Today I left work with a list of things to do on my kayak scratched out on the back of next month's call schedule and methodically worked my way through them. Things always take longer than I expect. First thing I did was take the kayak out of the shop and set her down on drop cloths and a long Thermarest pad for a test fit. I dropped the foam seat in and squeezed myself in. Ah, nice fit! No need for any extra foam here: the deck is right up against my thighs. The cockpit opening is the same size as on my skin-on-frame but since it's nearly horizontal it's more difficult to get in. I've been in some Greenland replica boats where I had to take my booties off in order to enter. When you have to do that you know you have a good fit!
Using a Sharpie taped to the end of a long stick I marked on the hull where the footbrace should be. For simplicity, I'll use the forward bulkhead padded with foam as the footbrace. That will also maximize the forward compartment space.
I worked on the "hatch lips" that I glassed onto the deck last night. I cut out the holes in the middle, sanded them down and applied an epoxy seal coat. I sanded the coaming again and attached it to the deck with a layer of thickened epoxy. I'm going through a lot of blue tape.
I made templates for the bulkheads and cut them to fit.The rear bulkhead has the moon face design and a little note under the glass that says that Rob Macks of Laughing Loon Kayaks is the designer and I'm the builder. Hmmm, maybe I'll put that moon face on a mug and put it in my Cafe Press store. The note was made by running tissue paper (left over wrapping material, smoothed out with a hot iron) through an ink jet printer. The tissue paper wets out with epoxy and is completely transparent. I should have put the Hull Identification Number there too but I forgot. My arms are starting to itch and I suspect that I'm either developing the dreaded hypersensitivity to epoxy (which I've taken just about every possible measure I could to avoid) or it's the fiberglass.
I just read on the Kayak Forum that Pete Roszyk drowned on Easter while swimming in Panama. Interesting that I was just thinking of him last night when I posted that picture of Dick Mahler's three-part Pygmy Arctic Tern 14, which Pete built. I met Pete only once during a Sound Area Wooden Kayakers trip down Hammersley inlet. I recognized him from his strip-built pickup truck canopy (really!) and his Pygmy Coho that shared the same features and excellent craftmanship of Dick Mahler's Tern. It's very sad news.