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.

Deck strips

Deck stripping has proceeded quite slow up to this point. Needed a design plan and strips cut but now I'm finally laying some strips. Initially planned to use the guapinole as the starter strips along the sheer line. Even cut some that were 1/2" wide to be more flexible since there's a curve from the sheer to the top of the deck. Then I decided that I wanted the center strips on first. The center was also going to be 2 strips of the guapinole but then I decided to put a narrow strip if the ispevel between them.

This effort required 2 days. One day for the front section and the other to do the back. There's going to be a cockpit in the center so this didn't need to be continuous. And it turned out to be as hard as I expected to get the strips to fit into the very ends. Not only that, but this guapinole is very stiff and doesn't cooperate very well. Note the amount of clamping and taping that was necessary to keep the pieces tight while the glue dries.

With the center strips done, the next strip is along the sheer. As I said, the plan was to start with a couple of narrow guapinole strips. Well that proved to be just too difficult. The wood is so hard and inflexible that it wasn't looking like that plan was going to work. So I switched over to ispevel. I even went ahead and used a full width strip to see how that went. Didn't do bad at all. The ispevel is quite bendable so wasn't too hard to make the transition from almost vertical at the center of the boat to nearly horizontal at the bow. Hardest part was planing the edge to mate with the sheer. Got it pretty good but I expect there will be some fine tuning of this joint after the fiberglas has been applied.

Up to today's photos, there is one strip of ispevel on the sheer from the bow to just past the cockpit area and yet another strip added to the center. At this point I'm putting coves on the exposed edge. Should make filling between the center and sheer go a little better. The other deck strips that have been applied started with square edges so they could be planed to fit. And I'm using the alternating strip technique that I used on the hull so far. Pattern changes could influence how far that goes.