A big hole in the hull

Ben shot this picture of me and Within and automatically tiled it using this slick software utility called ArcSoft Panorama maker

The first step in getting the drive leg bay frame secured to the kayak floor, was to prepare the floor. Since it isn't completely level, I had to build up one side to meet the drive leg frame such that the drive leg is level and straight. I built up the left hand side with many layers of fiberglass, then smeared epoxy/micro all over the floor and pressed the drive leg bay frame into it. Then I worked the micro into the corners and smoothed a nice radius around the frame.

After the epoxy/micro hardened, I flipped the kayak around and cut out the hole. that was NOT easy to cut!! It's pretty thick down there and I burned out my SECOND dremel!

I made a flange for the drive leg bay with 1/16" stainless plate strips that were welded together. This flange is supposed to fit on the bottom of the kayak and screwed into the drive leg bay frame sandwiching the kayak hull between the bay frame and the steel flange.

The flange was a real pain to make - I had to weld a bunch of 1" strips of steel together, grind it smooth, then drill and countersink all the screw holes.

After I started to screw the flange onto the hull bottom, I didn't like what I was seeing. Rick Willoughby says that in water, drag is about 800% greater than in air. So - imagine a 1/8" screw bump magnified to a full inch! The flange wasn't sitting flat enough, and I was having problems with some of the screws stripping, etc. I didn't like what was happening, so I removed the flange.

After thinking about it, I don't see why I couldn't make this strong enough wrapping fiberglass around the hull bottom and up the inside of the bay wall, and a couple of bulkheads connected to the drive leg frame in both the front and rear. We'll see what Rick thinks about that.

I also mounted the rudder shell tube - the rudder steer tube slides into this. I welded a flange onto the bottom of the shell, drilled a small hole in the floor, and micro'ed the flange down to the floor. I also welded a tab about 8" above the bottom of the tube, and screwed it onto a plywood bulkhead. Then I micro'ed the bulkhead into the hull. Then, I wrapped the whole assembly with my thick fiberglass roving. I still need to screw the flange to the hull bottom.

Another training ride - only 3 weeks to go!


1 Responses to “A big hole in the hull”

  1. # Blogger JW

    Go Greg, go!  

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