Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kayak Building, Modifications

June 2, 2010

A few days ago when we had the kayaks out in the yard and were taking some measurements for placing our rudder tracks inside the cockpit I discovered an error in my kayak.  I can't figure out where exactly I went wrong but somehow my highest curved deck beam was situated directly over my knee caps instead of just behind them.  

This high beam serves as the knee bar for us to wedge our knees up against and leverage against.  Plus, besides losing that advantage, it meant my legs had to be stretched straight instead of slightly bent (which allows a paddler to spread their center of balance out to become more stable).  That, and the bar was right on top of my knee cap which isn't comfortable at all.

With the original deck beam (dark) still in place above look at how my legs can bend differently when removed below.

So after a bit of discouragement, I set out to fix the problem.  It meant I had to remove the original beam and replace it with a new one, positioned further back.  

It turned out to be not that daunting of a process at all.  I did this last night and installed it this morning.  I'm very happy to report it feels great!

I made it a bit higher than the previous one too which makes getting in/out of the kayak a bit easier too.  Now I just need to install new deck stringers to connect with the others and then varnish the new additions.

We've also been finishing up our other after market additions, mainly our hatches.  Mine our drying after a couple coats of varnish.  Later today I hope to have my foot tracks installed too.  Cross your fingers, it isn't looking like they want to fit very well based on the size and design of our kayaks.  I hope it can be a relatively smooth process.

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