Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Further kayak exercises

Spent a couple of hours last evening getting my kayak back on the truck roof. In the process, we weighed it and it comes in at 52 lbs. Considering that it is supposed to weigh 35 lbs, I guess there is a tad more epoxy on the boat than is called for, like 17 lbs of it! No wonder it's so difficult. And the combination of high roof rack (6') and short stature (5'3") doesn't help.

However, we think we have developed a system that will work in most circumstances, so the next try should take a lot less time. I am trying to get the kayak on in such a way that the truck plus kayak is under 7' tall and 20' long, that being the lower limit for paying the oversize surcharge on BC ferries.

Basically, the system is, lay the kayak on the ground beside the truck, on the passenger side with the bow toward the front of the truck. Turn it upside down. Maybe put a blanket or rug under the stern end. Lift the bow end up and pivot it onto the forward roof rack. Lift the stern end up, slide the kayak forward until the cockpit is positioned between the two racks as close to the forward rack as possible, then pivot the stern end onto the rear roof rack. Place the foam cradles under the kayak on each rail, tie it all down.

The big trick will be lifting the kayak over my head. I have a short step stool to help with getting it up to the desired height.

We also made some modifications in the wheeleez to make them more effective. Instead of fastening the kayak to the wheeleez with the provided tie-downs, we used one 36" bungie cord. Then we attached two strings from either wheel axle to the bungie cord on the kayak near the cockpit, fairly tightly. The new bungie cord holds the kayak firmly to the wheeleez, and the two strings allow you to steer the wheeleez much more effectively. We also laid the kayak on its side rather than upright on the wheeleez, it seems more stable that way. Our improvements made a huge difference, I felt like I had way more control of the movement of the kayak and the wheeleez and it felt much more securely fastened.

[the wheeleez are a little trolley affair that you attach to one end of a kayak or canoe to help move it from one place to another]

Thanks Dave for all your ideas and help!

1 comment:

Barbara Anne said...

Cheers for good ideas and productive thinking - and for bungee cords, too, of course. From my 5'1" statue, I'll add thanks for stepping stools (man made or natural) and for all tall souls willing to be of help the the altitudinally challenged among us!

Glad you've got a working system that lets you go where you want to go and still manage your handmade very own kayak yourself. Applause!