How to Build a Kevlar Canoe - II

“Off the form"

We worked the Kevlar off the form by gently tugging on the bow and stern at the gunwale level.  Once that came loose, I stuck my arm underneath and sort of "popped" it off the shrink wrap.  I then kept working on the gunwales a little at a time - lots of static electricity!  Eventually, while tugging on the gunwale just behind the center, the whole bottom lifted off.


It's really floppy at this point, and we had to lift it from the bow and stern.  You could not support it with a guy on either side.  We had made up the cradle (two sawhorses with extensions and some strapping), so we carried it over there.  The inside is very nearly flawless.  You can see a couple of spots with wrinkles, but really not very noticeable.  They are at the gunwale line, so will probably be cut off anyway.  At this point, it weighs 25 lbs.  I expect we'll cut off a pound or so of the gunwales and stems, but will add it back on in the form of finish coat and bow/stern sealing.

I bought some more shrink film yesterday - 62"x25' for about $21 on line.  I don't know if we'll redo the shrink wrap - this looks pretty darn good!

We then cut up the cherry for the gunwales.  This circle saw blade did a really nice job ($8 at Wal-Mart).  We decided to use 3/8" on the inwales (with 1/8" routed scuppers) and 1/2" on the outwales.  Tom will scarf them together - two pieces for the inwales and 3 pieces for the outwales.  We did weigh a "canoes worth" of strips; probably around 8 lbs for the gunwales alone.  I think we're looking at around 40 lbs again (finished).

I wonder if we could figure out a way to shrink wrap the outside?  You do have to heat it to shrink it, which accelerates epoxy curing.  Maybe duct tape on the gunwales, bungee corded underneath?

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