Arenal Kayaks Boatshop

Boat construction is considered by many to be the ultimate test of carpentry skills. Also a test of patience as many hours of work sometimes spanning years are required to construct a seaworthy craft.

Stripping the hull continues, day 10...

Day 10 finds the intrepid boat builder ever closer to that final hull strip but afternoon distractions have delayed those until tomorrow. That's okay, these last 3 strips are going to be the hardest ones to fit and glue into place.

While milling the last batch of strips I set aside 4 that were only cut with a bead on one side. No cove. These will be the next 2 strips leaving a square edge on both sides for the final strip. I'll have to work up a piece that fits tightly into the remaining space using mostly the block plane to create the shape. Initial measurements are showing that there will be just a 3/4" gap remaining. Might need to rip a strip for that one and not cut a bead or cove.

Getting requests for more photos so instead of selecting a few from the batch here's all of todays pix. And we'll be trying to make daily updates here so keep checking.

What happens when the hull is done? Well, it'll be time to flip it over and start on the deck. Still thinking about the deck design. So far I'm pretty sure I'll use some ron ron, guapinole, or cinicero, as the first 2 or 3 strips. There's a tight curve in the transition from hull to deck on several of the center forms. Thinking I'll cut some 1/2" strips to bring that over which is why it'll take more than 2 strips. Other than that, there are unlimited possibilities for deck stripping and several choices for materials.

I've been liking the way the laurel is working. It bends nice and is holding the shape well. It is also very lightweight even though I've gone with 1/4" thickness. And strong, this could be the best feature of this wood. Even planning to use the lightest weight glass since there is so much strength in the wood.

Also thinking about whether to use a plane to fair the hull. Been working with these very woods on other projects, furniture mostly. What I've found is with the grains running in every direction, planing will always leave gouges. No matter how sharp the blade. These woods just don't like to be planed. Even the hardwoods will check when run through a thickness planer. Some parts of a board will come out like glass while right next to it the grain reverses and has either checked or leaves fur.

The way the locals surface boards is using a right-angle grinder with a sanding disc and 36 grit paper. It works great! But, I'm not going to put a grinder on the kayak. Would take about 2 seconds to grind completely through 1/4" laurel.

I think that maybe my 1/2 sheet oribital, palm sander, and a sanding board will fair the boat nicely. We'll see. Might have to look into buying a random orbital, those work pretty nice. Put some 36 on that and we'll get somewhere. Stay tuned...