Control Box – 1 Hours
The control box for the skeg is built much the same way as the deck fittings. A four and a half inch slot is cut into the hull. It’s located near the center of the coaming. A foam mold is inserted into the slot and covered with paste wax and mold release. Then thickened epoxy is used to round the corners and 5 layers of 3.2 ounce tight weave glass is used to lay-up the control box.
After the box is finished, drill a hole to insert the tubing. I covered the hull around the skeg control box with packing tape, so I would be able to remove the fiberglass part and drill the hole. I also trimmed up the box before installing.
After, the box is epoxied into place, lay carbonfiber into it the same way as the deck fittings were finished or just paint it black using tinted epoxy.
Inside Seams – 5 Hours
Hot glue is your friend for the inside seams! Essentially, this step is completed the same way that Jay Babina (Outer Island Kayak Design) does his seams. First sand and prepare the inside of the hull and deck so that the surface is smooth and the sheerline is fair. Then, hot glue 2″ seam tape 1″ into the hull. You can also use spray adhesive designed for holding fiberglass in place. Next carefully set the deck onto the hull making sure that everything lines up and that the seam tape isn’t trapped.
Use packing tape to hold the deck and hull together. Make sure to run packing tape the full length of the kayak to prevent epoxy from leaking out.
Raise one end of the boat, turn it on edge, and mix some epoxy. Pour the epoxy at an easy to reach location inside the kayak and use a stick with a brush taped to the end to push the epoxy into the ends and to wet-out the glass. Make sure to use enough epoxy and to force the epoxy into the seams. If you leave air bubbles between the seam of the hull and deck, it can result in water moving up and down the kayak.
80 grit Final Sand – 3.5 Hours
Before moving on to the outside seams, peel the tape from the seams, wash everything down and proceed to sanding the outside of the boat smooth with 80 grit paper. I use a random orbital sander with some care, but hand sanding will work also. On a hard chined kayak like this one, it’s very easy to sand through the glass using a power tool at this step, so, you should be careful near the keel, and chines.
Some the seam even and fair. For this part, you may have to sand into the wood, but don’t worry, because the 1″ outside seam tape will cover it.
Outside Seams and Keel Strip – 5 Hours
The kayak’s keel on a hardchined boat takes the most damage from seal launches and rock hit. To protect it, add a keel strip when you glass the outside seams.
The outside seams and keel strips require a bit of preparation to make everything come out fair. First, run a 1″ piece of masking tape down the center of the keel and each seam. On each side on this tape, run another piece of 1″ masking tape. Peel the tape out of the center. This is where the keel and seam tape will attach. Make sure by rubbing that the remain strips of tape are firmly sticking to the boat.
Mix up a batch of black tinted epoxy, paint the seam, lay the 1″ fiberglass tape into the epoxy and then paint the tape with epoxy. After one seam is finished, spend some time making sure that it is even and looks fair along its entire length. The black tape really shows off any unevenness or jogs.
It’s best to do one seam at a time and wait for the seam to dry before moving on to the next seam. I did the keel first as a test run, then each seam, one at a time, with the boat tilted on its side. In places the seam tape didn’t want to stay down, so I used peel ply and tape to hold it in place until it cured.
I think a better way to do the seams is follow these instructions and then run peel ply or a very wide piece of packing tape along the whole length of the seam.
Watch for drips for the first 30 minutes after finishing the seam and then check back every 30 to make sure that everything is working out as planned.
After the outside seams cure, sand down the rough edges, and do a fill coat. The fill coat is tricky, because it will want to sag and run, so, you could mix in black tint and silica. Or lay a large piece of packing tape over the second coat of epoxy and peel off after the fill coat sets-up.
Bulkheads – 3 Hours
First, print out the forms where you plan on putting bulkheads and then cut out an oversized piece of 1.5 epoxy mat for each bulkhead. In addition for each bulkhead, cut out a 5 ounce tight weave or 6 ounce piece of fiberglass in exactly the same shape. Wet out both pieces for each bulkhead on a flat surface on top of plastic. Wait a half hour and come back and squeege out excess epoxy, then lay a piece of plastic over each of the now wet bulkheads. Place some plywood or other flat boards over the bulkheads and weigh them down. This will help squeeze out extra epoxy.
Let sit overnight and in the morning come back and peel the blanks out of the plastic. Cut the blanks down to the size of the forms. Then test fit them in the kayak. Trim until you are happy with the fit and then fiberglass into place using 2″ seam tape. Before you apply the seam tape using a filet of silica mixed with epoxy around the bulkhead and use the mix to wet out the surface the tape will eventually sit on. This will help keep the tape in place while you paint the tape with epoxy using a cheap brush.
Each bulkhead will weigh around 4 ounces, which is pretty light compared to a full cedar strip or plywood bulkhead.