***Get It Together***
FIRST things first: LIST all of your materials.
Start with a game plan! Embrace your inner artist and draw the boat with the outfitting you want. This will become both your shopping- and check-list. Do you have all of the D-rings, daisy chains, flotation, drybags, shock cord, static line, clips and hardware you need? DON’T FORGET to include things like adhesive, sandpaper, cleaning solvent and protective wear.
COLLECT all of you materials.
I’m sure you have good lighting and great tunes, but go through your list. Is it all there?
***Don’t Eat The Paste***
TIME FOR YOUR APPROPRIATE WORK SPACE AND SAFETY GEAR. Your work space should have ample ventilation and light. Be aware of the temperature as it will affect drying times. Safety gear may consist of gloves, glasses and a mask.
PLACE and TRACE your odds and ends.
Use pencil! Because it is easy to erase. If everything is correctly marked, right where you want it, you can embolden your pencil lines with a marker and start prepping the surfaces.
PREP the surfaces.
Use your coarse-grit sandpaper and scuff up the vinyl backs of your daisychains and D-rings AS WELL AS the destination surfaces in the boat. This greatly increases your working surface area, and it will make for much stronger bonds. Use a rag with a cleaning solvent (we used methyl ethyl ketone, aka MEK) to wipe all of your sanded surfaces, boat and bits.
STICK to it!
Get your glue and something to spread it with. Foam brushes work well for application. For gluing VINYL-on-vinyl (D-rings and daisy chains to Royalex), use something like Vinabond. For gluing FOAM-on-vinyl (knee pads and thigh blocks), use a contact cement like Mondo Bond. IMPORTANT: TAKE CAREFULL NOTE HERE: You will apply two coats of adhesive to each surface. The first, thin coat, on each surface, MUST DRY COMPLETELY. Allow your second coats to get tacky, and then join the two surfaces. Carefully lay large pieces, slowly and evenly, minimizing and working out any air pockets.
Rock and ROLL.
Use your fingers to “stretch” vinyl pads into the perfect place. Then, using an even can or rubber roller, roll over the whole patch. Get the perimeter as well as the center of the patch. You don’t want edges peeling up.
Decide how far apart you’d like your lines. Remember, the cages are there to hold your flotation in! 3-4″ between each lacing works nicely. Mark where you want to lace the cages, just below and along the gunwale, stopping inline with your daisy chain. It is good to leave a little room between your hole and the gunwales. 0.25-0.5″ should be ample. Double check that your marks line up with each other!
Put some holes in that boat!
Lace your cage! Start with an excess of rope. You can always trim it at the end. Tie a nice stopper knot, like a double overhand, and put some tension in your line.
***Put A Bow On It***
Clean up your boat, and get it out there! If you have errant permanent marker lines in your boat, wipe remaining lines with some MEK on a rag.
There are all sorts of things we can do to customize our boats for performance, comfort or looks. On this boat, we also replaced a rotten yoke, added painter lines, drilled drain holes in the deck plates and rigged a custom dry-/floatbag setup for the center. Other bells and whistles you may be interested in are skidplates and footpegs.
See our finished product: