Boat Building Forum

Find advice on all aspects of building your own kayak, canoe or any lightweight boats

By:Mark Bodnar
Date: 6/15/1998, 8:03 pm

Well the unofficial launch of my Cheaspeake 17 was this Sunday.

I went, it floated, we got out.

Here are a few lessons I learned in my finishing process (admitedly after a winter of building I was in a hurry to get on the water).

1. My masking tape lines (over the paint, to protect from the varnish) would not remove easily. I'd left the kayak out in the sun to 'bake' the varnish dry prior to sanding - it appears as though I also baked on the tape. (it's coming off, but it's taking some paint with it)

2. My deck hatches were a little tacky after the final coat of epoxy, (and given I didn't want to leave them out in the sun for fear of clouding) I placed them in the oven. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, we'd had a few hours prior so the oven was 'mostly' cooled off. I later returned to find the curved hatch covers delaminated from the frames. An extended repair job ensued.

3. Now, Sunday afternoon and the repairs for my current damage (plus vanishing the hatch covers for UV protection) seemed an awfully long time to wait. (BTW did I mention that my 4 week old baby daugther has seriously reduced my capacity to work on the kayak). So, I pressed ahead with an unofficial launch (baby was sleeping - I had a go ahead for some free time) Here's where things could have gone very poorly, I launched onto a lake across the road, in 25 kt winds and 1 to 1 1/2 ft white caps - with NO spray skirt (back ordered) and NO hatch covers. The gravity of the situation didn't really strike me until I discovered my rudderless creation's need for leaned turns (I actually had to contemplate back paddling the 50 yrds to the dock but felt that would be an incredibly poor first paddle). After turning and paddling for a bit I had a few waves splash into the open hatch up front which may me wonder about the inherent floatation of wood impregnated with epoxy- so I headed back to the dock. Glad I decided ahead of time to call it a unofficial launch. I'll go official when all the tape is removed and the paint is repaired.


Messages In This Thread

Mark Bodnar -- 6/15/1998, 8:03 pm
Lessons for Everybody
Mike R -- 6/15/1998, 8:23 pm
Re: Lessons for Everybody
Mark Kanzler -- 6/16/1998, 11:11 am