I'll soon start my build of a Shearwater 17, and I'd like some feedback on a handful of questions from those who have gone before. Thanks for you help!
(1) I want to glass the entire interior of the hull, rather than just taping the ends. If I put 4 oz cloth in the ends, should I also tape the inside seams under the glass cloth for reinforcement?
(2) I'll be installing a day hatch and a related third bulkhead in the rear. Do you know whether the kit has ply scraps that can be used to fabricate the bulkead, or should I shop for a bit of Okume or Luan? I have my kit, but I can't open it up yet due to an impending move.
(3) If I glass the entire interior and the bulkheads (I need to glass at least the front bulkhead to accomodate a foot bilge pump), do you think the kit contains enough glass, or should I order a few extra yards? Same question regarding the amount of epoxy in the kit.
(4) I know this has been discussed before, but what is the current feeling regarding whether this boat benefits substantially from a skeg - particularly in significant following quartering seas? I'd prefer not to loose the cargo capacity and to avoid the complexity, but I'd add the skeg if it really improves handling in these conditions.
I really appreciate all the advice people have posted in the past. It's given me a good idea of what I should look out for during the build. You might ask why I'm bothering with the additional reinforcement and related weight gain, but this kayak will see a lot of hard use in challenging conditions including surf and trips a long way from support so I need to be very comfortable that nothing is likely to break. For me, weight is less of an issue.