finishing yard and boom

I still haven’t glued up the 8 piece mast yet. There’s been a lot of crazy happening both in work and personal life. Today I wanted to get some boat work accomplished so I decided it was time to fiberglass tape the ends of the yard and boom. I’m using the Duckworks DWX epoxy to coat the glass and since it has built in UV resistance you can use it as a finish, so I just painted it on both spars. It has a long pot life, so I mixed up 3 pumps each. I didn’t have quite enough to do all 4 sides, but I coated 3 sides each. It started to get a little gummy toward the end and I’m worried about drips and runs. I’ve gone back over it once to remove drips. I’ll check back in a while to see if there are more. At least there’s a little progress.



Almost another launch day

We are getting very close to another boat launch day. I probably could have launched it already, but at this point there is no rush. We have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks where we’ll spend 5 days on Kerr Lake. That will be the perfect launch day and give the paint plenty of time to cure.

shiny paint

shiny paint

In order to get ready for that trip, it’s time to add another coat of varnish to the spars and the other set of Klepper paddles.

fresh varnish

Klepper paddles get a coat of varnish

Klepper paddles get a coat of varnish

I also drilled a couple of holes in the deck hatch and filled them with epoxy. I’ll drill smaller holes through the epoxy to make a waterproof bearing. I’ll tie a small rope through the holes to make a handle for pulling up the hatch and add a bungee line clipped to a ring attached to the bottom of the air box.

epoxy plugs

epoxy plugs

Time to get cranking on the Goat Island Skiff project!

The shark is born

We’ve been blessed with some beautiful weather this weekend. It was much needed after all the recent cold. Temps in the 60s meant it was time to get some paint on the Toto. Yesterday I put the first coat of grey on the exterior. Then today I got distracted. I didn’t have the paint I needed and my new Lie-Nielsen block plane was calling to be used.

New block plane

New block plane

I’ve had a Greenland style kayak paddle in mind for some time. My friend Matt had an experimental boom that didn’t work out. Made from laminated SYP it was the perfect starting shape for a paddle. We ran it through the band saw to rough cut the shape and then I went at it today with the block plane. What a joy to work with compared to the cheap $20 plane I had before. Wow! In short time I had made a beautiful pile of little curly shavings and had a nicely rounded paddle.

Greenland paddle

Greenland paddle

I gave it a rough sanding, but it still needs some fine sanding and some spar varnish before it’s ready for the water. With that accomplished and still plenty of daylight left I headed to the hardware store to pick up a few more cans of Rust-oleum paint. I started work on the shark eyes and mouth since the grey paint was dry on the boat. The black work is nearly finished. The remainder of the mouth will be done in red.

Shark face in progress

Shark face in progress



I took advantage of some warm weather today to get a coat of primer on the Toto. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, but maybe I can finish closing in the carport and fire up some heaters to get the second coat of primer on. Monday the temps drop into the teens with a high of 34F. I doubt the heaters will be able to warm the carport to 50+ in those conditions.

Here’s the Toto looking pretty all dressed in white.


more sanding

It’s still raining! So much for using the winter vacation to finish picking up the leaves in the yard. Despite the soggy state of the carport, I did manage to get out there and finish the sanding of the boat today. I’m glad I’m not building a much bigger boat, that’s about all the sanding I can handle. The next build is going to be a Michael Storer Goat Island Skiff. I’m planning to epoxy coat all the pieces flat masking off the places where they get joined together. It should make both the epoxy work and the sanding a lot easier. The Toto is just about ready for paint. I need to hand sand the corners gently and install the skeg. Then I plan to run a fillet down under the gunwale. As today is Dec 31, I obviously didn’t get it launched this year, but that’s okay. It’ll be a spring launch one of these days soon.

Mast Repair

I noticed a while back that the top of my mast was starting to split. I should have done something about it sooner, but today I noticed it had gotten worse. We did an overnight camping trip to Kerr Lake. The predicted 5-8 mph wind didn’t fill in so we just did some rowing and fishing. At home I discovered this:


This actually looks a little worse than it did. I took this photo after hitting it with the dremel to open it up. Then I poured in some epoxy and let it soak in for a while. Finally I added a little sawdust to thicken the epoxy and ended up with this:


Hopefully that will hold it for a while longer. Eventually I might have to cut it off and add a new piece. I’ve learned the hard way that you really should not use the last few inches of any wood that you purchase as the wood dries from the ends.

Once this cures it will be time to give all the spars a few more coats of spar varnish. My yard took a bit of a beating when I dragged it under a bridge that I thought I could clear. I should have touched that up long ago too.



Can’t beat camping in December in T-shirts.

Shark Attack!

The paint plan for the new Toto is to make it mostly grey with a big shark mouth painted on the front. I picked up a quart of Rust-Oleum gloss grey this morning and got the first coat on after lunch. I’m really happy with this way this paint goes down. I rolled it on with a 4″ roller and it settles out to a very smooth finish. No brush marks like the first Toto which is latex house paint. Everyone in the boating group has been talking about this for a while. This is the first time I’ve used it. At $8 a quart it looks like this is the way to go.


I’m planning to do the gunwale in red to go along with the shark mouth. Haven’t decided what color to paint the rear deck. I’ll could either go grey or jazz it up with the red. Supposed to paint when it’s above 50F and dry. Need to keep hoping for good weather to finish it up.