Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double

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Blog series by DustyMark updated 03-27-2021 06:19 PM 62 parts 61024 reads 65 comments total

Part 1: Overview

05-30-2020 04:32 AM by DustyMark | 5 comments »

Needing an Intervention?I like to plan and build things from wood…the more complicated, the better! I especially enjoy building small boats. Previous boat builds included a tandem sea kayak, single racing kayak, single recreation kayak, mini ski boat, single performance/play kayak, skin-on-frame rowing shell, and three duck hunting layout boats. I even built a teardrop camper in 2016. I recently finished part of my basement and lost some of my small boat storage. That leaves me w...

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Part 2: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Lake Superior Kayak

05-30-2020 07:19 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Our Camping StyleWe have a truck and a smaller-sized travel trailer that we use as a base camp for our outdoor activities, which include sea kayaking, fishing, and mountain biking. Keeping the kayaks to 14’ or less makes for an easier lift to the roof of the truck and allows the topper door to open without interference. At 60 pounds, the Wood Duck Double is actually pretty light for it’s generous 30” beam. At 14’, it’s only 6” longer than the blue ...

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Part 3: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Fishing Kayak

05-31-2020 02:47 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Features for FishingThe Wood Duck Double is the perfect size for kayak fishing. At 14’ long, it will paddle quickly, remain maneuverable, and haul a lot of gear well. The hard chine hull holds its track quite well. The Wood Duck 10 I used to own tracked like it was on rails and never needed a rudder. My brother-in-law bought it from me and I helped him outfit it for fishing. He’s been out on some crazy windy days and never had any problems with handling or stability. The 30&...

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Part 4: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Duck Hunting Kayak

06-01-2020 01:26 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Layout BlindOne approach to hunt ducks is to get as low as possible underneath a blind that matches the local vegetation as closely as possible. Field hunters do this in a layout blind. The same approach can be achieved in a layout boat. This is my nephew in the layout boat I helped him build in 2015. He’s sitting rather upright in it in this photo because the vegetation is pretty high and he can get away with it. He hadn’t finished the back side of the blind at this po...

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Part 5: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Sailing Kayak

06-01-2020 11:41 AM by DustyMark | 1 comment »

Previous Sailing KayaksIn 1996, my late wife and I bought a pair of Nautiraid folding sea kayaks, rigged them with Balogh Sail Designs sails, and brought them with us when we were stationed in Germany for three years. It was a great way to get our young family out on the water. We paddled rivers through wine country, passing by an occasional castle. We sailed alpine lakes in several locations and discovered that kayak sail rigs were quite a bit of fun. They didn’t ...

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Part 6: Surveying the Kit

06-04-2020 03:42 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Arrived!The plywood kit arrived yesterday and I unboxed it soon afterwards. The smaller box with the epoxy arrived a couple days ago via Fedex. The CNC-cut plywood parts shipped via freight. CLC has sold well over 30,000 kits and they’ve got packing them up down to a science. This is the contents of the epoxy and filler kit. These are the hull and deck parts laid out in preparation for gluing up the puzzle joints that join pieces to make them full length. ...

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Part 7: Gluing the Puzzle Joints

06-05-2020 08:11 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

CNC Routed Joints Rock!I built two kayaks from plans in the mid-nineties. I scarf-jointed the panels and lofted the curves from offset measurements. It was neat to know I did it all myself, but it’s even neater to get on with it and crank out a kit boat in a short amount of time…getting it on the water. Here’s a panel with the puzzle joints dry fitted. These joints are amazingly tight, but not too tight. Their design provides a lot of glue surface. The back...

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Part 8: Beveling the Panel Edges

06-26-2020 03:27 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Back to the BoatI installed a suspended ceiling and finished wiring the lights and switches in my finished basement project and also took a week vacation to Madeline Island in Lake Superior since last working on the kayak. I’m finally working on it a little bit between fishing and camping trips…I love summer in MN! Sharpening a Block Plane Blade with a Tormek SharpenerBeveling edges cleanly on thin mahogany plywood is best done with a sharp plane. My block plane blade was dul...

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Part 9: Stitching the Hull Together

06-26-2020 03:39 AM by DustyMark | 6 comments »

Dry Fitting StepsAt this stage the panels were ready for assembly. First the hull is stitched together with copper wire. Almost all of the holes are pre-drilled by the CNC machine…amazing! Second, the deck is stitched together. Third, the deck and hull are dry fitted to each other to ensure a good fit. Fourth, the deck and hull are tacked with thickened epoxy and dry fitted together as the epoxy cures to make sure they fit together properly when final glued. Dry Fitting the Hull...

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Part 10: Stitching the Rest of the Boat

06-26-2020 10:25 PM by DustyMark | 3 comments »

Mistakes I stitched the stern of the kayak together, forgetting that there is a wineglass transom. I also forgot to bevel a curved area on the bow. I unstitched that area and was able to plane it with no big impact. No big deal, I just snipped the stern stitches and wired in the transom. View of the hull. Wiring the Deck Stitching begins at the front of the coaming area with the deck panel. Sheer panels are stitched next. My Dad made a timely visit and...

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Part 11: Support Cradles

06-27-2020 02:30 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Simple CradlesI picked two spots on the bottom of the hull that seemed to be good support points and transferred the angles with a protractor to some scrap 1/4” plywood. After confirming a good fit, I cut the cradles from scrap 3/4” plywood and routed the edges with a 1/4” round over bit. I used a 1” x 2” to fasten them to my sawhorses. View of the bow support cradle. It’s a pretty good fit. I measured from the wall as a reference to be sur...

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Part 12: Tacking the Hull and Deck

06-27-2020 05:31 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Establishing the ShapeThe objective of this process is to establish the shape of the hull and the deck, including their fit with each other. This is done with thickened epoxy. I decided to use some gel superglue to be sure the panel sections didn’t creep out of position. I had some left over from my last build that was probably close to its shelf life. Here are some superglue tacks in the bow and in the stern. View of the stern area with some epoxy applied ...

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Part 13: Fitting and Gluing the Hatches

07-01-2020 02:32 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Moved Kayak Build to the Basement!After an enjoyable three-night camping trip, I’m back to working on the kayak. It’s hot and humid here now and the forecast calls for temps in the 90’s by the end of the week. I haven’t installed my floors in the basement finishing project, so I moved my kayak build to the new guest bedroom. Nothing like building in air conditioned comfort. It’s a straight shot up the steps, so the kayak fits…nice! I’ll paint it ...

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Part 14: Installing the Hatch Rims

07-02-2020 01:46 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Hatch RimsI realized that the hatch sills and spacers had cured well during the day, so I glued in the bow and stern hatch rims late last night. That put me a day ahead of what I thought. The rims stops any water that gets past the hatch gasket from getting into the dry compartments. It’s thin and fragile, but once glued in it becomes stronger. Removing WiresThis morning I removed all the copper stitch-and-glue wires. That took about an hour! I then separated the hull and ...

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Part 15: Fiberglassing the Inside of the Hull

07-02-2020 02:03 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

FilletsThe panels seams now receive fillets that fill the joints and ease the transition between panels for application of fiberglass tape. I’m messy, so I tape the fillet areas before laying in the thickened epoxy. This step really works. Here’s a fillet. It’s made from epoxy thickened with wood flour. The fillets are next covered with fiberglass tape. The tape is then coated with epoxy. This is what actually holds the boat together. The bulkhead f...

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Part 16: Fiberglassing the Underside of the Deck

07-02-2020 06:02 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Cleaning Up the Inside of the Hull The epoxy from the first coat on the inside of the hull had cured about 12 hours. It wasn’t at final hardness, so this was a good time to clean up the fiberglass frays that formed during application. A carbide scraper and a little sanding did the trick. I like the scraper since it doesn’t gum up when the epoxy is still not at final cure. I applied the second coat of epoxy to the inside of the hull after cleaning it up a bit. I...

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Part 17: Stitching the Hull and Deck Together

07-03-2020 05:05 PM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Wiring With the deck and hull fully cured, it was time to wire them together permanently A stick of wood laid across each end provides enough clearance to thread the stitches in place. I rolled each end of the wire so they wouldn’t slip out as I settled the two halves together. There are copper stitches about every four inches. You can pull the boat together with packing wrap instead, but I prefer the precision of copper wire stitches. The hull and deck are tacked...

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Part 18: Filleting and Fiberglassing the Hull-to-Deck Seams

07-04-2020 06:06 AM by DustyMark | 4 comments »

I Hate This Step!I had planned to wait until morning, but I noticed the epoxy was cured late in the evening and decided to go ahead with it…bad call. I didn’t get done until midnight. This is the worst step in the whole build for me, since these seams are the least accessible. The front hatch is pretty small and I have a size 7 3/4” melon…not a good combination. I gave up trying to work the final passes of the fillets with a mirror and just put on an old hat and my...

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Part 19: Rounding the Edges of Hull and Deck

07-04-2020 06:46 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Prep for FiberglassRounding the edges is a preparation step before applying fiberglass. Some people leave their edges pretty sharp. I like to round mine over a fair bit for comfort and impact protection. This boat will see harsh use being dragged over beaver dams, ramming my way through flooded timber, enduring the dogs claws as he gets back in after a retrieve, and riding in my truck box down dirt roads. Sometimes the epoxy under the joint will appear as I round the edge over, but I don&...

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Part 20: Just Had to Sit in the Kayak!

07-04-2020 10:46 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

It Fits!This is the stage of the build where you get a very good idea of the boat’s fit and comfort. I placed some shoes under the hull to support it and Mary and I sat in it to discover paddle and feet clearances. A section of roof rake makes a good paddle simulation in tight quarters! I’m thinking that I’ll paddle the kayak solo at a position 48” back from the inside edge of the front coaming. That will leave room for my anchor rig/rod holder board for fishing b...

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Part 21: Fiberglassing the Hull

07-11-2020 08:11 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Fitting the ClothAfter a nice five-day camping trip, it’s back to building the kayak! I listed my kayak on Craigslist and have a “nibble”, so I need to get this one done… With the hull sanded and vacuumed, the four-ounce fiberglass cloth is draped over the boat. The extra is trimmed off the bottom to within about two inches. Darts are cut at the transom to make a way for the cloth to wrap around this complex shape. Fold over to cut the other dart...

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Part 22: Applying Second Coat of Epoxy to Hull

07-12-2020 03:19 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Prep Work The epoxy is only green cured and it’s pretty easy to trim off the excess fiberglass with a razor. Oops! I trimmed a little bit into the wood here. No problem, it will get epoxy over it. Here’s a close-up of the weave after the first coat. Applying Second CoatThe fiberglass takes way less epoxy on the second coat. I use the same techniques as on the first coat. Squeegeeing the epoxy well will cut down on your sanding later. Here’s ...

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Part 23: Fiberglassing the Deck

07-12-2020 08:08 PM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Same Process as HullAfter the hull epoxy was green cured, I scraped and rasped the drips and ensured the hull to deck joint was clean to accept a layer of fiberglass cloth across it. Fiberglassing the deck follows much of the same process as the hull. I taped the hatch ledges to avoid extra sanding, rasping or scraping. The fiberglass cloth is draped over the deck and trimmed so that it overlaps the hull a bit. Cloth is trimmed for the hatch covers. View of the bo...

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Part 24: Cleaning Up Hatch Openings and Applying Second Coat of Epoxy to Deck

07-13-2020 05:12 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Cleaning Up Hatch OpeningsThe hatch openings have four layers including the deck, hatch spacer, drip ring, and hatch sill. There was glue sueeze-out that I couldn’t reach to clean up when it was wet and also the layers didn’t line up perfectly. All this had to be cleaned up by a combination of scraping and sanding…a tedious process. Stern hatch before epoxy. Stern hatch after epoxy. Bow hatch before epoxy. Bow hatch after epoxy. These openings ...

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Part 25: Attaching the Coaming Ring

07-14-2020 12:56 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Lots of ClampsThe cockpit is 84 1/2” long and 20 1/2” wide…that took a lot of clamps to attach the coaming ring! The coaming ring is made up of two spacers and the actual coaming ring. This stack is glued with epoxy thickened with silica. The plan calls for mixing it to a mustard consistency. I made my batch a bit thicker to fill gaps better and it worked well. The danger with going much thicker is that you could lose adhesion and it could require more clamping pressure...

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Part 26: Fiberglassing the Coaming Ring

07-15-2020 04:15 AM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

FilingThere was quite a bit of filing to get all the layers even on the coaming ring. I used a Nicholson #49 rasp that was the perfect tool for the task. I’ve got grinder wheels from chair making that would do a quicker job, but doing it by hand was a more controlled and sure thing. I sweated out my clothes on this job! Stern coaming after filing. Bow after filing. RoutingWith the coaming layers evened up, it was time to route the top edge with a 3/8” rou...

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Part 27: Sanding the Boat

07-16-2020 01:14 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Running Out of EpoxyI’m at the very end of my epoxy and will need to supplement with a different brand available locally. That twist nudged me to sand the boat and possibly use the remaining epoxy for touch-up after sanding. The kit contents completed the build. It’s the extras like the Dynel rub strip and hip braces that make an extra purchase necessary. This photo shows the irregularities in the epoxy finish even after a good squeegee with a spreader. The 80-grit disc...

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Part 28: Apply Keel Rub Strip

07-17-2020 02:37 AM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Change of PlansWell, the kayak build has moved back out to the garage. I’d planned to install hip braces today, but I needed to make progress on the guest bedroom, so I applied the keel rub strip instead. I found West System epoxy at a local marine supply today! I used this on my first two boat builds from plans back in the 90’s and it’s good epoxy. Due to COVID-19 supply chain issues, my kit didn’t come with dispensing pumps. I was able to purchase pumps for...

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Part 29: Spray Deck Frames

07-18-2020 03:38 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Designing at the BenchI’ve been mulling over the design of the spray decks in my head for some time and today I began to construct them with 1/4” Baltic birch plywood. The beauty of this wood is that the glues are outdoor capable. I don’t use it below the waterline, but I’ve used it for years successfully above the waterline. I glue parts together with polyurethane construction adhesive and finish them with marine varnish. This is enough protection for these type o...

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Part 30: Solo Spray Deck and Coaming

07-19-2020 01:59 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Decisions MadeToday I made decisions on how to configure my solo spray deck. I set the seat back 13” from the tandem paddling position. I chose this distance since my rudder pedals have 14” of adjustment. I’ll have the pedals all the way forward for tandem paddling and and all the way back for solo paddling. I also decided to make a new dog cockpit attachment rather than retrofit the one from my triple kayak. This allowed me to make the rear spray deck opening the recta...

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Part 31: Tandem Spray Deck and Clamps

07-21-2020 03:20 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Second Spray Deck…Same as the FirstThe process for building the tandem spray deck is the same as the solo. I dug into my bigger clamps in order to clamp the stern coaming ring at the same time as the bow. I drilled a hole in the stack when dry fitting and used silicon bronze nails (leftover from a previous build) to line up the layers during glue-up. This helps to minimize drama during the glue-up. I cut the nail flush after removing the clamps. Clamps Th...

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Part 32: Amine Blush Setback

07-21-2020 06:12 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Small DisasterAmine blush is a residue that forms over epoxy as it cures. It must be scrubbed off with hot, soapy water before proceeding with another coat of epoxy or paint. Future coats won’t cure properly over amine blush. Non-blushing epoxy hardener is available at extra cost. Feathering the rub strip turned out to be a bad idea. I selected regular hardener when I bought my replacement epoxy and should have purchased West System’s special, non-blushing hardener. All of...

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Part 33: Rudder Pedals and Foot Braces

07-22-2020 03:37 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Time to Drill Holes Through the HullInstalling rudder pedals and foot braces meant drilling a total of eight 1/4” holes through the hull. You want to get them right the first time. I positioned seats where they go and we both sat in our positions and experimented with the best pedal placement. We installed the Keepers foot braces for the stern cockpit first. I drilled a 1/8” hole initially and screwed the braces in temporarily to test the fit. Once confirmed, I dr...

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Part 34: Primer

07-24-2020 04:50 AM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Sanding Coamings and Spray DecksI worked a lot on sanding the coaming rings and spray deck frames today. After a light sanding with 220-grit sandpaper, they’ll be ready for varnish. There are seven sub-assemblies between the two spray decks and prepping them is a lot of attention-to-detail work. I was tired of sanding and decided to finish up the work day priming the kayak. NOTE: My Fein Turbo 2 vacuum motor burnt up today…it served me well for many years. I think the bearing...

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Part 35: Paint and Varnish

07-25-2020 12:59 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Lots of Roller and Brush Work This morning I painted the hull flat green with Parker Coatings duck boat paint. I noticed that I had rushed the primer cure a bit since I had some rub marks in the primer from the cradles. I let it go since that area is going to get scraped up quickly in use anyways. I switched from the mohair roller I had used with the thicker primer and used a foam roller for the paint. I knew from past experience with the product that the paint is quite thin....

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Part 36: Fitting Out the Boat

07-26-2020 04:21 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Paint and VarnishI applied a second coat of varnish to the spray deck systems and painted the deck of the kayak. The only painting remaining will be spot painting of accessories after I install them. The spray deck systems are on track to be done after the third coat tomorrow. Fishing Kayak OutfittingI began the process of setting up the kayak for fishing. This won’t take very long since I had my previous single kayak set up quite well and I’m mostly transferring parts. ...

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Part 37: Deck Hatch Covers

07-27-2020 05:11 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Hatch CoversI finished installing the hatch covers today. I upgraded to the Derlin hatch retainers. They’re durable and work quite well as opposed to a piece of plywood. NOTE: All of the above water line holes through the hull receive a dab of silicon to help prevent water damage in the exposed plywood. The retainers are each held in place by a #10 stainless machine screw, washer, and nut. This Frost King weather stripping is amazing. My hatches have always staye...

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Part 38: Installed Seats

07-28-2020 03:10 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Creature Comfort SeatsIn installed two Creature Comfort seats from Chesapeake Light Craft today. View of the stern seat. The seats are held in position on the floor by a 2” x 9” patch of velcro. A rope runs through the seat back and is fastened at the port side via a webbing loop screwed to the underside of the coaming. The starboard side runs through a jam cleat for quick and secure seat back adjustments. These seats are pretty comfortable. I’ve used them since ...

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Part 39: Launched the Kayak!

07-28-2020 03:46 AM by DustyMark | 4 comments »

Launch Day!With the seats installed and the rudder operational, it was time to take the kayak for an initial paddle. You can see that I’m slightly bow heavy, but most of the time I’ll have some extra weight behind me that should trim me out. I was able to paddle without the rudder and had no directional control problems from this position. Check out this video of me paddling solo. Stability was amazing. I was able to stand up and paddle with no difficulty. Check ...

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Part 40: Rigged for Fishing

07-30-2020 02:55 AM by DustyMark | 8 comments »

Video of the Fishing SetupCheck out this video of how I set up the kayak for fishing. View from bow. View from stern. Anchor/Rod Holder ModuleI’m taking a modular approach to my customizations when possible. The anchor reel, anchor holder, and four rod holder bases all fit on a 5” wide by 24” long board clamped behind my seat like the other accessories I’ve detailed. It’s a “busy” setup, but I think it will work out well...

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Part 41: Reworked Anchor/Rod Holder Module

07-31-2020 05:09 AM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Moved it BackI had an “ah hah” moment this morning and decided to try moving the anchor/rod holder module back just past the cooler hinge. This made everything easier to reach since it wasn’t immediately behind me, allowed me to move my seat back 5” for way better fore and aft trim and gave me free access to the cooler without having to weave through fishing rods. This is me fishing tonight with the new setup. I rotate my torso and lean an arm on the cooler li...

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Part 42: Hip Braces

08-02-2020 03:49 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

End PourI did the epoxy end pour of the bow yesterday. The objective of this step is to provide a strong means of mounting the pad eye on the bow. My parents came over for dinner and my Dad helped me flip the kayak onto its nose and tie it to the ladder on the rear of my camper. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture. This is 8 ounces of lightly thickened epoxy and it cooked off pretty good with so much epoxy in such a tight area. There was no good way for the heat to escape from the ch...

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Part 43: Front Hip Braces

08-03-2020 01:39 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Different ApproachThe front hip braces are different since they’re anchored at the top to the spray deck. That way there’s not a permanent cleat below the coaming in this busy area. Here’s the assembly (upside down) ready for gluing the lower cleat to the floor. This is the hip brace cleat for the middle paddling position that I installed last night. I was happy when I was able to confirm that it doesn’t get in the way of my foot when paddling from the ...

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Part 44: Dog Cockpit Attachment

08-03-2020 05:33 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

What We Do for Our Pets!Copper has great small boat manners and he’s fun to take kayaking, so I’m building him a place to sit in the new kayak. The solo spray deck has a rectangular coaming ring behind me and that’s Copper’s spot. The dog cockpit attachment is a 1/4” plywood box with two sections of trim around the perimeter. 3” up from the bottom is a 3/4” by 3/4” piece of trim that rests the attachment on top of the coaming ring. The...

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Part 45: Spray Decks

08-10-2020 09:16 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Dog CockpitI had only two days to complete the dog cockpit attachment and sew the spray decks before we departed on our annual paddling-centered camping trip to Lake Superior. I got it all done with a couple of near-sleepless nights! Here’s the attachment all rounded and sanded. I sealed it with a coat of epoxy. Hip BracesThere are three different paddling positions, so I built three sets of hip braces. This photo shows the permanent hip braces at the stern position a...

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Part 46: Performance Assessment

08-10-2020 10:03 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Retrieval Practice with CopperI removed the spray decks and had Copper do five retrieves from the boat. This was an important test to determine if he’d be hunting with me from this new kayak. I couldn’t believe how stable the boat was for retrieval work! It took Copper a while to figure out how he’d exit the boat, but he eventually did and it went real smooth. He puts his feet on the side beyond the coaming and lunges out into the water. The boat rocks, but I never felt...

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Part 47: Duck Blind Planning

08-13-2020 03:49 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

What Fits?Duck season starts in MN on 9/26…I need to build my blind! Now that I know Copper will be riding in the back, the big question is “how many decoys can I realistically fit in the kayak?” I’m able to squeeze a dozen full-size decoys between me and Copper and stay below the notional height of the blind. My blind bag and six decoys fit in front of my feet. I’ll wedge my shotgun and case on the floor on one side of the kayak behind me. IR...

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Part 48: Electric Bilge Pump and Stern Rudder Pedals

08-21-2020 03:32 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Electric Bilge PumpI struggled over where to locate the electric bilge pump. Normally I mount them behind the stern seat and attach the battery to the aft side of the stern bulkhead in the stern hatch compartment. My initial thought was to mount it behind the solo seat so that I could keep the fish cooler as far back as possible. Here are the items I typically use for an electric bilge pump installation in a small boat. I was most of the way complete with building a pump system cent...

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Part 49: Duck Blind Frame: Main Body

08-22-2020 04:08 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

DecisionsThis is the point in the blind build that you make basic decisions like how low to lay in the blind and how much room to set aside for decoys and the dog. My objective remains to paddle the kayak with the blind doors closed around my torso. This will allow an amazingly quick set up. This is a comfortable position for Copper and me. It’s the second lowest position on the layout seat. The lowest position would conceal us better, but at the expense of comfort. Copper i...

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Part 50: Duck Blind Frame: Doors

08-22-2020 09:33 PM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Complicated BendsBending the doors always kicks my butt. I used both ends of my conduit practice piece before I moved on to aluminum tubing. I’m laying pretty low in these pictures. There’s room for me to raise the seat up one incline notch. Once you get all your gear on, the extra room gets used up. I hate being crowded under the doors. I don’t need a framed face shield. A soft shroud attached at the roof of the blind will work just fine. I’ll part...

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Part 51: Blind Body: Boat Prep

08-25-2020 01:46 AM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Backing PlatesI fabricated backing plates from 1/8” aluminum for use under the bimini mounts. I didn’t want those #10 washers pulling through the deck when I flip open a wet door! I also cut all the bolt ends flush under the deck with my Fein oscillating sander and the bimetal blade attachment. Clevis Pin Tethers I used 1/16” braided stainless cable to tether the clevis pins to the blind frame. Each tether is riveted to the frame. BucklesThe lower edge of t...

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Part 52: Blind Body: Base

08-29-2020 04:34 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Designing on the FlyI pretty much “wing it” when I’m sewing blinds. My initial thought was to have the flip blind doors provide sole coverage for the middle third of the kayak. However, once I started sewing the stern panel, I realized I could extend it to the bow panel and provide a nice, fitted base for the blind that would provide better coverage with the Rafia grass. View of blind base from port bow. I’ll float the kayak with me and gear and Mary will pin...

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Part 53: Blind Body: Doors

08-30-2020 02:43 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Floated the BoatWe floated the boat today with about the amount of weight it will have once the decoys are deployed. Mary sat in the boat as “self-propelled ballast” and I cut the side panel material of the blind at the waterline. That’s the waterline of the kayak loaded. Unfortunately, I ran 4’ short of binding edge material to even finish these edges. I totally messed up that order! Sewing the DoorsI draped a 2’ by 5’ piece of material over t...

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Part 54: Blind Body: Dog Blind

09-03-2020 04:10 AM by DustyMark | 4 comments »

Lots of SewingThe dog blind was pretty complicated to sew. It’s 3-D shape, so it requires darts to shape it around the frame. View from the inside. There are eight buckles to hold it to the kayak, four buckles to support the decoy barrier, seven velcro sleeves to hold it to the frame, one buckle to hold the back door shut, velcro to hold the shroud at the front, a zipper, and brushing straps View from the outside. The door has .4” foam inside to give it some...

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Part 55: Brushing the Blind

09-07-2020 01:53 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Applying Raffia GrassI applied Raffia grass to the blind in order to give it some 3-D effect for a better hide. I bulk-ordered it from J.M. Stern Company a few years ago. I’m no expert, but here’s how I applied it to the blind. Here are the heaps of the four colors I used…green, light brown, dark gray, and light tan. That blend proved quite effective for me with a previous layout boat all season long without having to add natural vegetation. I tend to go ove...

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Part 56: Cockpit Shroud

09-09-2020 02:10 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Amazing ResultsI’ve gone back and forth on how or whether to sew a facial shroud for the blind. The opening between the doors and the dog cockpit is slightly oversized so that I can paddle with the doors closed. I decided to give a shroud design idea that I had a try. I’m glad that I sewed a flap and a strip of velcro at the top front edge of the dog cockpit to hold the shroud. It was better to sew those in and not use them than to wish I had sewn them later. I was surp...

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Part 57: Video of the Kayak Layout Blind

09-10-2020 02:10 AM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Dry Run at a LakeI loaded the kayak today and did a dry run, before duck season, to practice loading the boat, paddling, throwing out decoys, sending Copper out on a retrieve and picking up decoys. Check out this link to a video of the kayak all set up for duck hunting at the boat ramp. Everything worked out about like I expected. Here are some observations:1. Copper was hesitant to exit out the side door at first, but eventually figured it out. I may need to build a little step for ...

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Part 58: Reinforcing Stern for Mounting a Torqeedo Ultralight 1103 AC Electric Motor

03-15-2021 10:58 PM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Expensive Modification The Wood Duck Double has worked out great for my planned uses (duck hunting, fishing, and paddling Lake Superior.) It’s quite a comfortable fishing kayak. My wife and I had planned to buy a Lund 1650 Angler SS v-hull boat as we’re getting more and more into fishing. However, this winter we decided to focus on kayak fishing instead since we can take two kayaks with us everywhere we go with our travel trailer and only need one vehicle. We purc...

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Part 59: Raising the Seat

03-21-2021 01:37 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Comfort I fished quite a bit out of the kayak last season and realized that raising the seat would make it considerably more comfortable. I know the boat is stable enough to handle raising the seat about 4” so I made a platform to raise my Creature Comfort seat. This is a piece of 1/4” Baltic birch plywood connected to some western red cedar 2×4 supports. The cedar was scraps from my sauna build. I cut the cedar to conform to the angle of the floor to avoid press...

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Part 60: Rigging the Torqeedo Motor

03-22-2021 03:58 AM by DustyMark | 0 comments »

Fitting New Rudder Pedals I really like my toe control rudder system, but they simply won’t have enough leverage to steer this powerful motor. Unfortunately, Smart Track’s rudder assembly mount hole spacing is off by 1/4” from the traditional Feathercraft system that Chesapeake Light Craft sells. I used a 1/4” plunge cutting router bit in my drill press to elongate the holes. The cut turned out nice. I found 1/16” thimbles at my local har...

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Part 61: Torqeedo Works Great!

03-22-2021 08:24 PM by DustyMark | 10 comments »

Awesome Test Run! I’m super happy with how the kayak/motor combo worked today during my test run at Agate Bay on Lake Superior. The raised seat was stable. The rudder pedals had plenty of authority. They got stiffer at full throttle, but that’s a good thing since you don’t want to slam the motor to the stop at high speed. I went with a pretty bare boat for this run. No use losing equipment if things went poorly! Performance Results My max speed in a wind ...

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Part 62: Updated Fishing Configuration

03-27-2021 06:19 PM by DustyMark | 2 comments »

Refined Ergonomics and More Capable After fishing with the kayak a couple times, I had an “Ah, Hah” moment and realized that if I raised the anchor/rod holder assembly above the cooler and moved it back slightly, it would work a lot better. Check out this video for a short tour of the new fishing configuration. With the rod holders and anchor assembly moved further back, it’s much easier to reach everything since it’s less of a twist of the body. This also ...

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