By Jason Havel
I am a Captain in the Air Force and was stationed in
Wichita, Kansas, in October 2002 when I purchased Nick
Shade's book, How To Build A Strip Kayak. After the first
chapter, I was sold. I ordered the full-size plans for the
Guillemot. While on vacation in Texas, I spent about
$300 on the western red cedar, purpleheart, and yellow
heart, then discovered I was to deploy to Saudi Arabia.
In the evenings prior to the deployment, I machined the
cedar into ¼" strips and put the bead and cove on them
using a router table. It was during the process of setting
up my table saw that I realized how clear D-grade pine
can be. I accidentally bought a few long boards of it to
build an extra long, table saw fence for ripping the cedar.
I was amazed how little grain was visible. That's
where the idea of the lighter colored deck came from.
|1-The stripping of the hull with western red cedar is completed.|
I got 6 or 8 strips on the mold before I left for my deployment.
While I was gone, the confrontation with
Iraq began. What was supposed to be 3 months turned
into 5 months. The air-war ended and I came home and
was informed I would be moving from Wichita, Kansas,
to Altus AFB, Oklahoma. I knew it was only 300 miles,
but I wasn't about to bring a couple hundred strips of
cedar and an unfinished boat along for the trip. I spent
every spare moment finishing the boat. I finished stripping
in June, laid the fiberglass in July, and moved in
|2-The inside of the hull is glassed with 6oz fiberglass cloth. Havel used 105/207 to wet out the cloth in temperatures over 100°F.|
I used 6 oz cloth with 105 Resin/207 Hardener and was
very impressed. Since July in Kansas is typically over
100°F, I was a little hesitant pouring epoxy. When I did
all the epoxy work, it was 108° to 112°F. I could thoroughly
mix the epoxy, lay it down, brush or squeegee it
out, and make it look perfect. Ten minutes later, it
started to harden. There were no issues with sheeting or
running. In fact, I never saw any anime blush and had
zero bubbles. Believe me, I looked for anime blush since
every piece of literature mentions it. After an hour or
two, I brushed on the next coat to fill the weave and
add a nice smooth surface for the varnish. Since the epoxy
wasn't fully cured, I got an excellent chemical bond.
I can't say enough about how great West Systems 207 Hardener
worked at over 100°F. I coated everything with epoxy,
including the deck fittings, before I fastened them to the
deck. I sanded the hull with 150-grit sandpaper on a
random orbital sander and finished it off with five coats
of Z-Spar™ Captains Varnish. Z-Spar also works great
at 100+ degrees.
|3&4-Purpleheart provides a nice contrast for the outline of the deck design and deck hardware.|
Everything is coated with 105/207 and finished with 5 coats of Z-Spar Captains Varnish.
I'd do it again in an instant but next time it will be a canoe
since my family will soon be a total of four plus our
dog. Even though the kids will be small, it's tough to
stuff them and my wife in a single place kayak and expect
to get anywhere.
Epoxyworks 23 / Spring 2006
Copyright 2002, Gougeon Brothers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without the consent of the publisher. EPOXYWORKS, Gougeon Brothers, WEST SYSTEM, Episize, Scarffer and Microlight as used throughout this publication, are trademarks of Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan, USA.