Slope Oak

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Mill Creek 16.5, Part 7- End Pours and Fairing

Planing the deck edges

With the deck glued to the hull it’s time to shape, sand, fill, sand, sand, sand, and sand. A process known colloquially known as “fairing the boat”. Above, the boat goes in one end of the plane, art and scrap comes out the other.

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Mill Creek 16.5, Part 6- Strip Deck

Three hundred and twelve linear feet of Yellow Alaskan Cedar, Walnut and Western Red Cedar in three-quarters-of-an-inch wide planks form the deck. Ninety-six hand-cut bevels where each plank meets the deck edge. The next step will be sanding the underside and glassing it before joining it to the hull.

Mill Creek Hybrid, Part 5- Deck Forms

It’s been a busy spring, with too few snippets of time spaced too far apart. Some progress on the deck though, makes me happy.


Mill Creek Hybrid, Part 4- Making Pinstripes


Mill Creek Hybrid, Part 3- Fair and Glass the Hull

Nipping the copper ties (the stitch) and sanding the filets and seams (the glue) in preparation for fiberglassing the hull

Copper nest

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Mill Creek Hybrid, part 2- She Floats! (on sawhorses)

The last two weeks have been all about the interior of the boat. Now, with fillets and fiberglass in place, some sanding and 3-ish coats of epoxy it’s time to share the love on the exterior. Next up, a full fiberglassing of the outer hull. Lots of sanding and smoothing to do before that happens.

Copper stitches

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Mill Creek 16.5 Hybrid, Part 1- It Begins

I’ve been wanting to build a wood core kayak for at least a decade. I’ve clicked through the boat designs at Chesapeake Light Craft on and off for years. After much internal debate I purchased the Millcreek 16.5 Hybrid Tandem Kayak. The “hybrid” part is that the hull is marine plywood but the decking is done with 3/4″ cedar strips arranged in what ever design I feel like I can pull off. Hmmm…

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Gold Butte

February was datacenter migration time, which meant a few trips to Las Vegas. The last one would require renting a giant SUV to haul some IT crap. Since I had to drive that thing back home, there was enough room for my bike and gear, and we would finish up work Friday morning the scene was set for my first bikepack of 2018. In the sixties during the day, high twenties at night. Not bad for wintertime.

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Silver Island Mountains

Silver Island Mountains Register

I wanted- no, needed another bikepacking trip before the snow. Threw together a quick overnighter just outside of Wendover, UT. Between low-end desert casinos and the Bonneville Salt Flats lay the Silver Island mountains, with Floating Island right next door. My plan was to do a figure-eight around the island with a side trip over a causeway seen on Google Maps to camp on Floating Island. Being an isolated mountain range with one road around it I forsook Navigation Devices. Just need to look for a left turn somewhere around 30 miles. The satellite photos made it look so clear. Oddly enough, things don’t always look the appear with the same clarity at ground level.

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Cathedral Valley with the Doob

In which I take my youngest on his first bikepacking trip through the Cathedral Valley- also the first non-solo trip for me. A seasoned backpacker and both youthful and strong, the ride resembles my solo trips as he disappears ahead. I lag behind, alone and happy.

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