Monday, 29 December 2008

Progress..updated 31st Dec 2008

I took it off the stands to see what it looks like right side up; there's a wee twist at the bow so I'll have to fix that before I strip the deck. ....bugger......

Update.....view from bow.. I should have fitted more cheater strips, now a  wrap around to the keel strips will have to be done when they are in place. A conundrum....but I have a cunning plan... 
Also a word of praise for masking tape; it's amazing how efficient it it is for squeezing the strips together. At the end of each session I stretch a few inches over the strips, and am amazed at how much glue comes out when it pulls them together, bearing in mind glue=excess weight.

Stern nearly finished

View from stern

I went into the workshop over the last few days and popped on some more strips, and now the boat is really beginning to take shape.

At the bow end I have had to fit some cheater strips to bring the strips up fair due to the upsweep of the bow, so that the lines can continue on the lower hull. Hopefully I'll have finished this part by the weekend.

It's so bloody cold in there that the glue is taking a long time to cure, so when I've got the hull stripped I'm going to move the lot into another room which I can leave a low level heater on to create a more stable atmosphere. 
[I now wish I had used 3/4" strips it would have been a lot faster ..and used less staples!]

Stern view

Saturday, 27 December 2008

I have started so I'll finish...

I finally started stripping today. 
Now that the festivities are over and with the wife out at the sales,  I was feeling a lot better  so I went in to the workshop to give the forms a final check over to make sure they were true, and level and  decided to put the first few sheer line strips on....

They are the most important strips on the boat; if they aren't right all the other strips will look wrong too, so after the first 3 were on, I adjusted a couple of forms to fair out a hollow or bulge where something didn't look quite right before the glue set.

Finally I wrapped some masking tape to pull them together.

The ends are curving quite nicely, but I think I'll encounter a problem in around 6 strips time.

The ends are more pointy too; they finish further out from the end of the stem forms than I imagined but when they are trimmed back it should be OK.

Tomorrow I should be able to get quite a few more strips on. I'm not faffing around with Wood glue for the scarf joints any more. Cyanoacrylate from now on for speed. It cures much quicker, sands better and when it's encapsulated in epoxy will be fine.  I need more clamps too!

All the pictures were taken on my iPhone, so apologies for quality.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


Oh joy!

I finally found the western red cedar for my boat. Less than 20 miles away at the Deck Supply Company. Their warehouse is a cedar treasure trove of lengths up to 5m with hardly a knot in sight. And some other highly desirable timber too

I bought 21m of timber and got a deal on on which was a bit manky, [but will cut up fine for the lower hull], loaded them onto the Forester and got them back to the workshop.

Each board was 26 x 140 mm thick; now they are 6 x 12.5 and 6 x 18mm, and I ended up with approx 1700 ft of it.
I used a brand new Freud ripping blade in my table saw; it took all weekend and I was very impressed [and depressed] by the amount of sawdust created. The manky board is a bit lighter in colour than the other stuff, and I may try out a tiger stripe on the hull

Next up routing in the bead and cove.....boring.....

I've registered on a strip builders forum in the US . No doubt about it, we are paying well over the odds for cedar in this country, off the shelf bead + cove strip would have cost me £670
as opposed to £380 if I had imported it from Ontario! As it was I paid £160 for the lumber.
As it's a labour of love the time is free

*Plus point, the workshop smells lovely!

A guy called Dustin in Ohio has worked out a way of using Google Sketchup and Kayak Foundry to produce 3D drawings of your Kayak desings, but not yet how to 'Skin' the design...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Building the forms up..

I spent the weekend constructing the strongback and forms for the boat.

The strongback is the central spine of the forms, made from 1/2' plywood, rebated glued and nailed together. This pic shows the lot rough assembled, [and back to front in progress terms]

There's a lot to do yet, the forms have to be attached very accurately, and this will involve new support stands bolted to the floor so they can't move, and small cross members to screw the forms to after they have been aligned along the central line and the water line with a laser guide.

Can you spot the form in upside down?

Stern forms

Bow forms

Work will cease on this bit for a couple of weeks now; Ive sourced the Western red Cedar, but only boards. When its delivered and acclimatised, I have to cut it into 6 x 20mm strips, and route in the bead and cove.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Miquanaut MK2...

The scale model process goes on... I have made a mk2 version of the Miquanaut.

I had to. I put the first model on the top of my car and drove off. By the time I had that awful feeling 'you stupid forgetful **** ' it was too late.
Hopefully somewhere a little boy is happy playing with it at bath time!

Anyway, the first version seen in previous post ended up looking too similar to my Valley Aquanaut, and I thought there's no point in copying what's already there, so after playing around with the Kayak Foundry I came up with a new design which is more of a pure day boat and will hopefully be a boat I can 'grow' into for more challenging water.

The Aquanaut is a great touring boat, but not that fast or light!

Designing a sea kayak which to be quite honest is something I don't have a lot of experience of, is a lot harder than you would think. Reading up there are lots of subtle design features that will affect the way a boat handles, so I have tried to incorporate what I consider the best features of other boats, which hopefully will come together in the final design.

By tweaking hull forms, sheer lines, beam etc, changing length, adjusting rocker, position of the cockpit etc, all these factors can be seen in projected drag tables at different speeds, stability for a variety of paddler weight and loads.

I've tried to come up with a boat that will be light and manouverable with the amount of rocker built in, a fairly flattish hull under the cockpit similar to a Romany for good surfing qualities, and a fairly aggressive bow and stern. The drag tables indicate it should be quite fast for a 17 foot boat too.

I've printed out all the forms for the hull, and am now trying to get a source of western red cedar 6mm x 20mm cove and bead strip. There are companies in the UK who sell it at quite extortionate cost; it may be cheaper to import it from Canada!

The alternative is to buy 6" x 1" boards, plane and strip them myself, then router in the edges.
A lot of work, and a lot of sawdust too. I estimate I'll need 1000 feet of the stuff.......

There are some fabulous designs around on the web, Blue Heron Kayaks, and Guillemot Designs are the ones that explain very clearly the whole concept and well worth having a look at.

And for the bespoke strip built boat have a look at this!

In 2 weeks I should have the forms and strongback constructed, so keep viewing..