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Friday, December 12, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Installing the Decks

With the completion of the paint job on the interior it is finally time to permanently install the two side decks which will cover the dry storage compartments and the front deck that fits into the stem.


The two side decks and the front deck fit into the stem have been epoxied and screwed into place.

Installing the Deck Pieces

The three deck pieces have been previously fit and the screw holes drilled and countersunk for wood plugs. I had to do a little prep work prior to installing them.

I first sanded the interior plywood sides above the Durabak paint with 220 grit paper with my 5" random orbital sander. I also finish sanded the gunnels inside and out with 220 grit sandpaper. Once that was done I sanded the tops of the deck frames with 80 grit sandpaper to prepare them to receive thickened epoxy to glue the tops down.

I next vacuumed up all the saw dust created doing the prep work. I then mixed up a batch of thickened epoxy to use as glue. I used 1 ounce of  fast set hardener and 2 ounces of the compatible resin. Once mixed I added wood flour to thicken the epoxy to the consistency of a normal glue. I coated the tops of the dry box frame work and then carefully placed one of the side deck tops. Once aligned with the pre-drilled screw holes I used #8 x 3/4 silicon bronze screws to attach the deck piece. I repeated the process with the opposite side and the front deck.

Epoxy Fillets

Once the decks were epoxied to the framework the next step was using epoxy peanut butter to install fillets at the joint of the decks to the interior sides. 

I used 3/4" blue masking tape and masked a line on the decks and on the sides so I had a finished fillet of about 3/8". This is about the size of a rounded wooden tongue suppressor. Using masking tape insures a nice straight fillet and minimizes the cleanup and sanding. The key is to (a) take your time and mask straight true lines (b) mix the peanut butter to the proper consistency, it must be firm and non sagging, and (c) to let the epoxy fillet set up long enough prior to pulling the masking.

Once the masking was pulled, I let the epoxy fillet set up a bit more and then wet one of my fingers in a protective glove with acetone and swiped it down the length of the fillets. This smooths the fillet out nicely.


The 3/8" epoxy fillet is smoothed out a finger in a glove with acetone. Once it sets up and hardens it just needs a little detail sanding by hand and then it can be flow coated with epoxy.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Painting the Interior with Durabak

I've been preparing for painting the interior areas that will be painted with "Durabak" polyurethane truck bedliner. It is a do-it-yourself product that can be applied by brush, roller or sprayed. Because of all the detailing I will be doing most of it with a roller and cutting in the hard to reach spots with a brush. I'm using the Durabak 18 which is a UV resistant product.


Here's the finished product. Believe me it's a lot of work!

With the Kingfisher I'm painting the following areas with Durabak 18.
  • The floors
  • The inside and outside of the dry boxes
  • The inside and outside of the two pedestals for the seats
  • The two hoops for the rowers seats
  • The base of the rear casting brace
  • The sides up about 6" to 10" depending on the area


Preparing the surfaces

Once I installed the wood plugs for attachment of pulleys, foot braces and the 3 drain plugs I had to fair all of the surfaces to be painted with Durabak. I used an epoxy mixed with micro balloons. This is a fairing mixture for smoothing the surfaces. I used a fast set hardener with it's compatible resin. Micro balloons create a low density filler that is suited for fairing, smoothing out, large areas. It is approximately 30% easier to sand than epoxy thickened with wood flour. When you are doing large areas this really helps. 

I purchased the micro balloons at TAP Plastics of Sacramento, CA. I mixed up batches of 2 ounces of resin to 1 ounce of fast set hardener. This allowed me time to work the filler with a squeegee or a brush and not have it run and drip too much. I mixed the filler to a mayonnaise type consistency. On the more vertical surfaces slightly thicker. I used this filler on the bottom and on relatively vertical surfaces.

Once the filler had set, I sanded the surfaces with 80 grit discs with a 6" or 5" random orbital sander. Once sanded I vacuumed up the surface and reapplied the fairing mixture as necessary. I faired all the surfaces in two layers, sanding in between. Being the Durabak has rubber granules mixed in with it, the surface needs to be flat but not perfect.  This was the first time using the product and I think I probably did a better fairing job that I really needed to.

Once the fairing was completed to satisfaction I sanded all the areas that would be coated with Durabak one last time with 80 grit sandpaper. I hand sanded all the inside corners and areas I could not sand with the random orbital sander.

I vacuumed the surfaces and then used Xylene to clean and etch all the surfaces. The Durabak instructions were very clear to only use Xylene.  



Some of the areas, like the caster's knee brace, was difficult to fair and to mask. I think it came out pretty cool though!

Masking the Surfaces


The areas that were to be varnished and not coated with Durabak had to be masked completely. Durabak is sort of messy and I did not want to have to clean off any drips. I used 1/4" wide masking tape to establish the line to be painted to. I then applied a strip of 3/4" blue masking tape to that line.   Then I used a 3M masking machine with 12' paper and 3/4" blue tape to complete the masking job. I'd say it took me 3 to 4 hours to mask everything off.


This photo shows the inside of the dry boxes, the front pedestal and the line painted forward to the stem (bow). The mahogany deck that will be attached on top of the dry boxes will extend forward to the stem.

Applying the Durabak

It is important to get organized prior to any painting project and this is one of those. I had to gather up a number of items and get everything laid out and organized prior to starting painting. Things like:
  • Xylene to thin the Durabak if necessary and to clean up messes
  • 4" roller frame
  • Special 4' foam rollers provided by Durabak (2)
  • Disposable paint trays for a 4" roller frame
  • A soft Polyester brush
  • A metal mixer wand  - 1 gallon size
  • Wooden stir sticks
  • Rags
Durabak can be thinned up to 15% with Xylene. I opened the Durabak 18 can and used the metal mixer wand in a cordless drill to stir the material. The instructions are explicit about doing this. Durabak comes in a smooth or a textured type. I'm using the textured. Rubber particles are suspended in the polyurethane paint. The paint must be stirred on a regular basis to keep the particles in suspension. I decided to apply the Durabak straight out of the can. In retrospect, I believe I should have thinned it slightly as I had trouble having the rubber particles clump together. I had to really work the material to spread the rubber particles out evenly. 

The material was fairly easy to apply and I had the first coat done in about 1 1/2 hours. When the first coat was down I was a little disappointed in the way the rubber particles were spread around. The material is recommended to be applied in two coats so I was hoping that the second coat would even the finish out a bit. I waited for the material to be dry to the touch, about 1 hour, to start with the second coat.

I decided to thin the second coat by about 5%. I'm glad I did. I had purchased 1 gallon and had used about 60% of it on the first coat. Thinning it did the trick. It spread evenly and nicely and I had just enough to give everything a second coat. The rubber particles were spread fairly evenly. It's not perfect but it will be fine.


This is the rear Pedestal and the rounded transom. All the wood grain portions or the boat will receive many coats of marine varnish.

It is also important to pull all the masking after applying the second coat and before that Durabak sets up too much. All the photos were taken about 1 hour after the second coat was applied.

Up Next!

I can finally install the 1/4" mahogany decks. They have been fitted and have been flow coated twice with epoxy. They are sanded and ready to install. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Drain Plugs


Now that the LineX bed-liner is sprayed on the bottom it's time to install drain plugs and wood inserts where I need to attached various parts to the bottom. The bottom is constructed with Plascore, a honeycomb plastic material. Screws will not attach to it. So essentially I have a 3/4" thick plastic bottom with Kevlar and fiberglass on both sides. I need to epoxy and glass in some epoxy sealed Okoume plywood discs to enable me to attach stuff.

I used 3 different sizes of hole saws mounted in a drill press to make the discs.

2 1/2" Diameter Discs. 

The first discs where 2 1/2" in diameter. These would be used for attaching pulleys for the anchor system. I will be inserting one in the transom and two under the front of the rower's seat. The ones under the rowers seat are placed butting up to one another.


Here are the two side by side holes under the rower's seat where a pulley will be attached. I used a 2 1/2" hole saw to cut through the top layer of Kevlar and fiberglass.

2' Diameter Discs

The 2nd set of discs were 2" diameter. These would be used to secure the foot brace brackets in front of the rower's seat. There will be 4 of them.


Here is a photo of a 2 inch diameter hole that has been drilled and then the plastic honeycomb removed 

The holes are bored with a 2' diameter hole saw just through the top layer and then the honeycomb core is removed by twisted the core out with a pair of needle nose pliers.


2' Diameter holes for the Drain Plugs

The drain plugs require 2 holes to be bored. I started off by drilling a 2" diameter hole through a piece of 1/2" thick Okoume plywood with a 2" hole saw. The holesaw has a 1/4" diameter pilot bit. Once drilled, I changed to a 1" diameter hole saw. I held the 2" disc in a clamp and used the 1/4" pilot hole to drill a 1" diameter hole inn the center.



The photo above shows the 2" diameter discs on the top row and the plug for the drain plug on the bottom. The brass drain plug is inserted into one of the discs.

Sealing and Installing the Discs

The discs were sealed with epoxy on all sides prior to installing them. They were then sanded with 120 grit prior to installing them. Once sanded I mixed up some epoxy peanut butter and epoxied the discs into their appropriate holes. The epoxy peanut butter was squeezed out of the holes as they were leveled. The epoxy was leveled and cleaned up and left to harden overnight. The next day I cut squares of fiberglass cloth and placed them over the plugs and flow coated them.


This photo shows the 4 - 2" diameter discs epoxied in place

Installing the Drain Plugs

Once the wooden discs had set up I had to drill through the LineX bottom. I used a 1" diameter steel bit. The bit scored the holes a bit so I recoated them with epoxy Once the epoxy had hardened the plugs were ready to be installed. The brass drain plugs were installed with 3M 5200 adhesive. The bottom flange and the outside surfaces of the drain plug were coated liberally. Once the plugs were inserted I used #8 x 5/8" brass screws to attach the brass drain plug to the wooden disc. I put 5200 adhesive in the screw holes.


This is a photo of the drain plug disc in the transom prior to drilling through the bottom. Note that the disc is about 3/16" below the surface of the bottom. This will flush out the drain plug flange.