Archive for Tern 14 kayak

Almost finished

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

I’m not sure if I’ll do the webbing /deck rigging before or after the WR-LPU. I think I’ll do the lpu first, then the slots sometime in the future. I can touch up the slot edges with lpu afterwards.

Tern 14 kayak update

Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve added any information.
I didn’t do much work on the boat during the summer. We were pretty busy and the longer daylight hours meant that I spent a lot more time in the evenings playing with the kids in the park and at the beach. I was pretty tired at the end of those days.

The progress I’ve made includes:
1. sanding the hull and deck to a flat finish prior to applying the polyurethane (almost finished)
2. glued the coaming spacer in place
3. laminated the coaming and cut it to fit on the spacer
4. 1/2 through making some wooden kayak cradles for the car roof rack

The gallery photos describe a bit more detail of the most recent building process, check them out if you’re interested.

The next steps will be to do a light sanding with 220grit paper, cut out the hatches and glue in the hatch lips and bulkheads, and then apply the polyurethane. Then it’ll be done!

Wooden Kayak Cradles

Inspired by the wooden kayak cradles made by Ross Leidy, I decided to try and make some myself. BTW, check out Ross’s great website. He’s created a free easy-to-use kayak design software package called Kayak Foundry. Amazing stuff…

I couldn’t find any 1/16″ ash veneer locally and I didn’t feel like ordering a bunch from the US. So I hunted for some 1/4″ ash hardwood for bending. I didn’t look too hard for this either and decided to get some cheap popular 4″x4’x1/4″. It was kiln dried so I wasn’t sure if I could bend it. Using a heat gun I was sort of able to bend the wood, but it had severe cracking. I opted to fill these cracks with epoxy. Next I’ll fiberglass each cradle and hopefully they will be strong enough to hold a boat.


Getting There

I made some good progress with the kayak last week. I put in fillets and taped all the seams on the underside of the deck. My friend Craig helped me ‘glass the inside of the hull, and I almost finished cleaning up the seams on the outside of the deck.

A few thoughts…
1. when ‘glassing the inside of a hull, maybe it’s best to put nice large radius fillets along all the seams. The fibreglass really doesn’t like lying down inside edges
2. black epoxy is a pain to work with
3. sanding through epoxy does not neccessarily create a halo effect. If you’re wondering why I mention this, please refer to #2 above…


Deck is stitched and glueing has begun

Call me crazy, but I decided to try and use black epoxy for the deck seams. The materials involve black pigment and microfibres from Fiber-Tek. The pigment is added to the epoxy resin up to 10% by weight. Then the hardener is mixed in. Finally the microfibres are mixed into the epoxy.

I did some tests with black pigment and fillers. The basic options for fillers include wood flour, microfibres, and microballoons (in decending order of strength). I made a batch of epoxy and split it into three separate containers. I then added wood flour to one container, microfibers to another and approximately a 50/50 mix of wood flour + microballoons in the third container. I had ruled out using microballoons by themselves for this task. I figure that the deck could see some high forces pressing down on it, and if the deck flexes I don’t want the seams to crack. Microballoons apparently are significantly weaker than the other options. The microfibres ended up maintaining most of the black epoxy gloss, while the wood flour was quite a bit dulled (as expected). The wood flour/microballoon mix was similar to the microfibres in looks, but the microfibre mix was easier to work with.

black epoxy

I’ve put the first batch of epoxy in the seams, and so far the deck looks good. I’m a bit nervous about how much work will be required to get the seams finished. I’ll need to remove the stitches and then mask all of the seams again (which is really boring). Then I’ll add the second batch of epoxy to fill in the gaps and where the first batch sagged or shrunk. Then I will have to sand all of the excess epoxy off of the panels. I’ve already applied a coat of epoxy to the panels, so the black pigment should not have soaked into the wood. Hopefully it will come off without too much work.

Laying down the glass

It’s been a busy week with the kayak. I’ve managed to do the saturation coat, lay the fibreglass and do the first fill coat. I’ll likely do some scraping on the fill coat and complete the 2nd fill coat tonight.
Overall this work went fairly smooth, although there were some stressful moments.
The saturation coat went very fast and quick. I don’t know why someone would skip this step unless they were very busy or experienced. If you have a spare day (and it seems most kayak builders do), you might as well do this step. I was making batches sizes of about 6oz, and the boat took 4 batches. There’s not much more to the saturation coat than that. Read the rest of this entry »

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