Monday, July 7, 2008

Lowering the Bar

In spite of careful measuring and a host of other precautions, the rim of my re-constructed skin-on-frame qajaq sits too high off the hull and thus manages to gouge a groove out of my back whenever I try to lay back on the rear deck. This past weekend, I decided to see what I could do to change this annoyance.

I began by gluing a new flange to the rim just underneath the present one. Once it was set, I cut off the old flange. In the photo above, you can see I've got about half the flange cut off. I actually left the forward part of the old flange on the rim to make the skirt easier to pull on or off and also provide slightly more chance for water coming over the deck to be deflected off should I happen to paddle skirtless. This lowered the rim about half an inch. Once that was done, I 'sculpted' the top of the flange itself making the rear section slope gently into the cockpit, giving it a wider, gentler surface area, which will hopefully make it more comfortable when I lay back for a snooze - or a roll! I'd already provided for the rear of the rim to 'float' by lowering the cross-piece at that point, so I have great hopes...

I'll have the boat out for a tryout tomorrow once everything dries out a bit...

In case you're wondering what the 'hull liner' is in the picture, it's a Krazy-Karpet' left over from winter sliding fun. It makes a perfect slip in - slip out, with a whole lot less wiggling and reverse knee bending!

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