Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page

Goodbye Tilley Mae

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

I lost my Best Friend of the last 14 years on thursday Sept 23.  You may have seen pictures of her as my shop dog in previous posts

And those that where lucky enough to know her knew she was the Sweetest most spoiled girl in the world.  She was happiest when she could be outside with me greeting all that came by and hope for a pet or two.  Everyone in the nieghborhood knew her well and would ask where she was if she wasn’t outside with me

She was how ever the most camera shy dog I have ever known.  She would give me “The Look” everytime a camera was brought out. LOL

And yes she was very spoiled… by everyone

She truely loved her Peanut Butter and Ice Cream

And who could not LOVE this????

Even in her teenage time of 6 months she was a goof

The only thing she hated in life was water… Hey go figure. LOL

Insecurity was never an issue…..

Good Bye Matilda Mae.  I will miss you so much!

Kayaks and Stuff for sale

In Classifieds on September 7, 2010 at 3:11 am

All of my personal stuff has been sold, although as I clean out closets, I am sure I will find more.  What is left on this page is from my friends

The CLC kit is $    888.00 

The sail kit is   $    339.00 (I have two sails)

Trimaran kit is $    950.00
$2,177.00 plus shipping 
I will sell it for $950.00 Complete


The following yak belongs to a friend of mine and is known as a Pro SI 129 by Ocean Kayak http://www.oceankayak.com/kayaks/retired/index.html# .  This yak is no longer made, but the reviews on Paddler.net ( http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showReviews.html?prod=1101 ) are nothing but high.  This is a great yak for anyone getting started, or for the fisherman in you



and he is only asking $600 $450 for this GREAT Kayak


I can ship anything with the cost of shipping being additional.

You can reach me at kev_th@yahoo.com if you have any questions or would like to try any of these yaks out.

Man survives gator attack crushed by falling tree

In Kayak Trips, Kayaking, Spring Run on August 29, 2010 at 11:37 am

A couple of weeks ago I went out with a local outfitter (Darry Jackson of Bill Jacksons) to scope out  a little known spring along the Chaz River.  I fell in love with this paddle!!!   There is a house on this spring that I can only describe as a $20 million dollar fishing shack.

Well a week or so later… a friend who is new to paddling wanted to go check it out.  So we took off work on a thursday and a friend of Scotts came along.  When I asked if he ever paddled, I was told he did a lot of canoeing.  Knowing I can get anyone back in thier yaks if something happens, I felt okay about this trip.  After all, weekday paddle means little to no boat traffic  and the Chaz is a slow moving river. 

 My only concern is that it is a 10 mile plus paddle  and can these guys make it, so I took a tow rope just in case.

We arrived at the launch at 8am, and I put Scott in my Atlantis Titan which he has paddled before, his friend Josh in my Manitou 14, and I took my recently finished Spring Run. 

Once the yaks were loaded with water, snacks, and assorted stuff one may want, we hit the water.  I suggested that we hit the new spring first, and then if everyone had energy, we would go play in the more well known springs.  So off we went.  I tried showing Josh how to use his paddle and get him to quit using canoe strokes,

 but old habits are hard to break as I am sure we all know.

Along the way to Crawford Creek (the turn off for the spring) we managed to see lots of wildlife.  A Bald Eagle flew over us and landed in a tree close by

A gator was swimming across the river when we came along beside him ( a good 35-40 yards away, and it turned and swam with us.  When the guys got nervous I explained he was just currious and would leave soon which he turn again and headed off to the other side of the river

And of course the usual water fowl.  Egrets, Comorrants, Herons

Once you leave the park, you see a few houses on the water.  Some are fixer uppers

And some showing off some Southern Pride

And even some that floated

After about going 3 miles downstream, we turned on to “Crawford Creek” which is a river unto itself.  Very wide with houses for about the first mile.

It does not take long till you are secluded with the Wildlife again

The creek narrows quite a bit and has a lot of Old Growth foliage which is always unusual

and pretty flowers….

Now both times in this area someone has said that thier butt was getting cold, and when you look down you see crystal clear water about 6 feet deep.  It is wild that you can feel the water temp of 88 degrees turn so quickly from the springs to 72 degrees.

and before long (about 2 miles from where you turned on to the creek) you arrive

BEETEE JAY SPRINGS!!!!!!  And a fishing shack to rival ALL fishing shacks

The actual spring is right below the walkway which leads to a round house

At that point is where you turn around and head back

On the way back, the boys decided they wanted to stop and swim in the cold water.  And as they screamed from the cold water and the fact that I really dont like being in the water, I decided to sit in my yak and watch a really cool looking spider make a web right over my yak.  This spider was small and his body and tips of his legs were black, but the rest of his legs were bright red.  So once the guys lips turned blue, they decided to climb back in and paddle home.  I knew Josh was getting tired because he was not as talkative as he had been all morning.

So once we got past the houses we past coming in, the shore line was tall reed grass.  I was staying back with Josh as Scott was up ahead.  So I paddled up next to Scott while we waited on Josh to catch up.  Now here I am with my paddle resting at the front of my combing as I am slouching back resting and BSing with Scott when I see his yak go straight up with a long 8-9 inch high wave striking out from under him both sides.  As the wave is hitting my boat I scream GAAA… when I feel a very strong thump strike the bottom of my kayak, and find myself upside down in the water. Knowing that we just spooked a VERY LARGE gator.  I was lucky to of had time to grab my paddle, but no time to sit upright for a brace, so I figured I would just roll back up… hahahaha the water was only about 2 1/2 foot deep and I find my head, shoulders and upper back laying on a hard bottom.  After trying 3 times to hip snap my yak back in place and realising one cannot do this while their upper body is laying on the ground, I just popped my skirt and came up for air.  What the hell, if he didn’t bite me by then I felt somewhat safe.  So as I am standing in the water laughing and rolling my yak back over the guys asked how I was going to get back into my kayak.  HAhahahaha, that is when I realised I was the only one that knew how to do an assisted rescue.  So I got Josh to hold my yak while I stepped back into it and started pumping the water out.  As we are laughing and screaming about how scarey that really was, Scott asked me why I didn’t empty the water out of my boat while I was still out of it instead of pumping it?  I quickly informed him that even though I was not worried about the gator we spooked being there, that didn’t mean he wouldn’t come back pissed, and the fact that we were only a couple of feet from the reed line where gators are known to hang out plus where there are big ones there are little ones… I wanted the HELL OUTA THAT WATER!!!!  So needless to say on our way back up the Chaz, we pretty much stayed in the middle of the river.  But I can now say I have been swimming with a gator. LOL

As we are headed back up stream and discussing how tired everyone was and if we wanted to go back the the launch and grab a bite to eat or go play at one of the more popular spring known as “Maggies” or the “Crack”.  We are about 70 yards from the shore line on a flat water river that has no boat traffic, and no one is around when we hear a loud bang that sounded like a gun shot and then lots of cracking and right beside us a 60 foot tree just fell over.  We all just looked at one another and decided that it was time to head home.  I am not sure if we were the luckest people on the face of the earth, or if we just used all of our luck up…

Life Lately

In Boobie, Expedition Single, Guillemot L, kayak, Redfish King, Spring Run, Wood Kayak on August 12, 2010 at 3:48 am

8/28/10  Okay, I will admitt that I have been working but I have also been paddling my new yak (Spring Run) as much as I can and have not worked on the new boat.  But I sure do love how the SR handles!!!  I just can’t seem to get enough of it, even the gator attack didn’t slow me down. LOL

Well sorry to say that I have not moved much with the Boobie.  I just got home tonight from giving a presentation to one of the local Woodworker Clubs ( The Florida Westcoast Woodworkers Club ) on how to build strippers.  HSN has had me working 12 hours a day 7 days a week for the last 6 weeks, and I was just hired by a new company to do what I do… Construction!!!  After 2 1/2 years of looking I finally found a job that is suited for me.  We have also been doing our fair share of camping this summer with one more trip out before I start my new job.

One of the things I have been emailed about lately is pictures of my yaks.  I did not realise that not everyone knew what to look for when searching my posts.  So here I will post the pics with the names, and if you want to see how I built them you can go on to that post

My 1st Expedition Single

My 2nd Guillemot L another Nick Schade yak from CLC

My 3rd Redfish King

My 4th Redfish Spring Run L

With my next being “The Boobie” and I am thinking a canoe after that with a sailboat coming at some point.

The Boobie (part 2 it has started)

In Boobie, kayak, Wood Kayak on June 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

 8/31/10  Not much more is done, started anchoring the forms inline on the strongback.  In the pics, the ones that have tape on them are set, but it is going well.  Now I am going camping/kayaking for a week, but stay tuned, I shall return.

08/29/10  As promised here are the pics of the start.  Here you see the clamp holes on the bow form

The stern form placed in the strong back

and the form sitting on the strong back

So before I can start stripping, I have to secure the forms in line and tape the edges.

08/28/10  GOOD LORD!!!  Where has the time gone???  I actually worked on the Boobie a little today.  I drilled all my clamp holes in the Bow & Stern forms, cut out the centers for the strong back, and started placing the forms.  I will show pics soon I promise.  I had to quit working on it so I could go play today.

06/28/10  Well I now have all my forms printed out and glued to some 1/2″ plywood I pulled from the dumpster at work.  And tonight I started cutting out forms.

I have a few design ideas, but once again I am building this yak at little to no cost to me.  I have decided to work the deck first on this one so that I can do it with out staples, keeping it clean.  And then I will use staples for ease of construction on the hull.  Most of the wood is going to be Mahogany and White Cedar because that is what I have the most of.  So stay tuned to see how this yak turns out.

Spring Run (part 6 finishing a yak)

In Spring Run, Wood Kayak on June 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

6/23/10 For now the pics show it on the water

6/22/10  The yak is loaded on the truck along with the Guillemot that I built.  Boy are they way different in shape from the bow to the stern.

And don’t they both look good on the truck

6/21/10  Tonight I hooked up the rudder, installed my foam, secured the seat, and ran my deck lines and handles.  It is going to hit the water Wed after work as long as the weather holds out.

6/20/10  Well I was very lucky and was able to use a “Paint Booth” this weekend.  And it was nice.  I also tried out a new Air Sander from Mirka.  What a dream!  The yak is getting closer and closer to hitting the water.

While I was sanding mine down with 320 grit paper, I decided to go ahead and do repairs to Peggy’s yak.

And now that they are sanded and in the booth,

it is time to start spraying…

All that is left is the rudder, seat and deck lines.  Looks like a Wed Launch to me!!!!

Here are a couple of pics of the whole yak while it is sitting on the stand, It is hard to see the colors till I get it on the water

6/17/10  Flipped and coated

I just love the combing

6/13/10  FINALLY!!!!  The epoxy wet sanding is done.

And now it is time to start the varnish coats.  I am going to put 5 coats on with a 4″ foam mini roller, and then sand smooth and spray my final 2 coats.  I will work on the hull for the next 5 days (5 coats) and then flip her over to do the 5 coats on the deck.

She is looking good, from a distance anyway. LOL

6/07/10  Well I decided this was a good place to start my final chapter on building this yak.  I am wet sanding the epoxy getting it ready for the varnish.  I  only have one way of doing this and that is by hand.  After 2 days I feel like my arms are going to fall off, but the deck and combing are done and about a 4th of the hull.

The slurry builds quick and you have to keep it washed off.  The nice thing about washing it off is that you get to see what it will look like with the varnish

Poker Run 2010

In Kayak Trips on May 17, 2010 at 2:47 am

Let me tell you that I had a WONDERFUL time once again this year.  The “Marion County Aquaholics” put on a GREAT Poker Run once again.  The river was running very high which made for an easy no blockage river.  I had no rescues this year, and ran into no rude or stupid people.  Wellll, except the two on jet skis that choked us all with thier 2 stroke fumes.  I was very impressed with how organized and how well it was run.  They even had help from the FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Comm.) shutteling people from the take out to the put in.  And as in the past, they helped everyone out of the boats and quickly loaded the boats on trailers to the parking lot.

The bad news is even though I was camping at Silver River State Park for 5 days, and had 3 cameras with me, I took NO pictures.  I was having way to much fun.  It was great seeing old friends and making new ones.  And 2 new camping trips came out of this trip.  We will be joining Dave & Phyllis up on the Suwannee in Sept. and Keith & Anita over at Hillsborough River at the end of July.

All I can say is I can’t wait till next year!!!!

Spring Run (part 5 making a yak)

In Spring Run, Wood Kayak on April 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm

6/5/10  I have finished with my epoxy … I think.  Tonight I started wet sanding the deck to get it ready for varnish.  I also completed my hatches with adding the hold down cords on the inside and the neoprene gasket on the lips.  These seem to be the best fitting hatches to date.  Hopefully I will finish sanding this weekend and start the varnish next week.

6/01/10  I’m on a run now!!!  Tonight after work I flipped the yak over and started sanding down the hull.  I ended up having way to many runs from doing the deck, so I taped the deck off and started with a fresh coat of epoxy.  I am going to have to add 2 coats and then try and sand it smooth again.  I was a little worried about digging into the cloth, so I will thicken the whole hull and then sand it smooth.

5/31/10  I guess it has been awhile since I posted anything, but at least this time I have managed to get a few things done.  Since my last post I did seam the inside of the yak and I cut out my hatches so I could reach inside to do the seaming.  I didn’t take pics of it because it really isn’t anything to see.  Now with that done, I got busy with other things.  The first being installing the hatch rims and making the drain grooves

I added a fillet of wood flour to the underside of the cockpit rim, sanded it all smooth and then cut out my thigh braces that I made earlier and attached them to the combing

And as you can see in the pics, I installed my footbraces.  I did this because it is easier to install them before I mount the front bulkhead.  What can I say, I am too old and fat to crawl inside the kayak to get to the front bolts when I can reach them from the front hatch.

And seeing as how I had to make the front one and install, might as well do the rear one as well

All the holes for the seat have been drilled and refilled.  And while I was using the fillet glue on the bulkheads, I glued the hatch hold down brackets in place

And I have ended this weekend with sanding the deck and applying the final coat of epoxy.

After I work the hull, then I will wet sand the entire yak and varnish it.

5/12/10  Today I leave for 5 days of camping and Paddling in Central Florida.  So I wont have any new postings for a little while but stay tuned to see what I have to say about this years Poker Run.

5/11/10  I started cutting out the hold downs for the hatches since I decided to not use external webbing.  I liked the way it worked on the “King” that I built.

and I also discovered that the P&H seat I was planning to use wont work because it doesn’t fit.  But Lucky Me!!!  I have a brand new 6 point deluxe seat out of a Wilderness Tempest 18 Pro that fits PERFECT!

And the colors of the woods I used are starting to show thier flair.

5/09/10  I started wrapping the combing with the 1/4 X 1/4 inch rips of Ash to create the lip

And as you can see it takes a whole lot of clamps

5/02/10  Well, I have been a little frustrated with this build the last couple of days and just been thinking about it.  When I glued the two halves together, I must of unclamped it to soon because the port side let go leaving a mess.  So I decided to cut away the mess the best I could and tape the starboard side with 6oz glass tape (I did that last night).  I also placed my serial numbers on the yak while I was taping it.  I think I am the only builder that puts a serial number on my yaks, but it seems to make sense to me?

  Getting up at 6 AM this morning I quickly reglued and clamped the port side back where it belongs.  I wont be removing these clamps for two days. HAhahaha  Well with that all clamped up, I decided to start installing the combing.  I ended up cutting off the cheek plates because I am going to use a seat from a P&H kayak, and with it being a full system, I reduced the size of the back plate.  After I scribed the recess on to the side of the combing I scribed another line 1 1/2″ above and removed it.  Then I placed it in the hole and taped the underside edge so it was flush with the inside of the yak, and around the ouside so I can keep my fillet nice and clean.

As you can tell from the swoops of the profile, I am glad I made this 4″ tall on the form.  I went from one edge to the other to fit this yak.

And with things going so well this morning, I decided to lay out the rudder I am using on this yak

So with the pintle screwed in place and the cable housings set, I can do the drill, fill, drill. and now have to remove everything.

4/28/10  Today I spent helping Don Thompson of “Big D’s Kayaking” build a pergola on his back porch giving him shade and shelter while working on yaks.  It was a long day and another day of ignoring the yak.

4/27/10  After working all day I went to the St. Petersburg Woodworkers Guild to do a presentation on how to build a Strip Kayak, so not much got done on the yak today

4/26/10  Well today is the start of it coming together.  I have joined the deck to the hull.  I am doing something different this time, I am glueing up the outside first.  From this point on it will be a lot of sanding and epoxy.

I also worked on glassing the hatch rims and bulkhead plywood and then had to stop so I could make a mock up of kayak for a presentation for a local woodworkers guild.  I am showing how to hull with staples, and the deck stapleless.

ECCKF 2010

In Kayak Trips, Kayaking on April 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

ECCKF stands for “East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival” which is held every April in Charleston SC.  And once again I happened to be there enjoying the great camping and venue.  I am sure that Kayakpeg and Pepperbutt will both have postings on their blogs, I just thought I would share some of my experiences.

First let me show you the art work that Sean got the name of Pepperbutt from when we were returning from this event 3 years ago.  He was so entralled with it the name just stuck. LOL 

I was happy it was still hanging on the wall.

When we arrived, we proceeded to unload the trailer we took and then ran a bunch of stuff over to Russell Farrow for his Sweetwater Kayaks booth.

While we were there we got to spend some time with Jake Stachovak   and discuss his travels and blog  plus sign his yak.

We also met with Tom Nichols, and our friend and instructor of past Wayne Horodowich  plus being able to tease Nigel Foster and got to meet the most Graceful person on the water Karen Knight  plus our old friends at the Osprey Bay tent the Doleman family.  Don and Donna Thompson (no relation) came by to share our campfire and strawberries and ice cream.  It was a nice evening getting to know them on a personal level instead of just in the kayak industry.

The Vendors were numerous and the customers growing in number over the last couple of years.  We saw lots of dogs and talked with a lot of nice people

Even the dogs had fun

We got to try some boats out that are new on the market

The camp ground on James Island is GREAT!!!  We even tried out our new car camping tent/condo

We saw lots of birds and even had Peggy’s favorite … a pair of Cardnials that hung out at our camp site

the ducks and Wood Storks were always close by

And one camp site even had Pink Flamingos

Spring Run (part 4 finishing the deck)

In Spring Run, Wood Kayak on April 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm

4/24/10  I had a safety meeting this morning for the St. Anthony’s Triathalon and didn’t get started till noon.  So I laid out my deck line recesses and the u-bolts on the ends.  I drilled an oversized hole for the U-bolts so that I can fill them with epoxy and drill them again.  The ol’ drill, fill, drill method.

And then I drilled the holes for the recesses, and filed each cup down for a custom fit on the inside.

I used Mahogany cups on the dark wood,  and Ash cups on the light wood.

With the deck upside down, I glued each recess in by coating the entire cup in epoxy.  While waiting on the deck to dry, I laid out my foot brace bolts on the inside of the hull and glued them in place with fibreglass reinforcement.  The bolts are covered in blue tape to keep the epoxy off the threads

4/23/10  Well it was epoxy day today.  First I finished sanding the top deck, and then laid out the glass cloth

then I proceeded to wet it out with epoxy

after I got the first coat of epoxy on, I mixed up some more epoxy and using the scrap cloth proceeded to glass a 2′ X 4′ piece of 1/8″ plywood to use as bulkheads later.  I will have to do another one to make my hatch rims.

and finished the last of the glassing on my combing as well as the final coat of epoxy on the thigh braces.

By then the deck was dry enough to lay a second coat of epoxy on the deck.  With that done it was time to put everything up for the day.  That was when I realised I have a garage full of boat!!!

The only thing I didn’t get done was the final coat of the inside hull, but tomorrow is another day, and I was ready to go out for a paddle.

4/22/10  No pics tonight, all I did was sand.  The combing, thigh braces, and inside hull are all sanded and ready for the final coat of epoxy.  The top of the deck is 1/2 sanded.  So tomorrow I will finish sanding the deck, and glass it.  Then put my final coat of epoxy on everything else.  I will have pics then.

4/21/10  I know it has been months since I have done any work on the yak, but if you read the other posts you will see why.  The day after I got back from Charleston, I started working on her again.  I laid my glass on the underside of the deck, and recoated my combing.  Today I added the second coat of epoxy to the deck and sanded the inside of the combing getting it ready for glass.

3/25/10   Just spent a few minutes sanding the fill coat on the underside of the deck.

2/7/10  It was a busy day today.  I mixed up some cab-o-sil and epoxy to put on a seal coat on the underside of the deck.  You can see the lights I am using for heat in my shop.  It is in the 60s here in FL… we think it is COLD!!!

Although most of this will be sanded off, it still fills all the voids to make a smooth surface for the glass to lay on.

Then I glassed my combing wall, and thigh braces plus epoxied the holders for my shock cord on the hatch hold downs.

2/4/10    Okay, now once again I feel like I am getting somewhere.  The cockpit recess is all glued up, as well the combing wall.

So tomorrow I hope to finish my exterior sanding and maybe even start glassing the yak.

1/31/10  It has been a couple of days since I posted anything, and it may be a while for the next one, looks like I have work this week. LOL  How ever this week I have been continuing my work on the recess which is almost done

And I did what I call a seal/putty coat over the entire yak and started my faring sanding

Plus I continue my work on the cockpit rim, it is all glued up and I will start sanding it now so that I can start glassing the outside.  You will notice the style matches the deck.  Sad thing is no one will see it when I have my skirt on because only the inside of this will be seen. LOL

1/25/10  As my last post said… I have been working on the cockpit recess and the combing.  It is slow going and if anyone out there has a faster easier way, PLEASE let me know

And I continue to work on the combing…