Wednesday, 15 February 2012

New hatches? [Job you wish you had never started mkI]

Once again in a fit of 'I must do something to the boat as it's soon going to be the start of the season,'......I must fit some new Kajaksport oval hatches to fit to Tootega.. 

The original cedar ones aren't 100% watertight and I wanted something reliable, and prefer the Kajaksport ones to Valley covers as they are easier to get on and off especially with cold fingers.

It was a big hole at the front...
and a smaller hole at the back...same enormous hatches though..
Got the hole boxed in to the level the rim will locate into. Suddenly it doesn't look so severe, I'll be filing the rest with Fomex strips, and then a bit of body filler, which will create the mould for the fibreglass insert. I built in a flat panel for a compass insert.
Hole now filled with Fomex strips, superglue and car body filler. As it's a one off I won't have to get a perfect finish as this surface will be on the inside of the boat. 
The exterior will be a layer carbon fibre.

Internal mould removed
Hatch rim in place in the surround. I beefed up the hatch surround from the inside with a couple more layers of cloth and tape. A pig of a job, but a bit easier as the holes are so big.

Finished at last. 
Boat now weighs 28.5kg including the electric pump; not exactly lightweight, [but it is a big boat similar in size to a Tiderace XploreX]
I've since replaced the seat with a P&H Cetus seat

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Carbon fibre Greenland paddle 1

Finally got off me backside and made the plug for 'BlackFinger' the carbon fibre version of the Formby Finger.

I shaped it from MDF [cheap] sanded it as smooth as possible, filled any rough areas with Polyfilla Fine surface filler and gave it a couple of coats of epoxy resin. The wet and dry paper came out and sanded down to 600 then I stuck it onto to a backing board which also has a coat of epoxy on, both sides to eliminate warping.
A couple of days later the wet and dry came out to smooth it even further, and after 8 coats of Honey Wax the mould popped off in a jiffy. The paddle consists of 4 blade shells each consisting of 3 layers of carbon fibre cloth [pictured] bonded together and finally joined in the middle. 
the tape stops the edges unravelling

First layup in the mould the next day..

out of the mould; a few dints to fill with epoxy
I'm trying to use the absolute minimum of resin at the layup stage and it was a swine to get the round end to conform to the mould, and eventually I had to use clamps and a former to press the cloth into place. 
When it came out of the mould it weighed 80g , but it was a bit flexible so another internal layer was added to make each part 4 layers thick, I'm aiming at a final paddle weight of around 600gms. [The original cedar Formby Finger weighs 815gm]

 Finally finished all 4 components and epoxied them together tonight.
I have tried out a method of joining them similar to a biscuit tin. It has taken me some time to perfect the method and for now I'm keeping it to myself.
Total weight so far 600gm/ materials cost £70

All glued, filled, sanded, and satin varnished..

The 'Formby Finger' and 'BlackFinger' 
Photo by Dave Jones