It's been difficult bringing Moonlight Dancer back into the shop for repairs and modifications. Not only do I have to admit that I made some mistakes, but I'm losing a lot of quality paddling time working in the garage. So I don't like to post about it. But now that I'll be ready to paddle her again to the Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival I'll describe how I ripped out the leaky soft padeyes and installed some flush deck fittings. The Dremel was indispensable for this project. It just melts away wood/fiberglass/epoxy and was perfect for cutting the 1/8 brass rod.
The steps are:
Mark out the deck fittings on a mahogany board.
Build a jig for the router. Test it and rebuild it again if necessary. Repeat until you get it right.
Rout out the recesses on the deck fittings.
Cut out the deck fittings and sand smooth.
Install the brass rods in the deck fittings.
Seal the deck fittings with epoxy.
Mark out the holes for the deck fittings on the deck.
Drill big holes in the deck (yikes!) and file the edges smooth.
Dry fit the deck fittings.
Apply a bead of epoxy thickened with wood flour on the fittings and install with the kayak upside down.
Now I have the whole kayak sanded down and revarnished. I also attempted to get rid of a number of scratches on the hull where the weave of the glass shows by sanding down to the glass and applying another coat of epoxy. I won't bother again --it doesn't work! I figured out that when the glass is stressed like that the only way to get rid of the scratch is to sand away the glass entirely. Then you are left with a deep gouge and a weak spot. Revarnishing actually makes a big difference cosmetically, but will not eliminate the scratch. I've decided that as long as scratches are below the waterline I will not attempt to get rid of them. Hmmm, maybe on my next kayak I'll paint graphite powder/epoxy below the waterline.