Can I JB Weld some plastic lugs to my Rec-Kayak combing to make the skirt grab a bit better

SZihn

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I have a large cockpit on my Old Town Loon and I do have a spray skirt for it, but it doesn't really grab well around the sides. It works well enough once you get it on, but getting it on is almost a 2 man job because I can't reach the back and the front both from the seated position and the tunnel want to go with you, making it very easy to pull it loose as you work on the front or the back, but I can't tuck in both at the same time because I can't reach.


So I was looking at the combing sand I can see it's not deep enough to let the bad grab well. I believe if I were to cement or even screw come lugs at about 10 inch interval all along the outside edges of the comb it would solve the problem and let me use it with a lot more ease. The edges of the lugs should be rounded so they will not catch and hold if I need to pull it loose in a wet exit, but the way it is now, the front and the rear are going 90% of the "grab' and the side don't give much at all.


So my first question is (A) what kind of plastic can be glued to the plastic used to make the hull and (b) If nothign will glue it in a strong and permanent fashion, is there anything wrong with making the lugs from aluminum and simply using stainless screws?


My idea is to make them about 2 inches long and about 3/4" wide, so the spray skirt will have to work around them an addition 1.5 inches at between 2:00 and 4:00 and also at between 8:00 and 10:00.
 

CaliPaddler

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This seems like a long way to go to secure a skirt on a kayak that wasn’t designed with one in mind. Whatever you do or however you do it, make sure you can easily, under duress, pop the skirt off with one hand, upside down under water. You’re aware of the wet exit but doing it is another matter, and with a cockpit that large half your body is gonna tumble out creating pull and pressure on the skirt material you can’t predict on land.
 

SZihn

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All good points CaliPaddler, and already considered.
That's the reason I want them to be enough to simply give the "rubber ring" something to get under and hold down but no more.

The way it's made now the skirt barely stays on, because it's gripping at 6:00 and 12:00 and the rest of the way around the tension is dropping out from under the ridge on the combing. So some extra grip is desired, but not enough to make it difficult to pop off.

My Loon is never going to be a rolling boat. The spray skirt is there so the chop and spray doesn't accumulate inside the cock pit, but for worse conditions I now have a truly seaworthy kayak, my Necky Chatham 17. But for paddling along the shore here and knowing the winds drop so quickly in "sheers" from the mountains, it's best to have the skirt in the hatch and so I can put it on if need be. Most of those kind of wind sheers come and go in 15 minutes, but for the short time they are blowing I have seen 4" of water blown into the cockpit a few times, in about 10 minutes (before I had the skirt)

So far the skirt is doing ok, for exactly what it's called, (spray skirt) but it's difficult to put on, because it seems like a job "for 3 hands on 3 foot long arms". The cleats or lugs (or what ever I should call them) would be there just to make installing it quickly a lot easier. But I don't know if gluing such lugs is something that can be dome and be really reliable.

If not, I may make them out of a tough plastic or glass-filled Nylon and simply use stainless wood screws to attach them. I believe 3 on each side would cure the problem.

For now, I can't put the skirt on in the same way I do on my Chatham (back to front) because my arms are not long enough. In the loon I think someone would have to be 7 feet tall to install it back to front, because you'd need to be seated and stay seated to not pull it off the rear combing as you try to reach the front of the cockpit. Your body is in the tunnel so you can';t come forward 1 to 1-1/2 feet to work on the front end with the rear of the skirt following you. If I start at the front and work back it's possible, but with nothign to grab onto with the sides of the skirt it's "a balancing act" to get seated and stretch the skirt back behind you when the side are not holding and ALL the tension is pulling at 12:00. It's too far from the seated position to reach and hold at both 6:00 and 12:00 at the same time. But if you could give the skirt something to hold onto along the sides you could stretch it just like the one on the Chatham, just backwards going front to rear instead of rear to front.

So the real focus of this post is tapping into any knowledge of anyone gluing plastic to the boat in ways that will truly hold and not come off at some time in the future. The boat will get used in the heat of summer as well as the cold of hunting seasons, down to the low single digests at times.

If no one know a trick for doing that I will resort to screws.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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SZihn

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And I am not wanting to buy another spray skirt or 1/2 skirt because I have a Seals skirt now and it is just fine. The problem is the cockpit rim itself. If I make some lugs to give a bit of "grab" to the Seals skirt I believe it will solve the problem.With lugs mounted along the long sides ( at about 1:00 and 11:00, 3:00 and 9:00 and 5:00 and 7:00) I can install my skirt from front to back as I slide myself backwards into the seat. But with it being 56" long there is no way to seat yourself and then place it around the combing. To reach the combing you are forced to come forward off the seat. In doing that you can't keep the rear of the skirt on the combing, so installing it in the usual way of back to front is not possible. If I have lugs at intervals so I give the skirt some extra traction to grab I can slide forward and attach the front and then work back on both sides until I am seated, and then run the "rubber ring" around the back to grab at the 6:00
If I make them from Polyethylene and screw them into place and then I find I can't make it work I can remove the lugs later and plug the holes with screws coated in silicone caulk, so it would not look too bad if my idea fails. But if it was a sugsess (and I believe it will be) I believe a chemical weld of the plastic would be better then screws because you would have several square inches of contact as opposed to all the stress being loaded on the shear point of the shaft of the screws.
 

red kite

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Are the boats made from UHMW Polyethylene?
HDPE. Which still makes it next to impossible for pretty much any adhesive to stick to "permanently" under load. Specially since you can't really properly prep that section of the coaming.

(UHMW-PE is slightly different on molecular level, but from the manufacturer's perspective more importantly, considerably harder to mold and more expensive... Not the material to make low cost kayaks from. )
 
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red kite

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And I am not wanting to buy another spray skirt or 1/2 skirt because I have a Seals skirt now and it is just fine. The problem is the cockpit rim itself. If I make some lugs to give a bit of "grab" to the Seals skirt I believe it will solve the problem.With lugs mounted along the long sides ( at about 1:00 and 11:00, 3:00 and 9:00 and 5:00 and 7:00) I can install my skirt from front to back as I slide myself backwards into the seat. But with it being 56" long there is no way to seat yourself and then place it around the combing. To reach the combing you are forced to come forward off the seat. In doing that you can't keep the rear of the skirt on the combing, so installing it in the usual way of back to front is not possible. If I have lugs at intervals so I give the skirt some extra traction to grab I can slide forward and attach the front and then work back on both sides until I am seated, and then run the "rubber ring" around the back to grab at the 6:00
If I make them from Polyethylene and screw them into place and then I find I can't make it work I can remove the lugs later and plug the holes with screws coated in silicone caulk, so it would not look too bad if my idea fails. But if it was a sugsess (and I believe it will be) I believe a chemical weld of the plastic would be better then screws because you would have several square inches of contact as opposed to all the stress being loaded on the shear point of the shaft of the screws.
As mentioned above, the coaming on that kayak (and boats like it) is just not designed to take a skirt. Most likely on purpose.

Would those 1/2 skirts like on the Brooks website keep enough water out for you?
They honestly don't look that hard to make and customize to your boat.
Some coated nylon fabric, cut to the cockpit shape with added material for the wrap around and hollow hem for the shock cord), shock cord, a (borrowed?) sewing machine and some time?
 

JohnAbercrombie

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And I am not wanting to buy another spray skirt or 1/2 skirt because I have a Seals skirt now and it is just fine. The problem is the cockpit rim itself.
Rather than ruining the resale value of that boat, why don't you just sell it and use the Chatham (and the Pyranha Everest) for paddling on cold lakes with intermittent high winds and waves?
I think that rec kayak is intended for calmer conditions.
It's pretty common for paddlers to realize that a boat doesn't match with the (new) ambitions for paddling. Most experienced paddlers no longer own their 'first boat' - join the club! :)
 

SZihn

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I can't say that thought has not crossed my mind John, but the Loons do so many things that Anna and I like to do, and do them so well I am not yet willing to sell them. It just may take time I guess.

I just want to make it better for the times the wind drops so fast down from the mountains, and if we find ourselves a long way from sheltered water and have to paddle back in the waves, or sit tight and wait out the storm waiting it out can be best many times because wind shears don't last long. But there are times we would have a very long walk home if we can't paddle back across the lake. Sometimes that's 3/4 of a mile and sometimes it's 5 miles. The other boats make the trip a lot easier, and I see your point.

If I find a short and handy kayak that is better designed I may sell the loon sometime, but for now I want to work with it.

Anna love the Loons, and I do like having 2 boats that are alike because if I am in something more sea worthy and Anna is not, I would outrun her, and I don't like being apart when we go out together. As of now she outruns me a but, but only a small amount. She's 5 inches taller than I am, has much longer arms and uses a longer paddle, and is also 35 pounds lighter then I am.

So if I find 2 replacements I would get more serious about selling what we have, but for only 1, I'd rather make the modification and use it for the time being.
But I would not absolutely reject that piece of advice. I just have to find 2 replacement at a time we can afford them, and get 2 kayaks that do what we can do with the loons. If I did that I would lean towards a 12 foot size a bit more then the 10-1/2 foot size we have now. But we are not wealthy people so we can't just go buy 2 new ones to try out. the timing of both the sales of the 2 loons and the purchase of the 2 replacements would have to be right.
 

CPS

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I'm going to disagree with those claiming the Loon isn't designed to take a skirt. It is absolutely designed to take one. Just like how Seals makes skirts sized to fit on rec boats with enormous cockpits.

That being said, I agree that a half-skirt/splash deck like what has been suggested is the way to go. Get it sorted on on land and slip in through the opening.
Just because a you can put a skirt on it doesn't mean that it is practical to do so.

Nothing sticks to Polyethylene very well. That's why it's used so often as the material adhesives come in. Pretty much chemically inert.
Perhaps scuffing the coaming would give the skirt a bit more grip.

At the shop I work at, I actively discourage people from getting skirts for rec boats. To me it is like someone putting huge mud tires on a car with no ground clearance.

Wrong vehicle for the application.
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kootenays BC
As an adaptation of what John said,

As you know first hand, people are paying stupid money for kayaks at the moment.

Why not just stick a Open to Offers sign on your kakak and see what happens.
You may just be offered enough to make the parting easy.
If not your out the cost of a sign.

If you decide to try this I suggest doing it quickly.
People seem to be coming to their senses or running out of money now.
 
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