FINISHED: 237.5 Hours and $757.50, but wait … there is so much more.

Was it an eon ago when snow covered the ground? On this 82 degree day it is a strain to recall the frozen fingers that pushed another board through a makeshift outdoor mill. How many times did this shop’s tent decide to talk a walk across the back yard when the wind howled? Well, now the long days of summer are coasting down. July was a beater, but the daylight has been shortening for over a month now. It is now August, the dog days are here, if only for a short spell. Without a name, the dear kayak is complete, tested, and proven. She is worthy of name. Maybe it is superstition, perhaps some respect needed to pay a craft that has delivered so much joy. It began with that first saw cut and now complete, she offers many a paddle and no doubt many water travelled adventures.

I confess my kayak experiences have been limited to just a few craft, all mine, but this boat excels beyond any of the others. So, it took 237.5 hours and $757.50 in cost. You could add 5-10% in either direction for the time spent, but fastidious records were kept by spreadsheet and tasks noted. This is generally contrary to my nature, except I wanted to know. Cost includes  plans ($95). All of this is clinical and perhaps too obsessive. Neither does the boat or process justice. Would I do it again? Oh, yeah. I’m hooked … and it started as a wee babe. What is it? As Louis Armstrong said, “Man, if you gotta ask, you’ll never know”. The ripples, the waves, the wind have always enchanted me. Add to that the satisfaction of going forth in a vessel I built by hand, no kit, just some plans, boards, glue and glass. Can I call it sublime? (I may need to look that up, but seems apropos. Got to use those words sometime).

There are a few details left to catch up on. I’ve not much more to add there. However, I can’t leave a hole in the process, but I didn’t want post without the true splash. Here ya’ go:

Seized paddle keepers. Deleted the stem toggles as a result.

Glued strips for hip braces.

Starboard hip brace. Slot for back brace webbing.

Brace epoxied and held in place by weight.

Strapped kayak to 2x and leveled.

SS footmans loops. West marine $6 each. eBay 10 for $10.

Back brace webbed to hip brace. I ‘ll add foam to hip later.

Decided against carbon or glass loops. Was ready to paddle.
Loop added to shaped cedar block for back brace aft. Note breathing hole in bulkhead.

Bearers made for 2 kayaks. Heavy webbing is clothed in flat PVC hose.

Missing wheel cover. 1 kayak loaded.

U bolts w/ plastic hose to protect rails.

And here are the true maiden voyage photos. I took a paddle across Knotts Island Bay. You could likely walk across in all honestly, but that would be a different adventure. Boat tracks wonderfully, has good reserve buoyancy, and save for some minor seat adjustments, the 2.5 hr cruise was fantastic. What a reward after the build. Such a perfect day with such a lovely boat. I’m guessing on the cruising speed, but I think 3.5 – 4 kts can be readily maintained. Winds were at 5 kts, humidity was low, and sky was only clouded enough for majesty.

early morning guest
long view
shore edge

ready to ride

1/2 way across Knotts Island Bay
grasses mid bay

waited. looked both ways.

duck blind

blind eye view
Pearl’s

local yacht club

nice collection of buildings I thought.

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