Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Boat Building Intermission

May 5, 2010 by LW

Today we find ourselves suspended between a few different elements.  We have just completed Part 4 (of 7 total) of building our kayaks.  The keelson is in place and the stems have been lashed to the gunwales.  Now we spend a few days off while our ribs soak in preparation of steaming and bending them.  

During this time Greg is building the steam box and trying to iron out our camera details.  I am working on some more last minute sponsor requests and updating the website.  We are both taking some time to ourselves in hopes of recovering from a sickness that slowly crept up on us.  

Progress with the kayaks has been good up to this point.  It's a given we need the kayaks to make this trip happen but we also have many other logistics to be working on and with less than 2 months before we hit the water, time is beginning to get somewhat critical. Needless to say, it's a good time to take a short break from boat building to focus on other components.

Other than that, it is really exciting to see the boats at this stage. With the keelson in place we get a great idea of what the hull of our kayak will look like.  Because of this we can also estimate our storage capacity which, for better or worse, has validated our concerns.  These kayaks are seriously low volume boats not intended for multi day trips.  

I guess you could say it's our first big error in planning and logistics. Maybe a little more research would have helped but maybe too it wouldn't have mattered.  Perhaps we would have pressed on with this plan but just altered some of the measurements?  Either way, at this point we're unable to de-dowel anything and hop eight and a half steps back.  At this point, we figure out how to make what we have work.  And figure it out we will.

I spent most of today measuring our estimated hatch spaces and finding dry bags and boxes that will work in those given spaces. Because of the narrowness of these kayaks, most of them will be tapered bags to fill as much of the space as possible.  And given those limited spaces we are going to have to use deck dry bags for additional storage.  Personally this isn't ideal for me, because much like my backpack I hate having, what we term as "LS" (Loose Shit), hanging on the outside.  I prefer a tight ship but I guess I'll be making do with an organized, if not bulging, kayak.  

At any rate, just having these answers has eased my main concern at this point.  The boats themselves are looking as beautiful as ever and I'm giddy with eagerness to see them finished.  Even now they have a liveness about them.  And the connection we already have with our craft, shaped and fitted with our own hands, is a powerful one that I believe will escort us around Lake Superior.  

Given all the right buzz words, our passion and determination sustains our belief: it'll work out.


  1. Love, love, LOVE the progress photos and this is, as usual, some excellent writing, Luke. I will continue to follow you guys with increasing excitement. Best.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Nathan. I'd say there is excitement all around, which is fantastic! We'll keep the photos coming and hopefully some video shorts soon too. Keep in touch.