Belt and Suspenders
May 21, 2007
The weather was nasty so I spent the day installing rub rails on my Pooduck Skiff. Sounds easy enough, but it took a few steps to get to the point where I was actually ready to screw them on, including ripping the mahogany stock to size, scarfing the pieces together to get the rail long enough (about 14 ft), and planing the rough edges smooth. I clamped the rails in place, drilled pilot holes for countersuck screws from the inside every 5 inches, and holes for counterbored screws on the outside at the breasthook and quarterknees. After screwing everything together, I removed the clamps, unscrewed everything, brushed thickened epoxy on the mating surface of the rail, clamped it back on, then screwed it together again, and removed the clamps. That 64 screws total for both sides -- quite a bit of screwing! Lastly I bunged the holes with mahogany pegs after squirting a little bit of epoxy into them.
Anyone with experience building wooden kayaks might think that the "belts and suspenders" approach using silicon bronze screws plus epoxy is overkill. Why not just put some epoxy on, clamp it together and call it good? I don't know myself -- I'm just following the plans. I bet it's because when you put a sail up these boats undergo all kinds of severe twisting stresses that kayaks do not experience.