Making Petrel Play - Fitting Out - E19


Hi I'm Nick Schade at Guillemot Kayaks, welcome episode number 19 of my series on making the strip built Petrel Play kayak.

In the previous episode I spent a lot of time varnishing. In this episode I'll do the final steps to get the boat ready for the water and that is fitting it out with, a seat, bulkhead, hatch, skeg, deck lines etc.

There is a tube running from the skeg control slot beside the cockpit to the skeg box near the stern. The skeg is operated via a cable running through that tube.

I slide the cable in from the control slot back to the box. I then secure the skeg fin to the cable with a set screw.

The skeg fin is hooked on to the pivot pin inside the skeg box.

I slip the control knob on to the cable and then feed the cable into the control tube.

There is a small hole in the side of the control tube to accept the set screw in the knob. I start tightening the set screw until I feel it engage in the hole.

Before I tighten the set screw completely, I slide the knob all the way forward and then move the fin to the fully retracted position. With both the knob and the fin in the same position I can tighten the set screw.

The system is a little stiff the first few times but it loosens up with use.

I had placed some masking film inside the cockpit to protect against varnish drips. Its time it came out.

I like to make my bulkheads out of 3" minicel foam. It is lightweight, resilient and doesn't need to be cut perfectly to fit snuggly.

It just gets wrestled in place.

After cutting out the bulkhead, I took a little time to round over the corners a bit. This creates a groove around the perimeter which I will fill with caulk.

Caulk can be messy stuff, so I find it useful to run masking tape beside the foam.

Masking film extends the protected area because 3M 5200 caulk is really messy. 

I carefully squeeze a bead into the seam between the bulkhead and kayak. I highly recommend wearing gloves because this stuff is super messy.

A finger is the best tool to press the extremely messy caulk into the seam. If you make a mess, which you will, denatured alcohol will clean it off.

Peel the masking film and tape off before the caulk cures. Be careful not to make a mess.

I drill a couple holes up under the coaming lip for bolts to hold nylon cable clamp loops for back band support.

The back band is secured to the cheek plates with bolts threaded into T-nuts. The stainless steel t-nuts a secured in place with some epoxy.

The bolts I use are flat headed and they lie fairly flush into finish washers.

After securing the back band on both sides I run shock cords up through the loops at the back to hold the back band in place.

A water knot is an interlaced overhand knot that is very good for hold shock cord.

I use the same water knot for grab loops. I form an over hand knot in one end, and then retrace that knot backwards with the other end.

Pulled tight it makes a comfortable ball to grab.

These deck lines will just be shock cord. The cord is threaded through the recessed fittings in a cross pattern.

A length of heat shrink tubing will protect and hide the joining of the cord ends.

I could use another water knot here, but I like the clean look of a couple stainless steel hog rings hidden in the heat shrink.

Hog rings are stiff wire that is squeezed tight around the cord. This creates a very secure joint. I use two just to be sure.

The ends are then trimmed off and the heat shrink is slid over the connection before using a heat gun to shrink the tubing down.

The seat will be secured in place with contact cement. You only have one shot with contact cement so you need to be sure you know exactly where you're putting the seat.

Spread the glue evenly on the bottom of the boat. Here I'm using a chip brush, but a foam one may be used instead. The brush will be trash when you're done.

More glue goes on the bottom of the seat in a smooth uniform layer.

After the glue has been applied to both mating surfaces, it needs to sit for a while until it is dry to the touch.

The two glued surfaces will grab the moment they contact each other, so be sure to align everything perfectly before pushing the seat down in place.

Press down to assure there is good contact everywhere.

The hatch cover is secured with nylon straps that are bolted to the deck through the holes drilled earlier.

Self-adhesive closed cell weather stripping makes an effective gasket to keep water out of the compartment.

I cut a ramp at the starting end with a sharp brand-new razor blade.

The weather stripping is pressed in place all the way around the perimeter of the hatch.

At the finish end, I run the strip up the ramp cut earlier. Trimming this off flush like a scarf creates an unbroken gasket.

A length of parachute cord tied to the hatch and a loop inside prevents the cover from accidentally floating away.

These side release buckles create a tight secure closure. And that closes the build phase of this project.

But that doesn't mean the kayak is done. No kayak is truly complete until it has been launched and paddled around a bit. So, for the next and final episode of this series I will be launching the kayak and bringing out to play in its intended habitat. 

As this series is wrapping up I hope you learned a lot about what it takes to make a kayak. I have a lot more information to share. If you would like to see more small boat builds in the future, please let me know. The most concrete feedback you can give me is to help fund the production of future videos. I have set up a Patreon site to accept your funding support. Please consider a small contribution, otherwise your subscriptions and likes are always welcome.

Please post a comment if you have any questions about any part of the build process.

Until the next episode, thanks for watching and happy paddling.