you know.  I have tried your 
suggestion of using a scraper for these kinds of areas, but you have 
to be very careful that the scraper doesnt slide sideways and scratch 
the thin parts of the skim coat.  Actually, sanding the fully cured 
epoxy is much less difficult than I thought. especially when you use 
a hard backing.  I used a piece of scrap marble as a sanding pad last 
night as an experiment,  to feather in the rough edges of the multiple layers of glass outside the cockpit coaming.

   When you drill for the grab loop at the bow, do you try to put in 
some glass for abrasion resistance, or do you just seal the wood with 
epoxy?

  I am letting the boat cure this week, then I hope to sand and 
varnish over the weekend.

  When it comes to sanding -- your instructions say that it is ok to 
sand off the tops of the weave -- So I take it it is ok to be able to 
see the pattern of dots from the tops of the weave after sanding, and 
not to put an extra skim coat on in these areas?  The NF Woodworks 
instruction suggest that you shouldnt be able to see the weave at 
all.

   The end is definitely in sight!  Thanks a million for all your 
advice along the way.  Have you thought of posting this 
correspondence on your web site?    I've noticed on the BB that there 
are certainly other kayak builders asking the same questions I did.  
Pete Maricle is also building a Coastal from your plans, and when he 
heard that I had a file of e-mail advice from you, he asked me to 
send it on to him, which I did.  I know the bent boat story might 
scare some would-be builders off, but it sure shows that you can 
recover from much bigger mistakes in a stripper than you ever could 
fix with an S&G!

  I don't think it would hurt sales of your book too much.

  I'll get you pictures of the finished product soon, I hope.

  Regards,                       Karl

Date sent:        Wed, 25 Mar 1998 11:21:48 -0500
To:               "Karl Coplan" <kcoplan@Genesis.Law.Pace.Edu>
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: Veneers

Karl,
 It is probably best if you have a thin coat of epoxy over the fiberglass.
I usually end sanding until I can just start seeing the dots of the glass
showing. Then I'll squeegee or roll on another thin coat of epoxy. You
don't want to sand the glass much, but it is alright to touch it a little.

 I eventually would like to put up a page of some of our communications and
your pictures as the project proceeded. I don't mind people knowing you had
problems, as long as you were able to resolve them and end up with a boat
you are proud of.

Nick



From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: One more coat of epoxy
Date sent:        Thu, 26 Mar 1998 13:10:06 EST5EDT

Nick--

    Drat!  I was afraid you were going to tell me I really needed one 
last coat of epoxy.  The problem is that each time I mix up a batch 
of epoxy, I know that it is going to be 4 or 5 days before I can really 
work on the boat again.  And this weekend looked like perfect 
varnishing weather -- temperatures are supposed to reach the 70s.  But I know
that you are right -- I am sure that it is better to put epoxy on the glass that 
is exposed while sanding (and especially while feathering in the 
cloth edges), rather than straight varnish.  I just hope I can figure out how to make that one last coat thin enough so that I dont end up with new drips that 
need more sanding exposing more glass cloth, etc.

    With nothing much else to do while the epoxy slowly cures,  I 
stripped up and glassed a seat back, and cut and sealed the holes for 
the straps and lines.  I stripped the seat back with a curve to it (I 
used the cutout from one of the mid-section forms) so that it will 
wrap around my back, instead of putting foam on it.  I want the wood 
to show!  Your scheme for 
suspending the strap with shock cord, webbing, and lines took some 
figuring out, but it looks like it will work out nicely. 

   The end result is certainly going to be something "I can be proud 
of."  Though I am painfully aware of every little imperfection 
(and what I might have done differently to avoid it), the overall 
result is impressive.  Even my dad, who has always been the most 
honest critic of anything I have built, is effusive with his praise 
for the boat.

   But if the glow of daylight is considered an embarassment by the 
pros at this trade, well, this kayak has its share of little 
embarrassments inside it.  Cracks of daylight deep in the hull is not 
the first thing most people notice about a kayak, however.

   Regards,                                        Karl

From:                 Self <GENESIS/KCOPLAN>
To:               Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Almost there
Copies to:        "Maricle, Peter" <Peter.Maricle@GSC.GTE.Com>
Date sent:        Tue, 31 Mar 1998 14:28:22 EST5EDT

Nick--

   Warm weather makes everything go a little quicker.  The MAS epoxy 
is a completely different animal at 75 degrees than it was at 55 
degrees, that's for sure.  Not only does it brush on really easily, 
but it hardened enough to sand in just 55 hours.  I wonder what it is 
like to glass under proper (warm conditions) compared to the freezer 
I was working in.

   I rough sanded the boat on Saturday and brushed on a coat of 
epoxy.  The sanding wasnt perfect --  there were too many places 
where I was sanding into the weave before the shiny spots were 
disappearing.   But I took special care on the deck, which will be 
most visible, and where the wood looks the nicest, anyway.  I also 
hand sanded everywhere so that at least the shiny spots would have 
some tooth to them.  Then I brushed on a thin coat of epoxy.

   There is one place where I sanded a quarter-sized hole right 
through the glass.  I considered re-glassing it, then decided just to 
but a thicker coat of epoxy there, since the gap did not seem large 
enough affect the strength of the boat.  It is easy to forget just 
how thin the layer of glass on the boat is.  Sooner or later, I am 
sure that I will have a glass repair to do on the boat, and at that 
point, I can sand it out glass a patch in.  (It will be easy to find, 
since I didnt really believe that I had sanded down to wood until I 
tested it with my fingernail).
 

  Last night, the epoxy was hard enough to sand, so I sanded with 
120, 150, and then wet sanded with 220 and 360 grit.  The wet sanding 
paper is really easy to use.

   While letting the dust settle, I set to work on the bulkheads.  
I had a major problem installing the deck plate hatch into the 
forward bulkhead -- since the deck plate has only a 3/4 " lip, but 
the foam bulkhead looks to be about 4", the deck plate squeezed right 
out of its hole as I squeezed the bulkead into place.  I hadnt 
thought about how the hole for the deck plate would get smaller as 
the bulkhead compressed.  Since I was using 3M 5200 adhesive to glue 
both the bulkhead and the deck plate, the whole works turned into a 
sticky mess.  I spent some frantic and awkward time reaching into the 
bulkhead with the sure form shaver in order to make the hole bigger 
again, and ultimately got the deck plate to stay put, though I am not 
sure if it will be watertight.  I think I'll invest in an air bag for 
the bow.  Fortunately, none of the sticky mess got on deck, and I was 
able to wipe it up from the cockpit ok.  But those black foam 
shavings, mixed with 3200, are insidious.

   For the aft bulkhead, I cut the hole for the deck plate a little 
larger, and put the foam plug back into the hole as I pushed the 
bulkhead  into place, to keep the hole from closing up as much.  This 
seems to have worked.  Once the adhesive has set up, I'll cut the 
foam plug up and pull out the pieces.

  I know you prefer to make deck hatches.

  This morning before work I put the first coat of varnish on.  I 
like working with the water based varnish -- it brushes more easily 
than oil based varnish and seems to drip and drool less.  It also 
cleans up really easily, and doesnt seem to make the sticky mess that 
oil based varnish does.  It does seem to leave brush marks, though.  
If I find the brush marks really objectionable when I am done,  I 
suppose I can try polishing them out with wet sandpaper, then buffing 
the varnish back to a shine.

   In case you cant tell, I am getting eager to get this project into 
the water.

  As you can see from the attached picture, my son couldnt wait for 
water to try the boat out.  This picture is just after final wet 
sanding, but before varnishing.

  I am have a test flight this weekend.

                                                                     
--Karl

Attachments:
  C:\pix\justyak.bmp

From:             kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu
To:               Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com
Date sent:        Mon, 6 Apr 1998 00:04:42 +0000
Subject:          It floats! It tips!
Copies to:        kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu
Priority:         normal

Nick--
  Finally tried Pintail out today in the Hudson River at the Nyack 
Boat Club.  The boat sure turned heads.  I had about 60 seconds of 
very exhilarating paddling before I experimented with leaning a turn 
on the wrong wave.  It didnt help that it was gusting to 20 kts.  
I didnt have a spray skirt or a wetsuit, but at least I was wearing a 
life preserver.  Fortunately, there were several outboards waiting at
 the dock, and a couple of fellow boat club members came out to rescue me.

   After showering and warming up, Robin and I took Pintail down to a 
1 acre pond near our house.  Much better.  It helps to learn a little 
bit about how to handle the boat in flat water before trying waves. 
She tracks straight and is easy to paddle, goes fast, and is very light. 

   And boy, does she turn heads.  Twice on the way back from the boat 
club, people stopped their cars in the middle of traffic, rolled down 
their windows, and asked about the boat.

   This evening, I went back and attacked the seat foam again, since 
I felt a little too high up in the boat, a factor that may have 
contributed to my early season swim.  I scooped a lot more foam out, 
made more room for my thighs as well as my butt, and got it down to about 
1/4" at the thinnest -- verging on hard, but I'd rather have my butt 
go numb than all of me in 45 degree water!

   Here are some pictures.  One is of me in the Hudson, shortly 
before taking a swim.  Another is where I stood the boat up to empty 
the Hudson out from the "watertight" compartments (I also loaded the 
aft bulkhead with polysulfide caulk this evening, to try to keep more 
of the Hudson out).  The third is Robin giving Pintail a test run in 
our pond.

   Thanks again for your help and advice along the way.  I love this 
kayak, and I cant wait to learn how to keep it right side up (or turn it 
back right side up, as the case may be).

                                                              --Karl




Date sent:        Mon, 6 Apr 1998 18:05:16 -0400
To:               kcoplan@genesis.Law.Pace.Edu
From:             Nick Schade <Info[at]guillemot-kayaks.com>
Subject:          Re: It floats! It tips!

Karl,
 Excellent! Glad to hear you and Pintail both got christened. The boat
looks great. You are probably right about the height of the seat. An inch
difference in height can make a huge difference in stability. If you have
the seat shaped well, you won't need a lot of padding to make it
comfortable.

 If you have that file of our correspondence and don't mind other people
learning from the tribulation you went through, I would be happy to add it
to my web site. I have the photos you sent me along the way and I can
incorporate them. If you sent me your file, it would save me a little time,
but if you don't want to inform the world of the mistakes you made, I
understand completely.

 I learn more from people that had problems than I do from people that did
everything without a hitch. If I had anything to do with helping a project
finish successfully, it is time well spent.
Nick

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