Storm LT fra One Ocean Kayaks. The building got initiated winter 2003-2004.
The blueprint has just arrived so it's time to get started with the frame. The strips (red cedar) has been ordered at Andersen and Nielsen, in full length. I do not have the required machinery for the milling, hence I have chosen to buy the strips milled. If there are more boats to come, I will most likely buy the needed machinery.
Plans: 118$, equals...........................755,23 DKK
Steel beam (50x100x4 RHS):.............678,75 DKK
The ends of the beam fitted, and every hole for the stations are threaded.
Blueprint are now glued on 16mm MDF 'like' boards, and cut accordingly.
Glue for templates:.................................150 DKK
Quite some progress since last - actually the hull is all done, glue wise!
Some of the strips are much easier to bend and twist if the ends are split some 30CM length wise. The woodwork is way faster than I had expected.
I often 'tag-weld' the ends with fast epoxy glue (i.e. Araldit), this shortens down the waiting between difficult strips considerably.
Total hours apr......................................50 hours
Red Cedar strips, incl milling...............7500 DKK
4x473ml Titebond ll Premium Wood....350 DKK
Not much comments on the deck, apart from that I split the ends of the first few strips.
As always there is good use for tape, both as replacement for staples, but more important to provide just that extra pressure here and there.
Now the deck is done strip wise. The last few strips were a bit of a drag due they get abnormal acute - in fact the very last ones are fitted in their full length. That imperfect mirror matching is very visible, I chose to make the center of the deck with four strips, this way 1MM imperfection does not show anymore. I have not done any particular decoration, only kept pale strips for the hull (as much as possible), and on the deck I have tried to shift alternately dark and pale strips.
Total hours apr......................................65 hours
Have just planed the outside - the wood really starts to show its true face.
After planing and sanding I removed both shells from the beam - not needed, but I wanted to make sure I could get them off without ruining them.
Total hours apr......................................75 hours
Well, as you might can see, it took much more than a week to get started on this step - would be nice if one didn't have a job to attend...
After a touch of a sander, I could start with the glassing. First I 'painted' the hull with epoxy (West System 105+207), then one layer of glass to cover the whole outside hull. Two more layers were applied, as abrasion. One that covered keel and shoulders, and one that again covered the keel but not that wide this time. This gives three layers of glass in the center section. After this, two more layers of epoxy.
Between every single step I had to wait 3-5 hours, waiting for the epoxy to cure enough that next layer wouldn't dissolve the former layer, but not so long that the added layers wouldn't bond. If one waits too long, sanding will be needed. Therefore this 'step' took more or less 30 hours in row (at 12-15°C)!! I hope first layer hadn't cured too much, before I spread the last one.
Next thing to do was to sand/fair the hull again - I got an all right result, but reckon I'll look for either a belt sander, or a square finish sander, that this sanding was a tedious and timecunsuming task (apr 16h by hand).
The hull is not done yet!! One or two more layers of epoxy and one more sanding, still needs to be done....
Total hours apr....................................110 hours
West System .........................................7600DKK
The hull now got its last layer of epoxy, outside - the final fairing and sanding will be done when the two shells are assembled.
This adds up to 7 layers of epoxy on the hull, three of these includes glass.
The deck is now hardening after glass and epoxy on the outside. I wasn't satisfied after the first fill-layer of epoxy, so I had to fair and sand one layer "too early". I hope it pays off in the long run.
It was difficult to squeegee the concave surfaces of the deck - in fact I wasn't at all satisfied with this part of my work.!! A softer squeegee will be needed for these parts of the deck.
There is a lot of waiting involved during this part of the epoxy work. The pair of trestles I got is occupied from the mold, and whichever part I'm working on, hence I could greatly benefit from one more set of trestles. Each shell must to be on the mold during outside fiberglassing.
While the deck was hardening, I scraped the hull inside - on the lawn.!
On the deck I chose to lay up the glass wet. I cut a piece of cloth to fit the deck, rolled it up from both ends - leaving the cloth on the deck. Then I could easily brush epoxy on the deck, roll the cloth on, let i saturate - and finally squeegee. I did about 30-40cm a time this way. Before each brushing I rolled the cloth some 5cm 'back'.
The deck got a total of 4 layers of epoxy, one includes the cloth.
Total hours apr....................................117 hours
After fixating the shells, I could proceed by glassing the insides. The deck got reinforced by carbonfibre behind the cockpit, and over your knee/feet area. Amazing how stiff an composite construction like this gets!
Cockpit rim and hatch openings are made by a mix of carbon and glass. I'm exited to see if the hatches are watertight - if not, they'll be replaced by Kajaksports.!
I've used more epoxy than expected, but that's coursed by using 190gr/m2 all over, and not as suggested 135gr/m2 on the deck-shell - besides I got one more layer than 'normal' on the keel area.
Total hours apr....................................190 hours
Parts are assembled, first only glued with epoxy on the edges, later with glass in- and out-side. Bulkheads are made from minicel, the seat as well. Bulkheads are sealed and fixed with marine sealant.
I have chosen to connect the two compartments with tubes. This because I have seen people being unable to steer their vessel more than once, due to one flooded compartment. By connecting them one can maintain control of the vessel much longer, though the gear gets wet in both compartments this way. It's like making a "bulkhead" boat into an "integrated cockpit" boat: Integrated cockpit versus bulkheads
Foot braces are Yakima - they are the best, it's as simple as that! I made my own putty, blending scissored carbonfibre into the epoxy, for bonding the new customized nuts/brackets to the gunwale. No need to drill any more holes than necessary!
Total hours apr....................................220 hours
Well - by now the boat has been paddled some 8H/30KM. People call it 'a beauty', guess it can't be all that bad then. ;)
Being without skeg and rudder, I have to be alert at all times, otherwise it will have turned 'somewhere', on the other hand it responds extremely well to any steering compensation - that being tilt, edged/leaned turns, stern/bow rudder, it even responds to a hanging draw! It's rather neutral in the wind, so I might stick to not using a skeg nor rudder.
One thing I would see to gets altered in a possibly next boat, is the cockpit coaming: It has to be more friendly on your back for rolling and such. I.e like Kajaksports where it's angled/smoothened down.
I've done a pair of knee braces, but they are not quite right, has to be moved a bit. As a knee tube ('glove compartment'), I've used 30CM long drainpipe, 10CM of diameter - and a plug, minicel closes the bottom. Both this and the knee braces are glued using minicel with hot melt on both sides. It's as strong as the minicel.
As gasket for the hatches I've experimented some, but finally I found an 8x8MM neoprene gasket at Sindby, which is exactly what the channel is made for - only the future can tell if this is the solution.
Total hours apr.....................................250 hours - basic boat, no knee-braces/-tube, toggles, etc etc
Varnishing is another ballgame.....
A transcript from an expert in varnishing, in Danish
Playing Around in StormLT
Recessed Cockpit Rim
A skeg is underway.
Skeg-work is done and new hatches are underway.