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Thread: Fitting wedge blocks

  1. Default Fitting wedge blocks

    I see lots of differing opinions on fitting these, and indeed whether needed at all. From my perspective whilst we will mostly be on flat water I will be paddling with young kids, and if the boat goes over for whatever reason I want something that will keep it afloat and empty quickly to at least lift kids back in to a boat that isn't swamped.

    Anyway - I've got a Mad River Explorer 16, and think I want to drill and lace. Not going to bother with a DRing as don't fancy it standing up long term to plastic boat. Going to have keeper strap running through grab handles. The MR16TT has kind of extended plastic deck at the bow and stern tips so wedges will fit under those to add some protection for them coming out.

    Going to lace the area where the wedge will be open, but only reckon I need three or so passes.

    My question is simple, do you recommend rope (say 5mm) or shock / bungee cord? Also how thin should rope be. I figured it doesn't want to be too thin as on a major snag would act like cheese wire?

    Any tips?
    Ukulele playing paddler http://www.gotaukulele.com

  2. #2
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    Some info here

    Don't put it through the grab handles, there's not much holding them onto the boat. Drill a bigger hole at the bow and stern and run thicker rope or tape through them and attach to that.

    HTH
    Cheers,

    Alan


  3. Default

    Thank you! Answers the question re the bungee v cord element. I am not looking to lace much else of the boat, so would prob not bother with the tubing. Do you think it ok to criss cross lace through the boat and through they eyelets on the wedge directly (as opposed to lacing the wedge onto the lacing on the boat). I can see the latter is easier for removal but do i really plan on removing them?

    Noted on the grab handle too. I have a rope loop drilled through bow and stern so can put keeper through that. On rear wedge could also easily lash it to back seat.
    Ukulele playing paddler http://www.gotaukulele.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazmaz View Post
    Thank you! Answers the question re the bungee v cord element. I am not looking to lace much else of the boat, so would prob not bother with the tubing. Do you think it ok to criss cross lace through the boat and through they eyelets on the wedge directly (as opposed to lacing the wedge onto the lacing on the boat). I can see the latter is easier for removal but do i really plan on removing them?

    Noted on the grab handle too. I have a rope loop drilled through bow and stern so can put keeper through that. On rear wedge could also easily lash it to back seat.

    No need to drill the boat at all.

    Fix 5mm cord to inside grab loop, thread this through the 'wedge' loops and tension back through the grab loop.

    This method will pull the 'wedge' into the Bow/Stern and locate it tight under the gunwales. No need foe the strap, drilling, P clips or such like...

    For your intended use on flatwater, this is all that is needed.

  5. Default

    Despite what chainsaw says about the grab handle not being that secure?

    Or do you mean the rope grab on bow? If I tighten to that I lose the use of the grab loop as a grab loop?
    Ukulele playing paddler http://www.gotaukulele.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazmaz View Post
    Despite what chainsaw says about the grab handle not being that secure?

    Or do you mean the rope grab on bow? If I tighten to that I lose the use of the grab loop as a grab loop?

    No not the handle, as Chainsaw says "this is not a strong point".

    The Grab loop should not be big enough to grab onto as it can become an entrapment hazard if your hand or fingers were through this loop. Always tie a length of tape or similar to this point. approx 20 - 30 cm long on which to 'grab' if needed.

  7. Default

    I have got floating rope attached to that loop, but if I tension it and ever want to tie anything else to it?

    Think I see what you mean though, will give it a go
    Ukulele playing paddler http://www.gotaukulele.com

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    I've used this method:





    I've replaced the original grab loops with the orange floating rope seen above.

    Ignore the rubber bumper, that's only there to protect the end caps from damage.

    I tied two thumb knots in the rope to give me the right length for the grab loop, then fed the rope through the original holes,leaving the thumb knots outside, a bit tight but went okay.
    Then I tied thumb knots, flush against the inside of the hull,followed by a few reef knots forming a loop, finishing off the job by fitting shrink tube over the two ends laid together.

    The wedge retaining strap simply goes through the lash loops, "d" rings on the wedge, the nose loop of the wedge and through the loop formed by the grab loop and back again.



    Heres the thread I posted ref initial fitting
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...quot-No-6-quot

    You could also fit a strap around the wedge, front to rear but I tested the job "as is" by capsizing the boat and carrying out X rescue drills and the wedges stayed put and performed excellently.

    cheers

    Steve
    Looking for a 15-16ft polythene boat? Then buy an SP3 from Nova Craft-"simples"

  9. #9

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    Just a significant thought; these blocks are better than nothing (so good stuff!), but do not provide enough bouyancy for a complete range of rescues!

    This will prompt some debate no doubt......................................here we go.

    Ken
    www.kenhughescourses.com

  10. Default

    Thanks Ken.mits partly a peace of mind thing for my wife as we are taking children out. Cant see in near future us doing rough water, but if out with kids just want something to ensure we can right the boat quickly, without to much inbound water to get little one back in and tow to shore.

    Of course, it may be the case that wife and I try some higher grades ( I used to be a team whitewater kayaker many moons back so i know I'll be tempted at some point) so they will serve a partial dual purpose. When that time comes I will lace them in, but for now will rely on a bit of basic lashing as above

    Thanks all
    Ukulele playing paddler http://www.gotaukulele.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by smallboatsarebest View Post
    Just a significant thought; these blocks are better than nothing (so good stuff!), but do not provide enough bouyancy for a complete range of rescues!

    This will prompt some debate no doubt......................................here we go.

    Ken
    www.kenhughescourses.com
    I have been looking at changing my blocks for larger airbags for this reason myself so it is interesting to hear you voicing the same concern.

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    I don't know what is meant by the "wedge." Might be a British English thing. In the States, there isn't anything that one might call a wedge.

    Drilling the hull below the gunwales is a very low risk procedure on a TT poly sandwich boat. As I've pointed out elsewhere, one can space the holes wider apart up near the deck plate, because the narrow hull makes a float bag less likely to escape. As one proceeds away from the end of the boat, the holes should get closer together so that a float bag is effectively contained.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    I don't know what is meant by the "wedge." Might be a British English thing.
    These sort of things:



    Usually a covered shaped lump of foam/polystyrene or similar.
    ​Change is inevitable; progress is optional.

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    Yes, I had seen them, but didn't know what they are called in the UK. We call them float blocks, going back to the giant Styrofoam bead blocks we used back in the 70s and 80s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smallboatsarebest View Post
    Just a significant thought; these blocks are better than nothing (so good stuff!), but do not provide enough bouyancy for a complete range of rescues!

    This will prompt some debate no doubt......................................here we go.

    Ken
    www.kenhughescourses.com
    Quote Originally Posted by chris241 View Post
    I have been looking at changing my blocks for larger airbags for this reason myself so it is interesting to hear you voicing the same concern.
    Me too, not had a 'keen debate' for a while. Ken, do you fancy taking some time to put your thoughts down in a new thread, be interested to hear their limitations.
    Cheers,

    Alan


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw View Post
    Me too, not had a 'keen debate' for a while. Ken, do you fancy taking some time to put your thoughts down in a new thread, be interested to hear their limitations.

    Me too,I've got blocks.
    wondering if I should change back to bags,the only time my boat got trapped not much poped up!
    blocks are heavier but more robust .
    reassuringly negative

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    I believe I've watched Ken Hughes' videos of canoe rescues in high wind and heavy water, and certainly more flotation would be required. My strategy for large bodies of water with high wind and heavy water is to not get out there in the first place.

    For calmer conditions, smaller water bodies, and rivers not exceeding grade 2, less flotation may be needed. I've gone almost 15 years with my older WW canoe using 30 inch float bags, and a minicell triple saddle. *But* that's still quite a bit more flotation than is provided by those foam wedges.

  18. #18
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    I fitted Endless River wedges to some SP3's recently (just before this thread was posted).

    One of the things I wanted was for the wedges to fit tight in the ends and not move about. I also wanted to get them as close to the underneath of the gunwales as possible. Because of the shape of the bottom of the wedges, they would not "wedge" into the ends and kept sliding out. In the end I got some cheap camping mat from the 99p shop and cut some strip which I rolled up and gaffer tapped to the bottom of the canoe about 12" back from the ends (1 pice each end). When I then slid the wedges in the foam mat compresses to the shape of the bottom of the wedge and the wedges were wedged in tight and raised so the tops are close to the gunwales.

    I ordered some cheap Camstraps from here to hold them in place and prevent them slipping out. I've used the carrying handle for these although I know this is not advised where there will be significant force applied such as moving water. If the boats are used for this the strap can be taken around the 6mm criss cross lashing rope which in turn is tied into the 6mm lacing along the boat.

    One other thing to note was the rear seat had to be removed on 2 of the boats in order to get the blocks in. This was quite interesting having bought 4 SP3's I found that all 4 of them varied in terms of where the seats and thwarts had been located as can be seen in the last picture where there was a difference of about 6".

    Will be interesting to hear from Ken about some of the limitations he has found with various rescue situations as these boat will be used for training including rescues.







    Last edited by elveys; 9th-May-2012 at 08:17 AM.

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    my wedges are pushed tight up under the gunnels and held in tight with large zip ties round the wedge bag loops on the top edges, horizontally to the small front grab handle on the boat.
    in case they came out they are also losely tied to the grab loops on the inside
    so far i have had several dunks and filled boat on the tees and ure and they have not shifted one bit.
    originally thought of adding a retaining strap along the length but have not bothered.
    having said that they will now float out on my next dunking i suppose!
    nature is m X-box

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