Archive for Tern 14 kayak

New Sleeping Bag?

This is a tough one. I’m in the market for a new sleeping bag and not too sure what to get. I currently have two bags. The first one I bought around 1990 and it was originally something like a 0 or -5C synthetic bag. I took it with me when I traveled the world in 1991 and it spent most of its time in a stuff sack. 18 years later and it’s safe to say that it is “punched out.” My son Grady used it last year but I don’t think it is warm enough for shoulder season camping. It’s still good for warm weather stuff though. My other bag I bought maybe 8 years (time flies!). It’s a down barrel bag from Taiga. It’s okay and rated to -7C. I don’t find it all that warm but what the heck. It think it’s a good bag for Grady now because he wouldn’t like a mummy bag. My daughter Emma May has her own +5C bag and it works well for her, and my wife also has a Taiga down mummy bag.

Ideally I want a bag that compacts really well. I plan on taking the family backpacking once or twice this year and there’s no doubt that I’ll be carrying most of the gear. Therefore the space savings of a small bag would be fantastic. Weight isn’t a huge issue, but obviously the smaller the better.

Where the decision gets tricky is when I consider coastal camping. This would include boat trips that I hope to do (canoe, kayak) as well as coastal hiking. I think it’s not that unlikely that camping may include some wet/damp sleeping bags at some point. If that is the case, then it is clear that a synthetic bag would be a much better piece of gear. On the other hand, even if I found a small, warm synthetic bag, it wouldn’t do much good if everyone else in the family were in wet down bags.

Currently I’m thinking along these lines:
1. rule #1 – the bag never should get wet. I already bought some waterproof stuffsacks that help mitigate risk
2. get a MEC Merlin -3C which is very small and not too expensive (4L and $230)
3. get a Mountain Hardwear Lamina synthetic bag which is inexpensive and not too bulky (10L and $140)

Single Transferable Vote

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The Pygmy Tern 14 Launches

Well, several months after finish the kayak we finally got it into the water two weekends agp. Such is life when you are busy with little kids!
We had a successful launch, although the cheap champagne that was poured was pretty skunky. If that’s the worst thing that happens with this boat we’ll be happy.
My wife took the kayak out for a little paddle, along with her new Holst GP. She was happy with the pair although it sounds like she’ll need some time to get used to the two. The Tern14 had a looser feel than what she was used to (stability, not tracking). I also gave the kayak a quick paddle. It seemed pretty quick and tracked well but I can’t compare it to anything really. I’ve only whitewater paddled until this weekend. I didn’t try to maneuver the boat too much as I wasn’t used to the Greenland paddle. I did manage to roll the kayak on my first attempt so I suppose that means it rolls pretty easy (I haven’t been in a kayak in about 5 or 6 years).
Beach shot #1
Beach shot #2
Here are some thoughts on the boat. First, it looks very nice and seems to have a lot of potential for paddling. It’s relatively comfy, the seat works good, and the secondary stability is rock solid. My two biggest gripes with the boat have to do with the coaming and the hatches. We found it difficult to yank off the spray skirt with one hand. Lifting the tip of the skirt up and out was not enough to release the skirt from the coaming lip, the skirt would still catch/hold at about 11:30 and 12:30. Flipping the skirt off with a second hand was easy, but then you’d have to let go of your paddle. This definitely needs some adjustments, I’m surprised that it was so difficult. Secondly, the hatch covers don’t seem to fit super great. They do not sit flush with the deck and after a few rolls and wet exits there was some water in the bulkheads. I think part of the problem is with the way the foam lies on the hatch lip. At the very tips the foam perhaps bunches up by a mm or so, and maybe this is enough to keep the whole hatch from being as tight as it could be. I left the hatches on the kayak for a long time, thinking that the foam may compress. However, I think a bit of work may be needed. Perhaps I will try to notch or cut away a bit of foam on the ends. Any input is welcome on either of these issues!

Spraying WR-LPU

I recently finished applying System Three’s WR-LPU to the Tern14. I chose to use this material primarily for two reasons. First, it is touted as being a very tough finish, longer lasting than standard varnishes. Secondly, it is a water-based suspension which means that it avoids nasty organic solvents. I had heard and read about some difficulties in applying the finish. Apparently it has a fine line between drying to fast and leaving orange peel or applying too much and causing runs or sags. Ultimately I wasn’t too concerned about getting a “pro” finish so I thought I’d give it a try.

I decided to try and spray the wr-lpu. System Three’s manual suggested that spraying the lpu would result in a better finish. Not only that, but it gave me a great excuse to buy a cool piece of equipment: a Fuji Q3 HVLP spray gun. Overall, my experience with the wr-lpu is mixed. I think it’s possible to achieve the almost-perfect finish by spraying lpu and not sanding/buffing. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to achieve this myself. Despite practicing on scraps along with coating several coats, I never applied the lpu in a way that gave a “check out that great finish” result. It is clear to me that lpu application process is not very stable and that small changes in application or perhaps formulation (ie dilution with water) or environment make big differences. With my own eyes I saw myself spray a surface that would go from glossy to patchy Read the rest of this entry »

I like to read

Well, at least I used to. Now I’m usually too busy in my spare time doing one of my many hobbies such as boat building, scanning my slides, recording my vinyl, or riding a bike. And if I’m not doing one of my hobbies, it’s a sure sign that I’m too tired to read. Every now and then I get into a reading kick and I’ll consume a book within a day or two. So why am I telling you this? Because I’ve entered my library on-line. You can check out all of my books and even ask to borrow some. Of course I’ll probably say “no” but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Tern 14 update for November

Just a few more steps left to finish the Tern14!

I think my list of things to do, in order, are as follows:

1.1 glass 2nd side of bulkhead panels

1.2 epoxy the hip braces in the cockpit

1.3 cutout the stern hatch

2.1 tweak the inside shear seam tape and epoxy

2.2 precoat the hatch strap fixtures

3.1 epoxy the bulkheads in

3.2 epoxy the strap fixtures to the hatches

4.1 apply the WR-LPU polyurethane finish

5.1 drill slots for webbing / deck rigging

5.2 fill the slots with thickened epoxy

6.1 drill new slots in epoxied areas

Hmmm, not much to comment on here.
When cutting out the hatches I tried a couple of methods including hand holding jigsaw blades, hacksaw blades, etc. I think the sabersaw/jigsaw cutting is the way to go. Using gentle pressure and even speed you can control the cut for a decent curve. I had problems making the saws follow a curve when holding them by the hand.
I did all the preparation for using magnetic hatches instead of the pygmy closures. In the end I decided to go with the pygmy system. The two main reasons are because the magnetic system would take many more hours to complete, and I felt it would be necessary to test gasket materials first because the lid/lip gap is critical for magnets to work.
I’m in the process of applying LPU right now. That is a story in itself which I will update later.

If anyone has some questions on magnetic hatches for Pygmy kits, let me know. I have some sketches and drawings I can share.

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