Finishing: The Final Steps
Well, now it’s a kayak… masquerading as a very large serrated knife. To make it less knife-like, we trim the excess fiberglass with an oscillating saw. At that point, it’s no longer a serrated knife, but is still very sharp. We then sand the edge so it is not quite so dangerously sharp. Now it really starts to look like a kayak.
In the next step, we add the trim to the coaming and the perimeter. We heat the trim so it conforms to the shape without puckering. Once it cools, it will hold the shape of the coaming or perimeter. At that point, we gently pull it away from the kayak in small sections. Finally, we add polyurethane sealant and put the trim back in place.
We now string safety and bungee lines on the kayak. We have different standard patterns for the bungees, depending on the model. Safety lines run along the perimeter on all models. We melt the ends of the lines to prevent fraying and secure the ends.
Now that the deck lines are on, it’s time for the decals. We apply each decal with slightly different technique to minimize bubbles. Each curve of the kayak provides its own challenges. All of our standard decals are reflective, as a safety measure. This is also when we add any custom decals the customer has ordered. We work with a great, local, small business who has been able to figure out nearly every request we’ve received.
Finishing Your Kayak: Final Steps
Once all the decals are applied we look the kayak over. We look for any seal that may have gotten onto the kayak, or any other dust or dirt that may be on the kayak. This is our final check of the kayak, we do our final polish and at last, it’s an NC Kayak that is ready to leave the shop and go to its new home.