Up and Running!

The first kayak.

We are manufacturing again! The first two kayaks built at the new shop are fully assembled and are going into finishing tomorrow. I’m so excited to finally get to see the new logo and decals on one of our kayaks. We have built all major parts for the third kayak and it just needs a bit more time to fully cure before it is also assembled. We’ve ordered the custom decals for the fourth kayak (which will be auctioned at the Tacoma Arts Live 2020 Gala), and I’m prepped and ready to start that one… it’s going to be pretty!

The second kayak.

Also visiting our shop is one of our earliest kayaks. It’s back for some new deck lines and some repair work. The kayak itself is in great shape and after we give it a little love, it will be ready to go for another couple of decades. I like that the kayak from nearly 20 years ago and those we build today have a strong family resemblance. Each subtle change along the way is an improvement from a lesson learned or new material that became available, but still strikingly similar.

We had a long break while we got the necessary equipment installed at the new shop and then everything inspected for our permits, and I had forgotten how intense building kayaks can be. The timing for the entire process is driven by the cure time for the resins and gel coats. In some cases, it’s a hurry up and wait scenario, but other times we are going as fast as we can just to keep up. The entire experience is a wonderful blend of technical know-how, artistry, and an eye for detail. I may be a bit sore as I get used to the build schedule again. I used to get more than 12,000 steps every day while making kayaks, all around one of our 15- to 19-foot-long molds. I couldn’t be happier to be back in production.

Our new logo on the placard in the kayak.

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