Sunday, June 21, 2015


Off to the traditional lake for a tryout:
And of course, the traditional Trophy Shot:

I was actually surprised at how very similar the handling is to my first Outer Island. It may cruise a little faster-it was easy to maintain at 4 mph, and sprinted to about 5. The stability is almost identical to O.I. #1, which was slightly surprising, because I  built it to the design length this time, and I expected it to handle just like Jay's, with the stiff tracking and solid secondary stability. It must be a Mystery Of Kayak Building-how two people can build to the same specs, and build two different kayaks.


Went fairly easily & routinely. The hatches, grab handles, and deck rigging were done almost exactly as the last two builds, with one difference: I made a simple loop on the foredeck for my GPS.
I carved the foam seat as usual. I found it interesting that the side brace foam pads had to be of a different shape and position than I expected, and that the foot braces had to be  extended to the third-to-last adjustment point.
Also, I confirmed that it is the cockpit size, more than the cockpit height, that allows butt-first entry into the kayak.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


I decided to finish the boat with automotive clear coat paint instead of varnish. I liked the idea of doing all the coats in the same day, instead of a week. I hung it up, because I was afraid to rest the kayak down on new coats of paint. I went through five cans of clearcoat, using about one can per coat. The coats seemed rather thinner than I wanted them to be, but I avoided runs & drips. I hope the coating is thick enough to be sanded & polished out.
Wet-sanding an 18' kayak goes much better when done in the backyard. I sanded with 500 and 1200 paper, then used the R.O.S. with a foam pad-rubbing compound, then polishing compound. It looks more like a semi-gloss finish at this point.
After a whole lotta sanding & buffing, I decided that I didn't like the look that I was getting. I used the wax remover, sanded one more time with #1000, and went for varnish.