Deck covering

Until just yesterday, I was calling the part of the boat we are making "the curved top part". Thankfully, Rick told me that it's call a "deck".

Here is a web page with a list of boat parts:

That goes a long way in demonstrating just how 'out of my element' I am with this trans Atlantic human powered crossing. Calgary isn't exactly the boat capital of Canada and I don't exactly stem from a long family history of maritime explorers. In fact, I know one guy who owns a boat and it's my brother in law Pat Lor - a ski boat that he keeps at our cabin in Whitefish, MT. We are welcome to use it whenever we like, but I'm always hesitant because I'm not a big fan of loud gas guzzling motors, and backing the beast and it's trailer down our steeply sloped driveway.

I do own two smaller boats, a pedal flippers powered Mirage Adventure and a pedal prop powered Shuttlebike which I converted to a human powered recumbent boat. My experience with these small boats, however, is limited to nice, sunny, warm days on an idyllic lake in Montana - not the open ocean.

Todays progress:

My official expedition training buddy Greg Bradley (right) came over today and lent a hand gluing down pink foam strips to the deck frame. Also in attendance was my other Ironman friend and expedition official video man Matt Hoffman (left).

Ben invented a pretty nifty tool to cut the foam strips with a 90 degree angle on one side, and a 15 degree angle on the other. We place the strips so that a 90 degree matches up to a 15 degree which allows a slight curve and it seems to work pretty well in almost every area of the mold.

Once the strip has been hot glued to the form, I hold them down with small concrete nails until the hot glue dries. This seems to work OK. I'll have a thousand little holes to fill with an epoxy/micro slurry before we glass it, but it should be smooth enough.

The tight curved areas of the nose and tail are way too small to bend the foam strips around so I think I will just fill them up with expanding foam and carve/sand the shape smooth. This will be far easier and more accurate than trying to mess around with these pink strips. Also, we plan on filling the bow and stern tips with expanding foam for buoyancy anyhow.

The foam strips are fitting together fairly smoothly. I sanding down an area to see how smooth we could get it after sanding, and it was OK - you can still see the joins, but they are difficult to feel with your finger tips. I would hope that the fiberglass fabric would 'drape' over these seems and smoothen them over. If not, we'll have to slather a layer of epoxy/micro over the whole deck after the fiberglass dries, then sand it smooth before paint. But, this isn't a streamliner, and it probably does not have to be perfectly smooth, so perhaps just leaving small imperfections in the surface will be OK. Maybe paint and primer will fill them in.

Here is the plan:

1. Finish gluing down the pink strips

2. Fill in the nose and tail areas with expanding foam

3. Carve and sand down the expanding foam

4. Sand down the entire surface of the mold to as smooth as possible

5. Fill in the holes with epoxy/micro (smoothen when wet - do NOT sand)

6. Cover deck with 3 (how many??) layers of fiberglass fabric and 1 layer of Kevlar (any advice on how many layers to do??) and wet out with epoxy resin.

7. After the Epoxy cures, sand down the sacrificial finish layer using more epoxy/micro to fill in any holes, divots or visible seems.

8. Pull the deck off the kayak hull and carve out the 1.5" thick Styrofoam sections

9. Rough sand down the inside foam

10. Lay down (how many layers?) of fiberglass on the inside (any Kevlar required here??) and wet out with epoxy resin.

11. Build the bulk heads and drive leg well and glass into the hull.

12. Build the seat and rails and glass down to the hull

13. Glass/bond the deck onto the kayak hull.

14. Cut the canopy top off

15. Glass in the top part of the bulk heads. I'm not sure how to get into the bow and stern compartments to glass in the other side of the tops of each bulk head wall? Perhaps I wait until we add hatches, then crawl into each space for some extreme fiberglassing.

16. Heat form the Lexan canopy window.

17. Capsize and stability testing

18. Prime, sand and paint

Matt (left) and Greg B (right)


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