The sun was shining on the Duct Tape Kayak team (both literally and figuratively) during our most recent build session. The blue-bird skies and 60 degree temps made this opportunity to finish gluing the frame together a hard one to pass up! The team stayed true to course and made all sorts of efficient progress despite the overwhelming desire to spend the afternoon on the water. The good weather also attracted a few of our fans including one of the more elusive KayakDave.com members and one of our favorite “groupies” (it was great to see you, Steve and Laura)!
Work began right where we had left off; with the PVC primer and glue cans! I had spent most of the previous build session marking up the length and orientation of the various stern section components to help speed things along in the glue stage. It turns out that I was definitely feeling that kidney stone (or the effects of the medication) more than I thought I was at the time! Suffice it to say that some of my marks were a little “out of whack.” It’s a good thing that Brett noticed this and was able to compensate during the assembly process. It was fun to watch Alex and Brett with the glue. You could tell that they had developed a great system that allowed the stern section to come together without a flaw!
I focused my attention solving one of the problems that we encountered during Build Day 3: how to notch out the 45 degree elbows to receive the keel. Last season we had enlisted the help of our co-worker, Ross MacVicar, who graciously lent us his time and drill press to customize these parts. This critical step had slipped our mind this year and we were left with a bit of a situation. I had previously attempted to grind out the notches with my Dremmel tool but this technique left me in a cloud of super-fine, wicked-super toxic PVC dust that I didn’t want any part of. My solution to the problem was to “get medieval with it” by hacking out most of the material with a hack saw and cleaning things up with a coarse-grid 3/4in diameter sanding wheel on my drill gun.
The last thing on the agenda for the day was to run the rudder cables through the stern section and hash out a plan for the foot pedal system. I had taken the time during our previous build session to drill all of the necessary holes so that the cables could pass though the stations on the way to the cockpit. Alex was able to slip the starboard-side cable through on the first try which was a pleasant surprise! However, the port-side cable was a little less cooperative but it eventually found its way through all of the couplers. The rudder is a huge addition to this edition of the Duct Tape Kayak and we’re confident that it is going to take us to a much happier place in both the tracking and maneuverability departments!
For me, the best part about Build Day 4 was getting to share a wonderful day outdoors with friends! It was great to see that Steve had finally come out of hibernation and decided to make the trip to Plymouth to say hi and check out the progress. He always has great insight and reminded us of some changes that we needed to make to the cockpit after our experiences at the Solcum Regatta last fall. Alex’s girlfriend, Laura, was also in town and decided to come along with us for the afternoon to enjoy the sun. She deserves a very special thank you for taking the camera away from me and snapping all sorts of amazing pictures of the team in action which can be viewed on the KayakDave.com Facebook Page. Thanks, Laura!!!
Duct Tape Kayak Version 2.0 is now ready for tape! We’re still waiting to hear back from Duct Brand Tape to see if they decided to accept our donation request for the ½-mile of duct tape that we need to complete this awesome craft. Only a few more weeks until the Duct Tape Kayak gets its first taste of the Charles River. We Love That Dirty Water!!!