Thursday, July 30, 2009

Viva la difference...

Two nights ago, I cut out the "floors" for the kayak. Bascially, I took the existing pattern, traced the bottom of it and offset the inside surface by the thickness of the slats which will be the actual seating and storage surface. They extend to just inside of the chine stringers. Fairly straightforward. I opted not to use a metal bracket the way Thomas Yost does - trying to keep things from looking "industrial". Basically, I'm looking for something I think is more aesthetically appealing and easier for students to make.

On the Sea Tour 15R, the cockpit opening is between frames #3 and #4 and in Yost's boats the only slats are between the frames with the top of the slat at the bottom inside edge of the frames. I'm doing this, but also adding more slats in the area behind the seat for gear storage. These slats are primarily intended to keep gear up out of any water that may accumulate in the bottom of the boat.

Last night, I sanded the "floors" and bonded them to the frames that make up the skeleton of the boat with thickened epoxy. The hardest part was spreading an even film of epoxy. I also removed the screws that were used during the assembly process. The holes were drilled up to a larger diameter (Ø 7/32") and Ø 3/16" dowels were bonded into the holes with polyurethane adhesive. These are put in to resist shear between the stringers and the frames.

Tonight I will clean up the slats of cherry that I will use for the seating and storage surface - 1" wide slats that are 3/8" thick where the paddler sits and 1/4" thick in the rear storage area. These will be spaced approximately 3/8" apart to allow for air/water flow and a lighter boat.

I've also begun thinking about the coaming and hatch cover and am not planning on using Yost's method of plywood framing in this area. There is a definite reason for this deviation. With Yost's method, there is a frame beneath the skin. When the kayak is inverted to get water out of the boat, some of the water will be trapped by dam created by the plywood. In traditional skin-on-frame kayaks, the coaming is actually stitched to the skin and floats, for lack of a better term.

I'm still debating how I am going to accomplish what I want to with the coaming and hatch cover. My mental picture of what I want is a laminated rim like a Shaker oval box. The problem is that there were support blocks and the plywood rim which make an incredibly strong cockpit coaming in Yost's design.

A bit more of the Thotful Spot, perhaps.

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