Monday, August 15, 2016

Moses Dirks Reads out Aleut Kayak Parts in Unangam Tunuu

Here's a video of Moses Dirks reading out the names of Aleutian Kayak parts in Unangam Tunuu, the Aleut language.  The names and the kayak parts are linked in the picture below for reference. The video was made at the Aleutian Pribiloff Islands Association Urban Culture Camp in Anchorage in 2010.

Click on the image to get a large enough picture to read the text.

Fourteen Foot Baidarka Rebuild

This particular boat suffered the indignity of shrinking skin which caved in a good percentage of its ribs.  So I decided that it was time to rebuild the boat.  Aside from replacing damaged ribs, I also wanted to elevate the rear deck and make the cockpit coaming level.  I had lowered the rear deck to make rolling the boat easier but as it turned out, lowering the back deck simply made it harder to get good back support. So on with the pictures.
What happened was that the nylon skin shrank to such an extent in the hot California sun that it caved in the ribs. Not only did the shrinking skin recurve the ribs, it broked them.  A few ribs at either end of the boat survived.

Slitting the stitching on the deck.

Slitting the lashings around the coaming which hold the skin to the coaming.

The skin has been slit all around, ready to pull it off.

Except for the ribs, the hull is in mostly good shape.

The first step in getting the bad ribs out is to unlash them from the keelson..

The tail fin is looking a bit ragged.  It was made out of plywood and I decided to replace it with redwood.

For some reason I added a deck beam for better foot support without taking the other deck beam out. So that deck beam toward the front had to come out.

Here,s the stuff I took off the boat, coaming, coaming stanchions, tail fin and both the fore and aft deck stringers.  I took off the deck stringers just to make putting the new ribs in easier.

Here's the extra deck beam removed and all the bad ribs.

I already added a new tail fin.

There's the hull stringers hanging out in space waiting for support from a new set of ribs.
Next we will be bending some new ribs, followed by some painting and varnishing and relashing all the stuff that came off during the deconstruction. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Are Your Favorite Skin-Boat Related Websites and Blogs?

I'm trying to fill out my list of skin-boat related blogs and websites that have useful information for would-be kayak builders.  If you have any favorites, feel free to list them in the comments.  Feel free to suggest sites even if they are related to canoes or any other small boat building practices.  I will check them out and add them to the list on my website and to the blog roll and like box on this blog.  Thank you.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Overhaul the Playboat, Part 7

There's one more part of the playboat overhaul that I should document and that is the relocation of the deck beam at the back of the cockpit after I had already put the skin on the boat.  Messing with the frame is best done when the skin is off the boat, but it wasn't until after I put the finished boat in the water and paddled it that I discovered that it would be better if the back deck beam were a few inches farther back so it would line up with the back of the coaming .  The main problem was that since it didn't line up with the back of the coaming, it jabbed into my back when I was paddling.  It's one of those things that don't reveal themselves till you actually use the boat, kind of like too tight shoes.
The back of the cockpit is on the right. You can see the deck beam that supports the back of the coaming sticking out a good three inches in front of the coaming's back.  Had to fix that.

Here's what the fix looked like from the outside when done.  I had to cut the skin to get at the three stainless steel screws that were holding the deckbeam in place against the gunwales. I had to do this surgery on both sides of the frame.  Once I had the screws out, I had to cut the pegs and lashings that secured the deck beam to the deck stringers.  Once the deckbeam was free, I trimmed it down to fit farther back in the boat and re-attached it to the gunwales.  What you see here is the net result. The deck beam is still held in place by three screws.  Two of them under the skin flap that I glued back down and one off to the right of the skin flap screwed right through the skin.

Here's the view of the relocated deck beam from inside the boat looking up.  That red piece of wood at the top is a carlin that supports the side of the coaming.  The exposed wood shows where the deckbeam used to sit.

View of the surgery on the other side of the boat.  I also had to add a support for the carlin, nailed it to the edge of the deck beam with bronze ring nails.

Interior view looking forward.

Interior view looking aft.
And that should be the end of coverage for this kayak remodel unless some other thing comes up that I haven't discovered yet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Overhaul the Playboat, Part 6

Skipping part 5 which is where I decided to add a King Island style nose to the kayak.  The point of this was to elevate the bow to minimize water coming over the bow in oncoming waves.  No pictures of that process available though you can see the end result here.
Viewing from back to front, fog bank hanging over the west end of San Francisco, San Francisco downtown skyline, salt marsh, tidal pond, chain link fence, and finally the newly varnished playboat.

closeup on the foredeck with faux sealskin paint splatter.

And the rear deck.

Little better side view showing extensions to the hull, a foot in the bow and another foot in the stern making the finished boat 12 feet over the original 10.

The nose, like some menacing sea creature.

View inside the cockpit with detail of spray painted frame and seam in the skin pieced in two parts.

Time has passed, the grass has dried out and the playboat is awaiting its first trip on the water.
Postscript:  I launched the boat, found that the back deck beam in the cockpit was digging in my back and so I moved it back a few inches to make the boat more comfortable.  Also needed to put more sealant on the seams since they were still taking on water.  In spite of the extra two feet, the boat is still  pretty low volume for someone my size.  Were I to build another 12 footer from scratch, I would make the stern beamier and raise the bow some more. The End.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Overhaul the Playboat, Part 4

As promised, I took a can of red spray paint and loosely misted the flat desert storm camo paint I had put on the frame of the playboat.  Made it look a whole lot more traditional. Photos below.



All this by the way happened way back in February as evidenced by the green grass and yellow flowers.  But there's still more to come.  The playboat is going to get  a nose-job and a skin. Can't wait to share.

Friday, July 29, 2016

New Blog about Nomadic Stuff

Putting the door on the twelve foot camping yurt at Kelso Dunes in the Mojave Preserve.

I've started a new blog titled nomadic life since thematically my experimentation with yurts and tents and other like activities does not seem to fit into the skinboat category.  The blog is wolfgangnomadic.blogspot.com if you want to add it to your places to hang out on the internet.

Click HERE to go there right now.

For now the new blog is mostly about yurts, but I am starting to experiment with North African style tents  and if I have any thoughts on nomadic lifestyles in general, you will also be able to find them there. Read the first entry if you want to find out why the blog address is wolfgangnomadic and not something more reasonable like nomadiclife or such.

No need to have a roof on the yurt most of the time since it hardly ever rains in the desert.  A chenille bed spread does very nicely for shade.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Two Canoe Paddles

These paddles are replicas of a paddle in the George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin. Link HERE
The original was a very nice specimen carved from maple. It was in pristine condition, possibly made for sale but never sold. The paddles are longer than typical canoe paddles you now see.  It was probably made for the stern paddler who could use a longer paddle for steering.
1
The two paddles full length, 62 inches.

2
The handle end side one.  The carving in the handle variations based on the original.

3
The handles, flipside. Note the paddle on the right has a frowny carving on one side and a smiley carving on the other.

4
The grain on the blade.


5
The grain on the other blade.  The middle lamination has something like 60 growth rings per inch.  Very old and slow growth. This paddle by the way is newer than the other one, hence its pinker color.  The color deepens with exposure to light.

Overhaul the Playboat, Part 3

Part three of the overhaul, new lashings for the keelson and a paint job for the frame was relatively easy. Not much thinking or design choices required.  The lashing went fast.  The painting took way longer than I imagined, about 3 hours.  Next time I will have to pull out a spray gun.
1
New running Greenland style lashing for the keelson.

2
New lashings for the chine stringers.

3
And finally a coat of  Desert Storm tan camo latex paint that was left over from painting a whole bunch of tin sheds and free for the taking.  It's butt-ugly, but I'm going to get some red spray paint and spiff it up some. Can't paddle a boat that might be miffed at you for painting it ugly.  That would be dangerous.  Never piss off your boat.  Your life is in its hands.

Next brighten up the paint on the frame and then put on some skin and paint that.