John's Night Heron

Page 3: Cockpit and Hatches

Click any photo to view a larger image.  

Composite_coaming_rim2.jpg (188243 bytes)

This coaming is made from layers of fiberglass and carbon cloth.  It was built pretty much from directions in the One Ocean Kayaks building manual.  

coaming sanded.JPG (589872 bytes)

The rim has been sanded, the underside deck fiberglass has been attached to the coaming, and carbon is being added to the thigh braces.  Later, more skim coats of epoxy to fair the whole thing. 
Doing this again, I would make the thigh braces from composite layers instead of wood, and attach them after the coaming is done. 

Cutting a hatch.jpg (212418 bytes)

Cutting holes in a perfectly good deck can be a little scary.  I'm using a little handsaw because it has a relatively thin kerf.  To get a fair curve, I keep the saw at a low angle (not vertical).


Reattaching the hatch.JPG (430309 bytes)

To build a composite rim to hold the hatch, the hatch is temporarily reattached to the deck.  Hot melt glue, sticks and tape work together well to hold the hatch in exactly the right position.  Hot melt glue worked really well for me to secure the exact placement.

Hatch rim layup.JPG (100879 bytes)

Four layers of fiberglass and two layers of carbon were laid over temporary weather stripping (3/8" wide and 3/16" thick) that had been filleted with silica-thickened epoxy. 

Hatch stiffener1.JPG (95681 bytes)

A hatch stiffener was added to each hatch cover to prevent the hatches from warping.

Rim trimmed.JPG (224592 bytes)

The hatch rim has been trimmed.  It has about 1.5" lip onto the deck.  The visible part of the hatch rim has 1/4" of hard surface around the inside edge to keep the hatch flush, then the 3/8" weatherstrip groove, then 1/8" hard surface so the foam is not in the crack between the deck and hatch cover.  

This takes a lot of clamps, and return visits to wipe up the thickened epoxy that oozes out.

Hip plate glued.JPG (561759 bytes)

Hip Plates
The hip plates have carbon on the visible side for consistency with the coaming.  Taping the hip plates to a temporary cardboard rectangle made it easy to position them squarely until the epoxy cured. 

Hip plate support.JPG (153853 bytes)

Side supports for the hip plates add strength and also provide a place to run a cable lock through to secure the boat.

Taping the seam.JPG (533315 bytes)

Taping the deck and hull together on the inside is a messy job, but it begins to really look like a kayak now.   

Internal seam taped.JPG (405865 bytes)

It's a good thing not many people poke their heads into the hatches to see how neat the inside is.   I bought some 3" fiberglass tape for the internal seam, but it wouldn't lay flat and wet-out clear, so I switched to 3" wide strips of bias-cut cloth.

external seam taped.JPG (167822 bytes)
The outside seam is masked off and then trimmed with a knife, so it's a lot neater. 
Bug_cl.jpg (185855 bytes)
What is it that attracts bugs to epoxy?  Even in November!
Joined1.JPG (85674 bytes)
It's looking more like a kayak now!
Joined2.JPG (99660 bytes)

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Created December 12, 2003