Greenland Style Skin on Frame Kayak
Sealing the hull

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The first coat of paint: I used an elastomeric latex roof sealer paint. 3 coats worked pretty well, but it is difficult to get a smooth finish -- the paint is so elastic, it doesn't sand very well. I hope to be able to fill the surface texture with the color coat I'll be applying next. 1st sealer coat
painted Nice brown, eh? The hull has been sealed and then painted with an eggshell interior latex enamel. Two coats helped to smooth out the elastomeric, although I found that it helped to smooth the brush marks out with a disposable sponge brush.
So far, I've spent a little under $200 on the whole project.

Good news / bad news: I took the boat out for its first real test on the water, and it handles OK. I had this goofy idea of building a kayak design I could paddle from a kneeling position -- that might work, but not in this boat. Otherwise, it's great. Fast, tracks well, dry.

On the other hand I guess I don't know nearly as much about the chemistry of paint as I thought. I figured that an interior latex would bond well to the elastomeric roof paint, both of them being latex-based and all, and the worse that could happen would be some cracking as the undercoat stretched more than the color coat. That's not quite what happened. When I took the boat out of the water after the trial run, a big slab of brown paint came off on my hand, and I was able to peel big sheets of soggy brown paint off the hull. What I think really happened was the rubber roof paint formed moisture-proof seal, and the breathable latex brown paint allowed moisture to pass through -- enough to completely lift all (well, most) of the paint off the hull. I spent the next couple of days with a garden sprayer, a small scraper, scotchbright pad, a can of Bon Ami and a dish brush removing all the brown paint from the hull. It would have been great if all the paint had come off, but only about 95% actually came loose -- the rest was stuck really well and had to be scrubbed off.

You can see from the next pictures the mottled pinkish stain the paint left on the hull, sort of like sunburnt walrus hide... I actually kind of like it.

pink kayak
on the beach October 2008. After sitting in my basement for 2 years, I finally made a paddle and finished the cockpit. I've taken it out 3 times so far and it's a real pleasure to paddle.

larger...

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