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Duct Tape Kayak – Build Day 4

Posted by on July 18, 2012

The 90+ degree heat and high humidity made for a late start to our most recent build session. Alex, Brett and I met at the barn at 7:00 as the heat began to fade. Our mission: to break out the PVC glue and take the flex out of our floppy frame! As you can imagine, we ran into a few “sticky” situations…

The fun started right off of the bat with the seemingly simple task of opening the containers of primer and solvent. One would think that a mere twist should to the trick but that was not the case. Even “Muscles” Alex and “Strong Man” Brett couldn’t wrestle these cans open with their bare hands.  That’s when I had the “duct tape fixes everything” epiphany and added a few strips to the caps to increase our grip. We succeeded in opening the primer but the solvent still wouldn’t budge. Our inner caveman instincts took over and we solved the situation with a GIANT wench! Finally, we were ready to glue.

Our strategy was to focus our work on the middle section and operate as an assembly line. I cleaned the parts, Alex applied the primer, and Brett applied the solvent. Then Alex and Brett hustled to get the parts together and adjusted before the glue set. The cans warned us that we’d have only 30 seconds to make adjustments but the heat and humidity made this more like 10 seconds!

Everything was going smoothly…too smoothly. All of the parts were fitting together very nicely and we were somehow able to keep our mess to a minimum. That was until Brett accidentally kicked the can of solvent and spilled it all over his sandal and foot. The label warned against direct skin contact so we rushed to get some water to help get the glue off his foot. We got most of it off but the remainder hardened and began to peel. Thankfully, Brett reassured us that there was no skin attached and we continued on.

We made steady progress through the rest of the evening and were able to glue the entire middle section together aside from the keel which we may decide to make some adjustments to. The glue really stiffened everything up quite a bit and our early fears that the frame may be too floppy may turn out to be unfounded after all!

Check back early next week for an update on how the bow and stern sections come together!

-Kayak Dave

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