Well, that might be jumping the gun just a smidge - I indeed have a completed and waterproofed kayak (well, the waterproofing has not yet been tested). I still need to put in deck lines before she's really ready to be tested, and given my panic-y feelings about drilling into my completed and coated frame/skin - that part may take a little bit.
But to hold you over until I have the maiden-launch, here is a little taste of what happened in between the start of skinning and the completion:
The decks needed two rounds of stitching. The top photo shows the first stitch, drawing the two sides together. Once that was done (and let me tell you, it took a long long painful time. A co-worker of mine is a sailor, and suggested using a spray bottle to wet the nylon and make it stretch more in order to sew it tight. Brilliance. Nylon apparently stretches around 22% when wet - my life took a turn for the better from that moment on)
After the decks were all sewn up, I had to cut into the cockpit area and sew in the coaming. It was slightly terrifying, but I heated up the sauder gun, took a deep breath (away from the burning-nylon fumes) and started cutting....
I pushed nails up through the skin and out the holes in the coaming to hold it in place when I was getting ready to sew it. When it was all set, I took the nails out one-by-one and followed them around with thread. It was a testament to how tough this ballistic nylon is - it was difficult to pierce it with these nails.
Ben and Steve (Collins) both inquired as to whether this spike-system was employed to keep seals from boarding the decks. They were both disappointed when I said it was temporary...
Here it is - inside and out.
The next, and final, step was to coat it with the 2-part polyurethane that I ordered with the skin from Corey at the Skin Boat School in Anacortes, WA. This process was pretty fun and went quickly. I did the hull first, doing three coats in sequence, wet-on-wet. The next day I came out to do the deck and was turned around by the gross amount of sawdust in the air that was being produced by Ben and Jeff's boatbuilding adventure. I was assured that the following day would be much clear-er in the shop, so I came back then. It's safe to say that there are many little particles of waste from their boats embedded in the coating of my boat - it'll just make it stronger, right?
I was going to dye the skin, but thought about it too late and didn't want to wait for an ordered dye to come in the mail. You need a pretty strong acid dye (more umpfh than RIT that you can get in town), and I was ready to go. So my boat is clear-ish, all of the woodwork showing through in the light. When the polyurethane dried it came out quite a bit more opaque, but you still get the idea.
Some final shots from the shop: