Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Eastern Arctic Kayak - Reconstruction, sort of

I have started the construction of an Eastern Arctic Kayak based more or less on the information provided by Dr. David Zimmerly in various articles.  Zimmerly's own reconstruction is, as he states in his article in Sea Kayaker Magazine, a composite of various designs.
My own construction is in turn a variation on Zimmerly's interpretation. 
Major deviation for me is that I did not want a 22 foot kayak and so shot for something more like 17 feet long and lighter in weight,  hoping to keep is under 50 pounds rather than ending up with a 65 pounder.
Step one is the fabrication of the gunwales which for the Eastern Arctic Kayak are a good deal more complex than two straight boards I normally use for building Unangan style kayaks.
Whereas Zimmerly built his gunwales from two lengths of 3/4 by 5-1/2 boards scarfed together, I started with a 16 foot two by four that I ripped down the middle giving me something like two 5/8 x 3-1/2 x 16 boards which I then built up to approximate the Zimmerly design.  Lots of clamps and Gorilla glue in use. I used Gorilla glue rather than epoxy because Gorilla sets up faster and is easier to clean up than epoxy and less hard on tools.

Here the nose piece goes on.  The design I am copying has the gunwales more or less flat up to the front of the cockpit, then rising from there forward.

After the glue has dried, I faired the lumps out of the top of the gunwales resulting in something like the above.

Here I am using a spline to draw the part of the bottom of the gunwales that I intend to remove.

And here's the whole thing with the top faired and the bottom scooped out.  The gunwales are made to rise amidships because normally, when you bend them, the middle drops down.  The rise counteracts that drop to give you a more or less flat deck.

And some additional rise at the bow to help the bow stay out of the waves.

And that's how it looks faired and trimmed.

And finally, the long view.

I am thinking I probably overdid the midship rise in the gunwales by at least an inch, but I'll stay with it since it doesn't affect the bottom of the hull at all.  Sometimes it is good to go with one's mistakes just to see how much harm they do to the proper functioning of the boat.  After that you can speak with authority on why the way you did it was not a good idea.  Still, you have to admit that what I ended up with looks pretty cool.  And by the way, when you do gunwales that are 3-1/2 inches deep, you don't need fancy lumber since small knots don't affect the structural integrity of the end product by much.

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