I have to change my standards when I look at a skinboat. Coated nylon can't compare to a perfectly smooth shiny varnished wood surface, especally when it's held together with a Frankenstein's Monster sewing job. I'm telling myself to just embrace the ugliness. (Sorry, no "full body" kayak pictures from now on until it's done.)
I've been working hard on "Chapelle 208" but haven't posted in a while because of my frustration trying to get the color and the waterproofing right. The guy at Spirit Line told me that the dye would darken after it was coated with the urethane, but I didn't expect it to turn from a yellow ochre to a chocolate brown! The first lesson is that unless you try it on a test strip you can't tell what color it will be when you are done. Plus every day it seems to change slightly, or maybe I'm just getting used to it. The second lesson is that two-part urethane is awful stuff. I will never use it again. It sags and drips, even several hours after you think it has cured. It's difficult to sand smooth. One putative advantage is that is goes on quickly so you can waterproof a boat in two days. However, it stays tacky for several days afterwards. This is my third time using it so I can't blame it on not having enough experience with it. I think the trick is to work the surface smooth continously with a spreader for a couple hours until the urethane has cured enough that it won't move anymore. I'm planning to apply a coat or two of a matte finish oil based polyurethane to smooth out the surface and get rid of the glossy sheen.