It's DONE! I did it! I built a kayak! It only took seven years from buying the kit to finishing it. There are a few fiddley things left to do, like add hand holds and then it is launch time. Building this thing has been a huge lesson, not just in woodworking and boat building but in how to approach life.
1. Ask for help.
The people at Pygmy Boats http://www.pygmyboats.com/ were incredibly helpful. They helped after some oops moments. They knew what was a big problem, what wasn't and what to do about both.
2. Work everyday.
The first two summers, 2007 and 2008, I didn't do this. In 2007 my mother was in crisis after crisis but I have no excuse for last year. This year I went and worked on that thing almost daily, even when I didn't want to, even when the previous day had been a disaster.
3. Only focus on the day's task.
When it's done, you're done. There were pages of unintelligible (to me) instructions. At first I read pages ahead and was so discouraged. When I focused on the task at hand, I could proceed.
4. You can accomplish a big and difficult task by breaking it down into little pieces.
This is one of those things I have heard for years. Yeah, yeah, I always said. Now that I have actually done it, I see that it is true.
5. No one sees the mistakes but you.
Eveyone is impressed that I built a boat. They see the total accomplishment. I see all the errors, all the learning how not to do it.
I DID it! I built a kayak!