kayak couture part IV - weigh in

Well today we finished all the epoxy work pre final sanding for our frej 90 - (15 feet long and 19 inches wide).....so the hull/deck is seamed, all the bulkheads are in, retractabe skeg all set up, all the glued fittings are done....so the only thing left is finish sanding, varnish, install rigging (seat, backband, deck rigging).

so the weight of what you see here is 23.6 lbs ...about a pound or so over my target for this stage.....but not a bad effort.   probably just short of 25 lbs when all the rest gets added.

for mark, buiding a Mystery....if you want light weight,...its definitely acheviable.     project will now take a bit of rest for the winter...and then in spring we will finish sand and varnish and rig.....


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RE: kayak couture part IV - weigh in

What a gorgeous kayak! At what point did you put on the stripe? Was that done on bare wood, after the epoxy...?

RE: kayak couture part IV - weigh in

thanks Rob S for the kind words and the question.

the 'stripe'   happens before the glassing. 

the boat is stripped up pretty random tones of western red cedar with just one strip (the sheer strip) plus the bow and stern done with hand-selected as white as possible white cedar (see the picture below)

frej - pre-stain

the white cedar is then carefully masked off with blue tape....

frej stain blue tape to mask white cedarand stain is carefully applied.   

before the blue tape comes off a quick roll of epoxy is put down over the stain to lock the stain in position...and then the tape gets pulled off...and any imperfections are cleaned up....then the hull is glassed.

the most challenging piece is staining...and just not having too wet a stain rag or else the stain bleeds where you dont want it.....but a couple practice peices and its easy to get the hang of it.


RE: kayak couture part IV - weigh in

Nice work Howard.  It looks great and you will be a full 10# lighter than the Frej I built for my wife.  The Mystery is underway, shooting for under 40# fully rigged.  The footbrace and rudder will add a fair amount of weight.  I am still not certain what glass I will use.  Thinking of 3.7 oz S-glass on the inside and 2-3 oz E glass on the outside.  I still have a while before I have to order.  

Regarding the stain, I recently watched Nick Schade's video series on his Bootlegger build.  His technique for masking is the opposit of yours.  He masks the boat then coats the stripe with a thin layer of epoxy.  Then removes that tape and masks the stripe.  Then applies stain to hull.  I may try that.

Please tell me how you did the external stems and what wood you used.  I am thinking of using them for the first time.  Thanks.


RE: kayak couture part IV - weigh in

Hi Mark,

on the staining technique, follow Nick's avice.  i left out the initial step (masking off the red cedar and coating the white cedar with epoxy)  but this is, in fact, what i did.  this minimizes the liklihood of getting stain on the white cedar that cannot be easily removed with a swipe or two of sandpaper.

external stems are white cedar.   now this is a light build....and i would typically use a hardwood....but white cedar is just fine as long as your not into running it into things.

i would also note that my internal stems are also cedar...again, makes it very light compared to a hardwood..

on the technique for building the external stems, pretty much right out of the book.  i cut a bunch of 1/8 in thick white cedar strips and bent them around the stem and stern which were shaved back to accept the external stems.  it was all done with wood glue.  once that was in place, i just faired it in to what you see.    i will attach a picture later in the day of in-progress approach.


RE: kayak couture part IV - weigh in

As always, thanks for the answers Howard!.  I should have been more specific on the outer stem question but you gave me what I was looking for.  I think that I will also use 1/8" Alaskan White Cedar strips laminated together for the outer stem instead of a solid piece of hardwood.  My concern is less about weight and more about making the bow as pointy as I can and still get glass to wrap around it.  The bow on my Wahoo is a bit big and at race speeds it generates much more wake than the very fine bows of my two Stellars.

Remind me again what glass layup you used and where you bought it?  I am leaning towards 4oz S glass on the inside and 3 oz E glass outside.  Thanks    

RE: kayak couture part IV - weigh in

Hi Mark, 

on the bow and sterns of my boats, i shape them very fine....way finer than any traditional factory build.  so i would describe the edge as ~ 1/2 cm rounded...or slightly less than 1/4 inch rounded (see picture)

i have not had any particular trouble glassing around this....but it is approaching the edge of where you may need a bit of tape to hold the cloth in place or attention paid as the epoxy hardens to ensure that the glass stayed down

in use i have never had any problem with these fine ends except when you bang it into something.   which for me has never really been a problem....but for my 'guest boat' i am a little more sensitive to try to understand the skills of my guest and take precautions as appropriate.

bow edge  with respect to my supplier of S glass...i use sweet composites...like i mentioned, the owner is an ex olympic class whitewater kayaker....very nice.  their web address is https://sweetcomposites.com/

on my layup i ended up doing 4 oz s inside and out over 3/16 strips.  if i was trying to get a bit more agressive on saving weight....i may have done some lighter e-glass on the end sections (say three feet in from the stem/stern).   there is already plenty of curvature to the structure in these areas which creates very stiff/strong sections without the glass really coming into play (compared to the center sections where you have flattish sections). 

fwiw...on your wahoo....its pretty easy to redo with external fine stems if you like the result/apporach with the Mystery.   would probably only take four days of work to have the whole thing ready and back in the water. (first hand experience from a mishap with the 'guest boat').


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