Outer Island Project: The Sequel

Page 5

Milestone: Last strip fitted to deck April 30, 2009 

Now that the deck has been fully stripped, we're going to try something a little different on this project. Since we so often hear from aspiring, and even some experienced, boat builders regarding how much they dread sanding, it's time to demonstrate, once and for all, how easy it really is.

This deck will be sanded with emery board fingernail files only, the disposable ones found at any corner drugstore, like these.

Almost halfway already . . .

There, all done. See? Nothing to it.

When sanding is complete, the raw deck is wetted with good old clean, clear water, to dripping sopping wet, to swell staple holes and small gaps closed, and to give a preview of things to come.


It's pure luxury to already have a finished Outer Island to play with while all this is going on; I'm really taking my time on this project, and thoroughly enjoying the process as a totally unrushed pastime. As of May 23, 2009 the hull and deck have been fiberglassed on the outsides, and I now working on the interior surfaces. Raka 3.25-oz satin weave E-glass was used on all exterior surfaces, with doubling layers added to the "football" area of the hull bottom. Sweet Composites provided the 4-oz plain weave S-glass that will be used on all interior surfaces, with doubling layers present in the cockpit area, the aft deck just behind the cockpit, and in the hatch areas. Once again I'm an idiot for venturing it out loud, but I'm shooting for a 34-lb finished boat weight.


Here's what a strip-built sea kayak looks like a little past halfway into the project. Fiberglass has been applied with epoxy to all exterior surfaces . . .


. . . and interior surfaces as yet bare naked, ready to be smoothed, sealed, and fiberglassed also.

Once the 'glass work been completed, the two major components of the project are finally ready for all the little parts that go into a boat like this to begin being made or otherwise obtained, fitted, and installed. Things like bulkheads and hatches fore and aft, which will form the watertight compartments that provide tons of safety flotation to the boat and offer dry storage in the bargain. The cockpit coaming, foot braces, and all deck and cockpit rigging and outfitting will be fitted while access to the deck and hull interiors is wide open.

Then the next major milestone will be "closing the clam", or joining the hull to deck permanently.




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