John's Cedar Kayak

Page Five: Stripping the Deck, Part 2

(Click photos for a larger image)

Recessed Cockpit
Ready for a recessed cockpit.The hole is 36" long.
The plans for this boat include a recessed cockpit.  A recessed cockpit lowers the combing height an inch or two, so a paddle can be held lower, and it is easier to lean back for rolls.  It also results in snug knee braces.

Building the recessed cockpit requires a cockpit hole larger than the combing to be cut into the deck, the the resulting hole is then stripped across at a lower level.  The cockpit hole is then cut to actual size. Stern view of the cockpit cutout

Psychologically, it's a little hard to cut a hole in a perfectly good deck, but I measured twice and was careful.

It turns out that the darkest "cedar" board that I bought is probably really redwood.  This board has a very "acid" smell when cut, compared to the sweet smell cedar.Taped until the glue dries.  I'm using that wood for the recessed cockpit area.  

I ordered fiberglass and epoxy this past week from Noah's Marine.  They had good prices on the both epoxy and glass.  

MAS was the epoxy brand I used on my earlier kayak project.  The low viscosity gives any easy wet-out of glass, and independent testing shows that it performs well.  I'm using the slow hardener, which has a long pot life, but it also will take a long time to cure in cold weather.
rear redrood stripping

putty color test, before epoxy. Putty Testing
I've started some more color testing putty.  The putty I'm using is water based, and I'm coloring it with acrylic artist's colors.  
(Posting-building comment:  This putty was a waste of time:  I found the best color matching to be by jamming a sliver of wood into a crack, or on top of a low spot, to produce a better filler.)  


The next steps are to finish stripping the recessed cockpit and cut the cockpit hole,  and then planing and sanding to prepare the boat for fiberglass.

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Created December 8, 2002