My wife and I have paddled both canoes and kayaks on and off on various holidays over the years but until recent retirement have not owned our own boat. Issues with storage and transportation meant that a hard shell was not possible and so we started looking for an inflatable.
We had a great deal of help from our local shop (Robin Hood Watersports) who put us together an excellent package based around a Sevylor K2 Pointer. Although, as expected, the kayak has its limitations in terms of robustness and performance, it has enabled us to get out on the water and explore beautiful places at a relaxing pace.
A great deal of enjoyment has been had in adapting the boat to suit our particular needs. Many of the ideas have been gleaned from earlier SOTP postings – thank you.
I thought it might be useful to gather them all into one place for future reference.
To be continued (hopefully!)
The seats supplied have quite a soft back which often seemed to get bent when getting into the kayak. Off cuts of ABS, cut to shape using a cardboard template, are then held in place by the elastic netting already present on the seat back. This gives a much stiffer back which does not get deformed. A small loop of nylon line secures the stiffener to the top of the seat.
There are limited points to attach items such as water bottles to the kayak as it stands. This can be remedied by feeding a piece of cycle inner tube complete with a stainless steel O ring over the main seat straps resulting in an attachment point close at hand
My wife requires rather more support in the small of her back and so a piece of closed cell foam was cut off from a swimming aid (noodle), spilt lengthways and then fixed onto a piece of ABS with zip ties. It is not attached to the seat itself to can easily be adjusted for maximum comfort
The front deck of the kayak is supported by the original ABS arch. As the rear decking seemed to sag and allow water to pool an additional arch was made. The ABS off cut needed cutting into two pieces and fixing with pop rivets.
Deck line and rings
One potential downside of this particular model is that it does not have as many attachment points on the hull as I would like. This has been partially solved by running a deck line down each side which has stainless steel O rings knotted in place at convenient points. This can also act as an additional grab line as it is secured to the fore and aft carrying handles.
Air bag & foot rest
As the rear paddler I can often brace my feet against the back of the front seat but there is nothing for the front paddler to use. This was rectified by purchasing a 12 litre air bag and two gardeners’ foam kneeling pads. This latter were each cut in two and the whole bundle tied together. The bag and pads are simply pushed into the forepeak and provide sufficient bracing for normal use.
Floor bladder protection
In order to protect the exposed extremities of the floor bladder especially when load kit in the fore and aft sections I have cut two section from a car rubber floor mat. Cheap mats are available from Wilko and similar stores.
Mooring stake and guard
Often on the water where we paddle there are no mooring rings and the banks are too high to lift out the boat easily. A dog tethering screw suitably protected, when in the kayak, by a tight fitting plastic tube provides a solution.
Two mooring lines have been added, clipped in to the fore and aft handles. To avoid having these loose in the boat they are stored in the net bags provided originally as bottle holders. An additional bag had to be purchased as only one was came as standard.
C Tug Trolley
After a couple of lengthy carries from a car park to the put in spot a C Tug trolley was purchased. It had proved an excellent investment and can easily be carried on the kayak if necessary. The wheels, pads and kick stand will pass through the rear hatch whilst the main frame pieces can be stored under the
elastics on the foredeck. It does not show very clearly but to aid attaching a car tyre pump hose I have fitted "angled valve extenders". These are available on ebay and much favored by motorcyclists. Keeping the maximum allowed pressure as printed on the tyre itself seems to reduce the likelihood of a puncture.
For use only when the kayak is paddled as a solo a cheap single paddle was purchased as “get you home” item. Since the photo was taken the handle end has been changed for a T piece (Palm) which has proved more useful as an occasional boat hook.
T handles – storage loops
In order to give maximum maneuverability when paddling in narrow waterways the double ended paddles are split and an extension fitted on the end. The T handles are
from Palm and the aluminum tube from eBay. A stainless steel self taping screw (not showing in the photo secures the T piece and prevents it twisting). By making them yourself you can ensure they are the correct length for different height paddlers. When not in use they live under the elastic straps on deck secured by a couple of knotted loops.
This was a cheap item from a discount store whose original purpose was a cover for a garden rotary drier.
There are numerous zips on the kayak itself and associated bags and I find some of the zips difficult to manage with cold and wet fingers. A length of bright yellow nylon guy line threaded through each zip slider not only makes them easier to grasp but also much more visible.
The various plastic clips can be difficult to undo. Where possible they have been replaced with stainless steel snap links from a yacht chandlers
Dry bag and BDH
The stern storage area is surprisingly capacious and dry bag for spare clothes and a BDH for food fit in easily. Having the additional arch as noted above does help to increase the capacity here.
For topping up the pressure during the day (rarely necessary) I carry a small foot pump. The connection tube seemed very susceptible to damage so it has been replaced by a length of wire reinforced tubing, sold as waste-pipe for caravan sinks. It is secured with a couple of stainless steel Jubilee clips.
Bailer and sponge
Having read that inflatables can be wet to paddle an early purchase was a baler and large sponge. Fortunately these have rarely proved necessary.
The skeg as provided really does help with straight line tracking but seems venerable to damage or loss. A spare can be made by using a hacksaw on a cheap cutting board with the original as a template.
Landing on shingle beaches and concrete slipways etc seemed to have scrapped a couple of minor areas on the bow so a layer of Aquasure has been use to protect this slightly vulnerable area from any further damage.
This is probably over kill but I have always enjoyed maps and navigation issues. A waterproof map bag (Ortlieb) is contains a piece of corrugated card as used for noticeboards and For Sale signs and is clipped on to the deck lines behind the front seat. A small compass and cheap digital watch and held in place inside the bag with double sided tape.
Name & Logo
These last two additions are really just a bit of vanity! The letters for the boats name came from an internet supplier for yacht names and the logo, a map of Arran were we spend holidays, is cut from a sheet of neoprene and glued on with Aquasure. The dot at the southern end is not a dirty mark but the island of Pladda!