Why I hate slotted gunwales

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AustinPynes
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Why I hate slotted gunwales

Post by AustinPynes » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:53 pm

Am trying to finish up the sanding on my Swamp Girl and those darn slotted gunwales are really draggin out the final sanding/finishing before I varnish.

Just when I think everything has a few coats of solid epoxy I find another area that is either sad looking drips inside he slots or one more place that needs more manual sanding or more epoxy from sanding too much. Outside ready to varnish, inside ready to varnish. Gunwales still need more work. I have tried every sander I have to make it easier...orbital, air tool with barrel sanders, Fein Multimaster with triangular sander. none really make it much easier.

Oh well, got out today and caught my share of large mouth bass, small mouth bass, rio grande perch and blue gill. Almost feel better.

Tonight.....back to sanding those blasted slotted gunwales.
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jem
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Post by jem » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:48 pm

yea they are a pain. Luckily you only have to worry about them once per boat. :D
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AustinPynes
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Post by AustinPynes » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:50 pm

Maybe the next time I will build the slotted gunwale to match the tool. :)
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Post by hairymick » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:16 pm

Austin,

I glue the spaces to the inside of my top panel, liberally appy resin to them and the panel inbetween. At the same time, I apply resin to the gunwhale that I am going to glue to the spacers.

(Big help to dry fit everything before you touch it with epoxy) :D

Apart from the very top of the gunwhale strip where I do final trim and sanding once it is glued to the boat. Everything else is finished bar the varnishing - before I stick the inner gunwhale to the boat.

I don't even bother with trying to sand between the spacers once the gunwhale is on. Too hard and I am waaaaaaay too lazy
Regards,
Mick

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Post by Kayak Jack » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:32 am

I'm with Mick. The inside of slots are for water to drain from and lashing ropes to go through. If anyone starts to inspect them, hit them on the back of the head and they won't even notice a drip or run within a gunnel.

NOTE: I also don't trim frazzles or stray threads off the inside of my pants legs for similar reasons.
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Post by AustinPynes » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:27 am

Thanks guys.
I did most of the epoxy work prior to assembly too. Just got a bit "detailed" about it later. should have left it alone.

I will take your lead. ensure a coating of epoxy is on it and prepped for varnish and let it the heck be.
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Post by hairymick » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:47 am

Mate,

Somebody else has said that there is a "Zen" moment when you have to decide that there is enough sanding been done. You can pick and worry away at all the little imperfections in one boat for the rest of your life if you want to.

There comes a point where the boat is fine just as it is. Only you will ever notice those little imperfections. They are what make your boat unique and what give it a soul. (part of yours perhaps?) and why I think they also seem to take on a life and personality of their own.

I don't mean to wax lyrical here but this is exactly how each build affects me. I have built things all my life and nothing else has had this effect on me.
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Mick

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Laker X 2, Sasquatch 16.5 T-V 15 Okwata 15:
Cobia 15 (under construction)

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Post by AustinPynes » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:55 am

Mick, you started it. (waxing that it is)

I understand your sentiments. I think perhaps it is why so many of us, even before we are finished with our first boat, realize we will be building another one.

This one, an open Swamp Girl of okoume, cherry and oak gunwales and breasthooks and thwarts. Slots using the triangular style mentioned here. Graphite on the bottom. And my experiment with adding tint to epoxy. My first large fiberglass creation for sure.

I have remodeled homes for my fathers business growing up, built on additions to my own home, large freestanding decks 8 feet off the ground, and even built a few pieced of furniture. I enjoyed it all and am a fair craftsman. (My father was a master carpenter and wood worker.)

But building this boat, even with its imperfections, or maybe because of them because they are my mistakes, it is something that not only reflects a personal accomplishment, but also the whole picture, the imperfections and areas I lacked skill too.

And when I am out fishing in it I will know each corner, each seam, what is under each scratch or bump. To sell her or see it destroyed would be like losing a part of me.

The closest thing I have felt to it was when I saw pictures of the USS Coral Sea being scrapped. I had lived onboard her for 4 years when I was 18 to 22 years of age as a black shoe. Like many others, I became a man on that ship. It was like that. I knew a part of me was going to be gone.


Let see...to bring this back to boat building....
I braided handles for bow and stern using cobra and lanyard knots. Will braid all my leashes and anchor ropes ends at least to tie it into my past. If I had been a bosun's mate I guess I would be covering the gunwales with line. :)
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Post by Oldsparkey » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:05 pm

OK... Let me help to get back to boat building.

I do the same as Mick with the slots on the boats. The side of the boat is epoxied , then the spacers are put on and epoxied. When they set up then the inside rail is epoxied and installed. This way everything is sealed in epoxy.

The only parts that get sanded are the outsides of the rails and the top of the rails and spacers , then usually epoxied again ( if I hit wood ) and when that sets up, lightly sanded and varnished.

This last canoe I made only the center portion of it has the spacers the rest is solid against the sides of the canoe. I don't use them to tie things off , My main use for them is decorative , letting water drain out of the boat when cleaning it. When I'm paddling it my water bottle holder is slid into a slot and the velcroed to itself so the water bottle is at a easy reach for refreshment and not rolling around in the boat.

If you take a gander at the picture and look from the thwart back to the left side on the upper part of the canoe you can see what I did.

Image

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Post by craiggamesh » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:29 pm

I glued the spacers to the prefitted strip. Then after they are set up, I seal both the inside and outside with epoxy. The next day I repeated the process for the other side. Then, I glued them both into place. For me it was easier because I didn't have to worry about drips inside of the boat this way. If I would have been smart, I would have varnished it (other than the part of the spacer which is glued to the boat) before installing it.

The picture shows one done and the other one being glued.

Image

Craig

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