Sunday, 19 October 2008

Minor tweaks and a revised to-do list

I have found time to add a system for securing my spare paddles. I have gone for the plastic waste pipe approach for the shaft ends, secured to the deck lines with cord. The blade ends are held in place with deck elastics.

Sections of sleeping mat have been glued to the inside of the hatches to cover the sharp ends of the bolts that hold the hatches in place. This protects my gear and hands from any further damage. The new formulation of EvoStik seems to be OK and I like the addition of a brush to the lid of the medium sized tin.

Some trimming of the front of the seat has made it far more comfortable. It no longer digs into the backs of my thighs.

The idea of adding a new bulkhead behind the seat has been dropped - this space is too convenient for my stove and tent. Airbags will be used to fill this space when the boat is not loaded.

To do:
1) Minor repair to gelcoat of keel strip at the stern.
2) Fit a foot pump.
3) Replace the deck elastics.
4) Fit elastics to secure water bottles in the cockpit area.
5) Fit a simple deck-mounted towing system.

I'm also planning to make myself a storm cag, since the off-the-shelf ones are too small for me, and either make or purchase a new spraydeck that is the correct size for the ocean cockpit.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Starting to get there....

My newly repaired IceFloe looked very nice sitting on the sand in the sunlight on a recent paddling trip:
(I was still sanding it down at the put-in!)

Friday, 2 November 2007

Sanding and deck lines

I did a bit more sanding this morning, particularly around the front hatch. There's a lot more hard work to be done with sanding paper, rubbing compound, polish, etc. but that can wait - I want to go paddling!

The decklines and backrest are mostly back in place, although I couldn't get some of the elastics back through the RDFs. I had missed a bit of damage to one of the RDFs, so that is now fixed with some orange gelcoat and should be finished off this evening. Thankfully, it's the last RDF that the decklines pass through. There's always a bit of gelcoat left over, so I used it to patch some of the remaining pits in the hull.

I have put airbags back behind the seat, to minimise the cockpit volume until I get a chance to fit the new bulkhead that I have planned. I'm also wondering about a crazy idea to dispense with the new bulkhead and glue a large dry sack into this space instead - if it is fixed to the hull then it would always occupy the space and keep the water out in the case of a capsize.

Some more thinking is needed about deck fittings; I want a deck mounted tow line but also want to have my spare paddle on the back deck. Some experimentation suggests that the cam for the tow line could go behind the hand pump but I need to play around a bit more to determine whether this is easy enough to access in a hurry.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Front hatch rim

I found time to roughly sand down the hull and some bits of the deck where I have patched the gelcoat and get the sharp bits off the knee tube. The ethafoam block footrest was dropped back into position.

Patches to the seam near the stern with some black gelcoat went smoothly. Fixing the front hatch rim in place using some orange gelcoat was more tricky. The main problem was trying to bolt the hatch rim back into place whilst wearing rubber gloves that were sticky with gelcoat. I'm sure that bolting down to wet gelcoat is going to give a pretty good seal though.

I tidied up the deck with some of the orange gelcoat, including the recessed deck fittings (RDFs) that I didn't do yesterday. The holes from the old deck elastics were also filled with this mix of gelcoat; this is purely cosmetic as the holes have already been fixed from the inside of the boat.

Knee tube

I did the final layer on the knee tube this morning. I used 250g of gelcoat with styrene to coat the plastic pipe with woven glass and fix it to the deck. I had a go at using some glass "tissue" to finish off the job but I'm not convinced that this was a good move.

I also put a coat of clear gelcoat over the repair to the front hatch flange, using some of the gelcoat that was left over from doing the knee tube. There was a bit of overlap that had to be trimmed off with a hacksaw and then sanded smooth before I could apply the gelcoat. The screwholes for the rim needed to be redrilled through the new material, which I did with a 4mm bit on my cordless drill.

There will be a fair bit of sanding to do, so I made a start on a few test places. It looks quite good but I'm going to have to do some investigation of rubbing compounds, etc. for finishing off the gelcoat. I have asked Knoydart for some advice.

This evening's tasks will be:
Sand down the hull where I have patched the gelcoat.
Sand down the knee tube.
Replace the ethafoam block footrest.
Patch the seam near the stern with some black gelcoat.
Fix the front hatch rim in place using some orange gelcoat.
Tidy up the deck with some more orange gelcoat, including the recessed deck fittings (RDFs) that I didn't do yesterday.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007


I have applied orange gelcoat to a few places on the hull and also to some of the recessed deck fittings. A piece of plastic pipe is now held in place for a knee tube using a length of glass tape and some clear gelcoat, which also serves for patching over the holes for the deck elastics. The front hatch flange has been fixed using some more short strips of glass tape and the clear gelcoat.

In retrospect, I should have used some clingfilm over the front hatch repair to allow me to press it into place neatly. There are a couple of places where the ends of a strip of tape is not bonded to the boat properly. My feeble excuse is that it's a bit tricky working through the tiny hatch.

Using washing powder to clean the brushes does seem to work.

Keel strip - final layer

Thanks to my mistake last night, the keel strip will now have three layers. I hand to sand down the first attempt at a layer of coloured gelcoat; this was to remove the lumps but also to remove the surface so that the new layer would stick.

I had to re-apply masking tape along the sides of the keel strip and then apply a new batch (100g + 2ml catalyst) of coloured gelcoat. There was a bit left over, so I did a bit of purely cosmetic repair to the black gelcoat along the seams.

I used a brush similar to the one that I had to throw away last night. I'm hopeful that this brush has come clean using washing powder and water.

I let the gelcoat start to set while I washed the brush and had some breakfast. I then removed the masking tape. It looks good and I'm keen to get back to it this evening and check it over properly.

My plan for this evening is to apply a small amount of orange gelcoat to a few places on the hull. If I get time then I may also do the first layer on the knee tube (including patching over the holes for the deck elastics) and the front hatch. I can then do the final layer on the knee tube, either this evening (unlikely) or tomorrow morning. This should be all of the work that needs to be done with the boat upside down, so I should be able to start tidying up the deck with some more orange gelcoat tomorrow evening. I'll probably be putting back the front hatch and re-fitting my decklines on Friday evening as I get ready to go off paddling for the weekend!

The deck elastics will ultimately be fitted using some sort of screw fitting through the deck; I may have to do without for a while until I can find some suitable parts. I've also got to buy a footpump but I'm currently well within my budget, having spent about £80 so far.