Standard Fiberglass Lay-Up Not Up to Flooded Timber Hunting

This is my second season duck hunting with a Wood Duck Double I built from a kit. In the late season, I hunt a flooded timber area on a river and there are many deadfalls and beaver dams to cross while paddling as well as a number of portages where we drag our boats.  It takes two hours to get to the furthest spot we hunt.  We had a drought this summer and the water is a lot lower this season.  That's made it even more challenging.  

I'm not a very patient person and occasionally I'll try to paddle over a deadfall.  I cracked the hull on a scouting trip early in the season when I got hung up on a knot.  The crack was about 18" long behind my seat on the starboard side.  I repaired it with 4" fiberglass tape.  The repair held and I continued using the boat.  I made a particularly poor choice paddling over a deadfall on Saturday and cracked the hull even worse on the port side.  This crack is 3' long and came close to going all the way through.  (My electic bilge pump system would have gotten a workout in that scenario!)

I beefed up the entire inside of the floor with a couple extra layers of 4-ounce fiberglass cloth leftover from previous builds.  While sanding the floor, I noticed another crack on the outside edge of the first repair.  As soon as the season ends, I'll add a layer of 6-ounce cloth to the outer hull.  I'm hoping this will prevent any more damage to the hull.

Lessons learned =

1.  Beef up the floor and hull during the initial build if you're likely to mercilessly abuse your kayak.  

2.  Don't try to blast over deadfalls with a wood kayak.

3.  I probably should buy a plastic or aluminum boat for the flooded timber area, but the Wood Duck Double is a pick-up truck of a kayak and works great out there!





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RE: Standard Fiberglass Lay-Up Not Up to Flooded Timber Hunting

I feel your pain.  The Kaholos are even more lightly built, I think.  Which is good until your wife lets it drift in the tidal current up on a barely submerged log w/ a nice knobbly knot on it.  A slight shift of weight as it rode up and she cracked through the bottom of the board.  Fortunately it was close to the takeout because it was taking on water pretty quickly.  Some sanding and patching and an extra bit of cloth later, it's just fine.  Just not quite as smooth and sleek on the bottom if you look there, but then, that's a view only fish and crabs should get!   It does mean that if I were doing it again, I think I'd glass the inside and outside.  Yes, some extra weight, but we aren't racing.

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