Mill Creek 16.5
Things I have learned:
The hardest part is deciding “I can do this” and forking over the credit card number.
Sand the deck prior to adding combings, hatch rims, or other ornamentation. It is much easier to sand a wide open area than to sand around things.
Wood is a hugely forgiving material and epoxy is utterly amazing. Together, I am certain you could build almost anything.
I both love and hate epoxy. Expensive, sticks to almost anything, you use too much of it but there is never enough of it.
Better is the enemy of good.
Good lighting is under valued.
When you really need help or have questions – you know, after 5pm or on weekends, when you’re not at your “real job” and you’re boat building – CLC’s help desk is closed. That’s why there is a builders’ forum.
While all of the information on the forum is beneficial, inspiring, and educational, 80% of the useful information seems to come from a handful of dedicated craftsmen. Of this, we should be thankful. For while there may be 100 ways to skin a cat, all but 2 should ever be witnessed, or spoken of.
With a bright finish, I am able to show my mistakes. Battle scars – proud of them - won’t be there on the next build.
So, in spite of working in a less than ideal work space (dust, insects, temperature and humidity variations), with children, a wife, and 4 dogs who are certain that I am neglecting them whenever I “disappear” into the basement, 81 individual pieces of wood, 2.25 gallons of epoxy resin and hardener, 18 yards of fiberglass cloth, 2 quarts of varnish, and too much time have resulted in one hell of a nice kayak that I am proud of – as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.
The learning curve is steep - have learned an awful lot. I can’t wait to build my next boat. The list looks like a NetFlix queue. Need a bigger basement and a kayak trailer.