Finishing up the Kayaks (and just in time, too)
August 5/6, 2016

When last we left the kayaks, they were structurally completed, but not all the way coated with urethane spar varnish. It was time to finish the job.

The bad news is I forgot my camera this week, and it wasn't until Saturday morning I remembered I had a cell phone with a camera. Friday was just slathering on varnish and cleaning the Boathouse anyhow.

First picture of the morning. What a beautiful sight.

I needed to install stanchions on the last kayak - these help bear the hatch rim bear the weight of a person climbing in and out. I couldn't figure out how to install these before the skin was attached and shrunk, so I had to install them after the fact. A little more difficult, but not that bad. A curved needle helps.

There we go - all nice and sturdy.

I was also putting the finishing touches on the cardboard boats. Rather than using duct tape (which I find expensive and not all that great) I use paper Drywall Tape and contact cement. Is it better? I don't know, but I'd rather do this than support the big duct tape conglomerates.

Visitors! Chris was taking his sons Graham (white shirt) and Reed (gray) and nephew, Brock (black,) into Toledo for lunch at the Twisted Snout (formerly Pig Feathers) with a brief detour along the docks. They were mightily impressed with the Boathouse.

Boats all done up. The cardboard boats will be painted in the coming week - simple latex house paint does the job of water proofing them nicely (well, making them more water resistant, anyhow.)

One last step to perform: I am going to use one of the kayaks to paddle the length of the Willamette River Aug 12-18, 2016, so I need to be able to carry it on my car. I learned a long time ago that car-topping requires 3-point tiedown - straps across the body and tying down the nose. I needed a way to secure the nose.

Had I planned ahead, I probably could have designed a tiedown into the bow, but that bird has flown. This is the only metal on the boat.

I got a pair of foam blocks to support the bottom of the kayak during transport. This ended up working quite nicely.

I took the kayak to a pond in Salem and tested it. It is a bit tippier than a prediction kayak (the bottom is fairly round, after all) but she paddled beautifully. I was worried that sitting flat would be uncomfortable after a while, but it was really nice. The kayak is easy to get in and out of and is very, very nice.