Jul 292014

I just got a man fired from his job in one of the big box stores today.

I and three other people were in an aisle, two of which were being helped by employees of the store.
The other person was a small, timid Hindu woman, who obviously didn’t know what she was looking for and needed help.

A third employee came walking down the aisle, pointedly ignored the woman who had turned and asked for help, and came up to me.

He asked me if I needed help. I didn’t and I told him so. I also told him he just walked past the women who was asking for help.

With a straight face, he looked at me and said “I don’t help ragheads.” It took all that I had not to knock that bastard out.

I called him an ignorant bigot and went and found the manager.

The manager and I went and found the two employees that were also in the isle and the woman that this racist pig had insulted. All backed up what I told the manager.

And right in front of the witness, I told the manager that if he didn’t fire that ignorant bastard on the spot that tomorrows news paper was going to have an OpEd piece in it about how a certain big box store retained racist bigots as their employees. And I showed him my National Press badge.

The Manager fired him. I hope that ignorant racist bastard rots.

Jul 222014

After my involuntary bathing episode at Short Creek (go ahead and laugh, I did, still am) and subsequent gained knowledge from the experience (never try to squeeze a fat boy in a gofer hole). I have started on Kayak Design #2.


Following are the features that I have tried to adapt/incorporate into design #2.


#1 Larger cockpit. Lesson learned. While my brain says I am still twenty years old, my body is saying it is ninety. I just have to face up to the fact that I am just not as flexible as I use to be, combine that with my bad arm and I just don’t have the ability to get myself into a cockpit that is 25” by 20” (That is 63.5 cm by 50.8 cm for you metric people). Picture this…watermelon and a garden hose. So in the new design, I increased the length of the cockpit to 32” (81.2 cm).


#2 Hull shape. While the Inuit have proven that a deep V shaped hull works great, I have proven that you need to have the skill to use it. And I don’t…yet. In the new design, I have changed the hull shape from the deep V to a flattish, rounded multiple chine.


#3 Rudder/skeg. In an effort to reduce weather head in the new design I have allotted area to rear mount a rudder or skeg.


#4 Rocker. In the new design, I have all but eliminated the fore and aft rocker. I have done this because the intent for the kayak is flat water, i.e. lakes, rivers, etc. where rocker is not much of an issue. As I have said previously, I am not a white water guy, I have too many broken body parts that cant be fixed again if I wreck them…so no rough stuff for me.


#5 Flotation. In some kayak designs, flotation bags are used to restrict the amount of water entering the kayak when you flip it. Other designs use bulkheads to do the same thing. In the new design, I am going to try something that I call soft bulkheads. Since I will be using a type of fuselage framework, I will cover one side with the ballistic nylon and water seal it. (I can hear the comments now…but it will leak around the edges by the skin.) Yes it will leak around the edges of the frame…a lot since there is a 3/8” (9.5 mm) gap between the frame and the skin. And that is exactly why I am going to affix 1/2” (12.5 mm) closed cell foam to the gap area. It will not totally stop water from passing, but it will drastically decrease the influx. And that is why I am calling it a ‘soft bulkhead’.


#6 Bow and Stern Access. On the new design I am including both bow and stern access simply because reaching and stuff is a giant pain in the ass. And hatches will allow access to the bulkhead areas. Because I am a cheap bastard and like making things for myself, the access hatches will be constructed along the same principal as the cockpit cover/spray skirt. Three millimeter neoprene with a shock corded edge.


 (All the boring numbers. Skip to the bottom for images)

Design Hydrostatics

Length over all 18.0′ (5.48m)
Beam over all 24” (61 cm)
Design draft 4” (102 mm)
Volume properties:
Displaced volume 5.83 cf. (165.0 liters)
Displacement 334 lbs (151 kg)
Block coefficient 0.53
Prismatic coefficient 0.63
Vert. prismatic coefficient 0.8
Wetted surface area 27.72 ft^2 (2.575 m^2)
Longitudinal center of buoyancy 8.94′ (2.72 m)
Longitudinal center of buoyancy -0.32%
Waterplane properties:
Length on waterline 18.0′ (5.48m)
Beam on waterline 22.25” (56.51 cm)
Waterplane area 22.02 ft^2 (2.04 m^2)
Waterplane coefficient 0.66
Waterplane center of flotation 8.94′ (2.72 m)
Entrance angle 9.295 degrees
Transverse moment of inertia 4.322 ft^4 (0.0373 m^4)
Longitudinal moment of inertia 349.80 ft^4 (3.019 m^4)
Initial stability:
Transverse metacentric height 11.1” (28.2 cm)
Longitudinal metacentric height 60.15′ (18.33 m)








Jul 202014
Short Creek-13

Today was a good day. Mostly. Sort of.


Today was the Short Creek Float with the Huntsville Canoe Club to start at 9 A.M. Float leader was Steve Berger.


It was also the ‘sea’ trials for the Whale…..

I got to Short Creek at around 6:30 A.M., specifically so I could test out my kayak without interfering or inconveniencing a lot of people who I get to meet for the first time. The kayak traveled fine on top the van. Nary a problem.

Trial #1….. I got the Whale off loaded and put into the water. I let is sit in the lake for 30 minutes to test and see if there were any leakages. Four coats of polyurethane works, no leaks what so ever.

Trial #2…..After all of the research and reading and making things to the suggested size for the user of the kayak I had a stumbling block…..the kayak fits me, I don’t fit the kayak. I am too inflexible to get into it easily. Joints don’t bend like they should or use to, and my left shoulder didn’t help matters any with the restricted and reduced range of motion. And, oh yeah, involuntary bath number one… at the boat ramp… in twelve inches of water. No, I did not have the camera running. Na na nana na.


Note #1…Kayak design #2 needs to have a keyhole cockpit.


After getting my morning bath, I managed to squeeze my lumbering fat ass into the Whale, she wiggled, but she didn’t groan one bit. Cautiously, I headed for the other side of the inlet. The water was glass flat at this point, tracking was good. She was a bit wiggly to start until I got some speed going and the wiggle stabilized some. I am pretty sure the wiggly was me, my first time in a kayak …ever. I went across the inlet and back twice, all went well. I even accomplished getting out without another bath. Once aground, I checked her belly to see if there was any water in her. Maybe a total of 1/2” deep in the center, and that was probably from the droplets running down the paddle loom. I tied the Whale off to the dock and let her sit in the water until the people from the Huntsville Canoe Club showed up, periodically checking for leakage. None that I could tell, or it was so minute that I didn’t amount to much.


After everyone got there, got ready and got on the lake…I did. Last. On purpose. Surprise, I got in the cockpit without another bath. And took off after Tom who was waiting for me.

Things were going fairly well until the breeze started. The Whale has a weather head. Aft end swings around.


Note #2…The Whale needs to have a skeg added, or a rudder. Kayak design #2 needs to have more bite aft of the cockpit.


About three quarters of the way across the inlet mouth the fun started. While trying to correct tracking because of a drifting stern, (drifting toward port (left), my bad side), I over corrected with my malfunctioning arm…and….wait for it…..got bath #2. A full bath this time, and on video all for your comedic pleasure.


I would have like to have tried a water recovery, but with me not fitting the cockpit, that was pretty much impossible. I did get the Whale upright again by myself. Oh and she does float full of water. (I am really, really glad that I decided to leave the Canon in the van, in spite of having a dry box.)


The people that I met to day from the HCC, are WONDERFUL people. Mr. Woods grabbed the Whale in tow, and Mr. Marsh and his Lady grabbed the puti balyena (white whale) in tow. And the pretty blonde lady, who’s name I don’t remember, recovered floating items. The only thing that I lost was my hat…and that is not a loss. My sis has been threatening to burn that Boonie for years and years.


Well, they got me and the Whale over to shallow water…where the comedy of errors really began. Bath #3 and Bath #4, in the mud.


I decided that since I had gone in the drink three times in 20 minutes that the Whale was talking to me. That and I was holding up the Float, and I didn’t want to inconvenience people that are wonderful. And after I finally managed to get back in the kayak, (Thanks Tom), I decided to call it a day and headed back to the dock…uneventfully, oddly enough.


So it was a wet AND wonderful day. I would call it a success, mostly.


Lessons learned…

  1. Lose more weight, fat ass.

  2. Bigger cockpit entry.

  3. Make sure Kayak #2 is NOT a weather vane.

  4. Tie on your damn hat stupid.

  5. Learn the pretty blondes name so I can thank her too.

Dumping a kayak is not a tragedy, it is a comedy. Unless some one dies, then it is a tragedy, unless it is a lawyer or a politician, then it is a party. But since I didn’t die, it is a comedy and one hell of a Whale’s tale. Laugh and have fun.


The Whale needs a better ‘yaker then what I am. Make me an offer I can’t refuse.

Videos are being edited, promise. You can wait to laugh at me. Just hold your horses. :P

Jul 162014

I finished the Greenland paddle yesterday. The paddle is based off of the proportions that the East Greenlanders used…so for me it is just a hair over 8′.

Today’s projects…paddle leash, two liter water bladder cover, and I started on making the cockpit cover.

The block plane buggered my hand up, so the next couple of days will be slow work, trying to let the hand recover from the two massive and very deep blisters in the palm that I had V lance and drain yesterday.


Projects to go… eventually.

Spray Skirt

GoPro mount

Flotation/dry bags

Tuilik (google it)

Jul 132014
finished Kayak

I started the kayak June 20, 2014. Today I finished it.


The boat itself is completely done and ready to go in the water….without a paddle at the moment. (The paddle blank is cut out and ready to get worked on as soon as I take a rest day. I think I deserve one.)


Twenty-three days start to finish, working sporadically when the pain is not too bad. So say six hours a day for an estimated total time of 135 hours.


Only thirty-five hours longer then the estimate given by the people that make and sell kayak kits. Not too damn shabby.

Jul 112014

Put the final prep coat on the deck top early this morning, so for the next two days the kayak has to sit and cure.


Which pretty much leaves me at making accessories at this point.


So I made the bow painter, a tow rope, the floor boards, and I did the preliminary rough cut of the paddle.

Jul 102014

Today was a good day.


I completed three coats of polyurethane on the bottom. Now it needs to sit until it is completely solid dry, say 8-12 hours.


Then the top gets three coats. After that has dried I will completely scrub/scratch the entire surface to prepare for the finish coats.


In between waiting for the coats to get tacky, I constructed the seat and back rest, and a pocket for the inside of the cockpit.

Jul 092014
Rim On-2


Minor celebration day. Yay!


Next step will to be wet it down and iron it.

Yes iron it. The steam and heat will help shrink the last of the minor wrinkles out of the skin.


Once it is dry, time to apply the polyurethane. Minimum of three coats on the top, and four on the bottom.

Jul 092014

Well in the attempt to build the cockpit ring, I scrapped five. They broke for a variety of reasons. But I built the sixth castle none the less, oops wrong story.


Rather then make it in one piece, I laminated it from four pieces. I say laminated it, but in the effort to keep it as authentic as possible, I did not use glue. I sewed the rim pieces together, after drilling more then 150 holes. Hole for sewing it together, holes for sewing it to the kayak.


So it is together, and stained to march the framing, and currently drying. Once dry…..more sewing.