Outfitting and details

June 12 - I've done all the epoxy I'm going to do. Recommendations on various sites say to let the boat sit anywhere from five days to three or four weeks before varnishing. Since I'm sick of sanding at the moment, I decided to go with the longer wait and paddle the boat a few times before dry-docking her for varnish.

So, even though I'm going to have to undo all the rigging in a couple of weeks, I went ahead and did it anyway! First up was tending to the hatches. I attached weatherstripping to the hatch recess lip, just using the sticky-back adhesive on it. I suspect I'll end up using contact cement eventually, but for now, it's on there. I then added hatch-lid tethers, using the half-marble anchors I epoxied on earlier. I also added the bungees for the hatch closures. (As always, click to enlarge all photos.)

The tension is all trial-and-error. I won't find out if it's not enough until I get water in the hatches. Thanks again to Curtis for crafting the pieces I needed!

I then started playing with the rigging... yellow reflective static line and yellow bungee. Nyah to the skeptics - I think it looks great. One of Randy's whales graces my fore bungee, similar to those riding shotgun on other hand-made boats in our club. I've left all the ends untrimmed for now since, as I said, I get to take all this off again in a few weeks.

I got heavier line for the grab loops from West Marine, and used short lengths of clear plastic tubing from the plumbing section at Lowe's to protect my delicate hands. The knots? Totally made 'em up. They're really solid, though.

Last, I added the footbraces in, and fitted the custom Redfish seat. In the footbrace photos, there are four 'anchors' visible on the top - those are half-egg-shaped anchors, similar to the ones added for the hatches, which I'll used to string a figure-8 of bungee for underdeck storage... either water bottle or bilge pump. They're rounded so they ought not be knee-scrapers. Once the varnish is done, I'll also use minicell to fit out the cockpit braces.

So when will she launch? Depends on when epoxy is cured enough to hit the water. Stay tuned... :-)

July 6 - well, she sat curing in the garage for almost a month. I had some time today to take her out for a trial, or a 'strip tease' as we dubbed it, at a local lake. I just wanted to try her out to make sure there was nothing else to do before varnishing later this month. She's a bit more lively than my Tempest, and I suspect I'll get some bracing practice in as I learn just how far she'll lean, but she paddles straight and true! As always, click to enlarge.

Aug. 23 - another club member/boat builder and I took our kayaks to St Charles, MO, for the Race for the Rivers event. They had asked for some people to display their hand-made boats, and we obliged. Click to enlarge. That's my Silver, plus Joe's SOF, and two stitch-and-glue Pygmy boats.

Paul brought the dogs up to say 'hi' and go for a quick swim in the Missouri River...