Essential Frills

drahcir

Paddler
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
616
Location
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
There are various characteristics we each want in a kayak. This list is not such an itemization as those fundamental characteristics. Some of the items I list below might be considered essential, others might deem them as frills; hence the oxymoronic title to this thread. I would like kayak manufacturers to take notice, unlikely as that may be.

Personally, I would like ...
  • it to be easy to move the seat a little forward or a little back (some might like a sliding seat like the Mariner)
  • that the back band can be adjusted, modified, or replaced easily
  • the ability to easily work on any area of the rudder or skeg assembly and find necessary parts
  • a slanted bulkhead behind the cockpit for draining the kayak (was this originally Nigel Dennis’s idea?)
  • no integral pod in front of the cockpit (typically intrusive and unneeded)
  • a paddle park (simple & durable as on a Mariner)
  • SS hooks for bow and stern lines for car topping and for locking
Deletions or additions?
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,028
Location
Victoria, BC
Yes - U-bolts
I like those and put something similar (less hefty) in the ends of most of the boats I build.

My wish list would include lots of tie-down points - behind the seat, on the aft bulkhead, on the cockpit sole, under the peak of the deck in some boats, etc. Places to secure water bladders, pump, paddle float, etc etc...
 
  • Like
Reactions: CPS

Mac50L

Paddler
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
326
Location
South Island, New Zealand
The absolute, most essential would be decklines, a good thickness, adjustable tension.

  • it to be easy to move the seat a little forward or a little back (some might like a sliding seat like the Mariner)
  • that the back band can be adjusted, modified, or replaced easily
  • the ability to easily work on any area of the rudder or skeg assembly and find necessary parts
  • a slanted bulkhead behind the cockpit for draining the kayak (was this originally Nigel Dennis’s idea?)
  • no integral pod in front of the cockpit (typically intrusive and unneeded)
  • a paddle park (simple & durable as on a Mariner)
  • SS hooks for bow and stern lines for car topping and for locking
Movable seat?
No, not necessary.

Back band?
Mine are always a pad across the aft bulkhead, removable, replaceable and against the aft bulkhead. They are held by webbing loops. The webbing comes from the middle aft side of the seat and diagonally to just under the deck outboard of each side the cockpit rim hole.

Rudders and work on?
Fairly obviously mine are easy to work on and there are spare parts in the workshop.

Slanted bulkhead?
No as the back of my bottom is where that slope would be. There is no waste space between me and the aft bulkhead.

Integral pod forward?
Agreed, why such a thing?

Paddle park?
I need a small bag at the bow to put the tip of a GP in. It goes under the cross deck bungees at present and a bag would stop the tip sliding sideways.

SS Hooks bow & stern?
Why hooks? I always install heavy plastic fittings with a hole through them for a carry handle loop. The tie-downs go round the bow aft of it and forward of the stern one. They can't slip off.
 

drahcir

Paddler
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
616
Location
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
The absolute, most essential would be decklines, a good thickness, adjustable tension.

Movable seat?
No, not necessary.
The decklines would be in my set of fundamental characteristics, not in my list of essential frills.

I am a light paddler so the typical kayak weathercocks more than I like. Even packing heavier in the rear hatch for better trim, doesn't always help enough. Moving the seat backward alleviates this somewhat, but I also don't want to cause leecocking. So I am fussy in this regard. I actually had no such problem with the Mariner I once had, which spoiled me in that regard.

I typically need to modify the back band. I have a compromised lower back from an old ski injury and usually must mess with that.

John Abercrombie already suggested I meant SS U-bolts, not hooks - good for bow and stern lines, but also good for locking.
 

AM

Paddler
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
949
Location
Vancouver
IMHO the deck pod is awesome. Sort of like a heated seat in a car: seemingly superflous…until you actually try one! I’ll never buy another car without heated seats and I would be very bummed out to have a kayak without a deck pod.

What goes in the pod? Well it’s sorta like a purse: wallet, keys, snacks, phone, toque, small first aid kit, binoculars, and (these days) a face mask. Basically, things you want NOW.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

drahcir

Paddler
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
616
Location
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
My problem with the deck pod is that I cannot move my feet around to stretch my legs. If I had longer legs, this would not be a problem. The deck pod on my 17.3 Etain is shallow, small, and doesn't have that problem. So I do use that one, but not those for typical used kayaks.

So a better solution than what I originally suggested would be to have a deck pod design that doesn't cause me that problem.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,028
Location
Victoria, BC
My problem with the deck pod is that I cannot move my feet around to stretch my legs. If I had longer legs, this would not be a problem. The deck pod on my 17.3 Etain is shallow, small, and doesn't have that problem. So I do use that one, but not those for typical used kayaks.

So a better solution than what I originally suggested would be to have a deck pod design that doesn't cause me that problem.
:thumbsup:
The bigger (I'm talking to you: Current Designs Prana! :) ) pods definitely get in the way of my legs.
They also make it difficult to pack gear in front of the footpegs on trips - I removed the large pod from a friend's Prana because of that complaint.
I replaced that pod with a shallow pan that will hold a small camera or sunglasses and a couple of Clif bars.
And the glovebox/pod eliminates the option of using that under-deck space for other storage.
A chart on the deck also blocks access to a pod.

So there's definitely room for a wide variety of opinions on pods!! :)
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,028
Location
Victoria, BC
On my Delphin (plastic boat), yes, if I capsize. On my Tahe (composite) never a drop, ever.
I was thinking more of drips and splashes when the hatch cover is off, and the difficulty of getting the inside dry again (most don't have drains to the inside?....which could be remedied with a drill in short order).
A lot of the things I'd put in a small pod (energy bars, etc) fit in my PFD pockets.

But I am definintely in the minority, if the prevalence of 'glove boxes'/pods on newer boats is any indication.

BTW, the pod on that Prana was probably the best-built part of the boat, It was a job to remove it! When I accepted the 'mod job' I naively thought I could just pop the pod off with a putty knife and persuasion....not so. :)
 
Top