And then she had a kayak...

Well, that might be jumping the gun just a smidge - I indeed have a completed and waterproofed kayak (well, the waterproofing has not yet been tested).  I still need to put in deck lines before she's really ready to be tested, and given my panic-y feelings about drilling into my completed and coated frame/skin - that part may take a little bit.

But to hold you over until I have the maiden-launch, here is a little taste of what happened in between the start of skinning and the completion:

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The decks needed two rounds of stitching.  The top photo shows the first stitch, drawing the two sides together.  Once that was done (and let me tell you, it took a long long painful time.  A co-worker of mine is a sailor, and suggested using a spray bottle to wet the nylon and make it stretch more in order to sew it tight.  Brilliance.  Nylon apparently stretches around 22% when wet - my life took a turn for the better from that moment on)


After the decks were all sewn up, I had to cut into the cockpit area and sew in the coaming.  It was slightly terrifying, but I heated up the sauder gun, took a deep breath (away from the burning-nylon fumes) and started cutting....

I pushed nails up through the skin and out the holes in the coaming to hold it in place when I was getting ready to sew it.  When it was all set, I took the nails out one-by-one and followed them around with thread.  It was a testament to how tough this ballistic nylon is - it was difficult to pierce it with these nails.


Ben and Steve (Collins) both inquired as to whether this spike-system was employed to keep seals from boarding the decks.  They were both disappointed when I said it was temporary...

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Here it is - inside and out.

The next, and final, step was to coat it with the 2-part polyurethane that I ordered with the skin from Corey at the Skin Boat School in Anacortes, WA.  This process was pretty fun and went quickly.  I did the hull first, doing three coats in sequence, wet-on-wet.  The next day I came out to do the deck and was turned around by the gross amount of sawdust in the air that was being produced by Ben and Jeff's boatbuilding adventure.  I was assured that the following day would be much clear-er in the shop, so I came back then.  It's safe to say that there are many little particles of waste from their boats embedded in the coating of my boat - it'll just make it stronger, right?


I was going to dye the skin, but thought about it too late and didn't want to wait for an ordered dye to come in the mail.  You need a pretty strong acid dye (more umpfh than RIT that you can get in town), and I was ready to go.  So my boat is clear-ish, all of the woodwork showing through in the light.  When the polyurethane dried it came out quite a bit more opaque, but you still get the idea.


Some final shots from the shop:

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