Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Morning After

Well, as usual, things don't look so bad the morning after. I've maybe 8-10 sags/drips in the 1st coat of varnish. Despite my best vacuuming, washing, and cleaning of the garage floor and later wetting the floor a few hours prior to varnishing, there is dust trapped in the finish. I must back up and comply with the Master's instructions (VaclavStejkal's One Ocean Kayaks) and place a plastic canopy over the work, try a little thinner, and see if I can locate better foam brushes (not all wood handled ones are the same). If I haven't touted it before, Vaclav's Building Manual is a valuable resource I've in my "boat" library now. Clear instructions with good photos make it very worthy, ... if you heed the advice.

First coat.

Marked sags.
She certainly passes the "6' rule". Perhaps I'll back up further ...

I broke down and sanded the hull by using the RO sander with 120 grit. I was quick and avoided any potential cutting through to the fiberglass thankfully. I followed that with a wet sanding using the medium foam block. Any residual scratches are gone in the first coat of varnish. Hand sanding just got too tedious.

The few sags in the finish are marked for light sanding before the next coat.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Smoothing for the Finish

Began the dreaded sanding phase today. However, I purchased a few foam sanding blocks that really make the job easier. These readily conform to the curves and can be used to wet sand. These happen to be 3M products. I highly recommend them. In fact, they made the process almost therapeutic. After only 2 hrs of sanding, the boat is ready for varnish. I bought a gallon of RAKA epoxies' "Last N' Last" in gloss. Only 2 quarts may be needed, but Interlux or Petit spar varnish cost twice and this LNL varnish has had good reviews. It comes in semi-gloss too. I'll get a couple quart cans to preserve the excess.

Fine, Medium, and Coarse foam blocks.

So, since the garage has been washed down, I sanded with the blocks, a bucket, and hose on carpeted saw horses. In all, as pain free as it could be. I think the ROS would have made matter worse and potentially tear through the epoxy too fast.

The Fine block is perhaps 220 grit, Medium 120, and Coarse 80. I used Coarse and Medium at this stage. The Fine may do well for the varnish work.

Up close after a water rinse.

She shines.
I'm not sure I've owned anything this beautiful. Sure there are wonders like combustion engines, automobiles, and computers, but for for pure elegance suited to purpose, I can't think of better around our abode. Jay Babina has captured some gorgeous lines.

Next up: a quick sanding of the interior. We are now at 202 hours of labor.

fore deck's beauty.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunsets or 30 Knot Winds

Had a short, but wonderful cruise this past weekend. Sadly, most likely listened to NOAA's "chance of showers and thunderstorms" warnings and stayed away. This is the final line to just about every single report on the Chesapeake Bay during the summer months. Had we accepted the "prediction" we would have missed this wonderful sunset over Sarah Creek off the York River. Instead we nearly had the place to ourselves.

It was fresh sailing all weekend. We did some fishing, had enjoyable swims, ate too well, and gazed at a near full moon.

Of course there is sailing, and then there is broad reaching in 25+ knots apparent sustained. Gusts hit 30+. Couldn't resist posting a video from a 10 day trip taken back in May. Here we made a personal, and perhaps boat best, of 70 nautical miles in 10 hrs with a 7 kt average. The 1st 2 hrs were spent bashing our heads against the gale force winds out of the Miles River, but once we turned into Eastern Bay and out into the Chesapeake ... we rolled! Saw 9 knots regularly (turn down the sound). We flat out boogied.

This weekend may offer time to make some kayak progress. I've scrubbed down the garage in preparation for varnishing. All sanding from here on out will be done outdoors. More sooner than later-

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I like boats, especially this one.

I've been away from my dear boat for far too long. She has patiently waited in her cradle, alone in the garage. Too many distractions of late have stopped any progress of note. Setting up a new business has dominated my time. However, we did sneak down to the nearby "members only" lake for a "swim". We trespassed, and despite the protest of a policing neighbor "member", we quickly took a dip. It was ever so brief, but I now have a report. The kayak's motion was steady, graceful, straight and effortless. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how well the strong turn of her bilges provided good secondary stability when heeled.

There is still much finish and accessory work yet to be done (seat, back rest, deck lines, toggles, and much varnishing), but ... wow ... what a lovely craft she is and deserves a proper name. Suggestions are welcome. I simply couldn't resist a taste of future paddles today. Had it not been for the lake patrol, I might have stayed out there for hours, just me and my boat. What a delight.

And here are two rough videos with some herky-jerky camera action. We will do better on the true maiden trip.

and more ...