Re: Arctic Hawk Complete!

Posted by Sean K. on Oct 4, 2006

Thanks for all of the kind words everyone. Now that I can sit back and look at her from a distance I'm extremely happy with the finished product. Of course, sometimes during the build it's easy to obsess over that small ding or ripple in a fillet...that you seem to look directly at any time you are in the room.

Trust me, I'm dying to get out on the water but it may not be until early next week due to other obligations.

Now for a bit of my commentary as a first time builder. I figured after all I have learned from this forum it's the least I could do for a future builder.

1. The manual - Absolutely outstanding!! My wife is building a Chesapeake LT16 and the difference in the manuals is amazing. The LT 16 manual has all of the essential info, but it's all of the little techniques and extra preparation steps from Mark Rodgers that leave you with a more refined product. Just be sure to read each step in the manual and look at the's easy to get a little lazy at about page 300 or so when you're in the garage at 11pm and the clock is ticking on the bag of epoxy in your hand ;-) Also be very careful if you choose to skip ahead to maximize epoxy usage or perform parallel tasks. Many of the steps build on eachother (and not necessarily in the same chapter).

2. Ease of build - I can honestly say that the build is fundamentally no harder than my wife's LT16. There are just many more steps until you have something that resembles a boat.

3. Working with the 2oz glass - maybe this isn't the norm, but I found that properly wetting out the 2oz glass was a little tricky when it was applied in multiple layers (in front of and behind the cockpit). I ended up with tiny micro-bubbles between the layered glass. They are incredibly small, and can only be directly seen from a foot or so away. However, in the proper lighting you can clearly spot the sheet of glass (slight change in tint of finish) from 15 feet away. Not a huge issue, but if you are shooting for that coffee table finish it may make a difference.

Finishing - For me this was the most difficult part of the build. I got a hang of the varnish application by the second coat, and fortunately the dust wasn't too bad in the paint [laundry] room. For those of you that sand a bit too much like I do, stick with 400 or even 600 grit between coats. Also, following up on the final coat with 400, 600, 800, 1000, polish, and wax made a huge difference. It knocked all of the dust bunnies off the final coat, and gave it a nice satin finish.

The Brightsides paint put up quite a fight though. There was nothing wrong with the paint, just my application. After doing extensive searches here after my third coat I found the two tips that would have saved me: use a round-edge roller, and use Penetrol to thin the paint. I ended up with slight orange peel over most of the hull, but it's only noticeable from 4 feet or so. By the third coat I had enough of the painting, and just concluded getting it done to go out and get some battle scars was more important.

Thanks again to everyone that contributes to the posts here. Between this forum and I've learned volumes of information and developed a hunger to build the next one. For now I'm thinking of an ultra low-volume SOF rolling machine.

In Response to: Re: Arctic Hawk Complete! by Sherry on Oct 4, 2006