Kayak Research

Or 10 things I learned by looking at what I am building after I have built it.

Funny, how I have half built a kayak without ever really looking at one. I had seen them on the top of SUVs and Volkswagons and so on and in stores, but I had never really LOOKED at one in person. One could safely assume that I have never been in one either from that prior statement.
I brought a co-worker home today who’s ride didn’t show up (cross fingers that said ride was just being forgetful and nothing serious happened) and the road back home was at a dead stop. So, I decided to go to Bass Pro Shops and do a bit of “research”. My discoveries are:

  1. They sell a lot of plastic & fiberglass boats.
  2. They sell a really cool boat that the back 3rd splits open so the boat forms a Y with the pull of a lever. You can stand up in the boat, so they include a railing and push rod recessed into the floor of the boat. It costs $2k.
  3. They have a limited selection of paddles, all of which split down the middle (for blade pitch adjustment) but none of the blades come off the shafts (without tools).
  4. The equvilent of what I am making costs $600 and doesn’t have many of the “extras” that the more expensive boats have, like cup holders.
  5. Kayak Racks to transport the boats on your car cost extra money. As do covers for storing your Kayak.
  6. They come in a LOT of colors.
  7. Canoes (which I always thought of as small) seem HUGE next to a Kayak. Kayaks seem HUGE when they are standing straight up and down and are in a building.
  8. I still haven’t figured out this camera phone.
  9. The only 2 “required” items to use a Kayak are a paddle and a life jacket. There are a lot of life jackets to choose from.
  10. Parents are apt to drop a lot of money on their kids. 2 families walked in while I was gawking and picked out a kayak and had it rung up.

You sat on not in at least half the kayaks there. I am wondering if redisigning the boat to be taller and wider making a foldable canoe would be in order? Using 3/4 inch plywood would strengthen the boat a lot. You could probably add a seat to the top of one of the center braces then and sit up on the boat. Hmm, it would need to be strong enough to sit on unskinned as some dummy (me) is liable to sit on the boat on land.

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