New (to me) Winter Project

CPS

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Picked up a used Valley Rapier 18 today. There are some things that need work, but overall it's not too bad.

PXL_20210822_235812212.jpg


The serial number ends in 09, so I assume it's a 2009 model if Valley follows the usual logic for serial numbers.
The hull is carbon/kevlar, and doesn't have too much wear. The usual scratches along the bottom and a few spots that could use touch up at the bow and stern.
Similarly the gel coat on the top deck is in relatively good shape, with the exception of a few spots that have cracked or been rubbed, such as on the little 'horns' behind the cockpit that kept it legal within a race class.

PXL_20210822_235825084.jpg


The previous owner replaced the steering system, which was generally regarded as 'not-great' with a homebuilt system. It's quite rough, and I'll be replacing it for sure. I like the idea of full foot pedals, and will be looking through some of the plans that have been discussed on the forum for inspiration.

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The previous owner also changed the seating arrangement. It appears that he cut the hangers from the seat, and has added some foam to the underside to adjust the height. I'll be replacing the foam, but I'm unsure if I'll remake the hangers or leave it as a removable assembly. I think it will depend on how I do the rudder controls.

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The rudder has also been modified a significant amount, and while it may function, doesn't spark joy. I'll give it some thought as well, but may simply install a newer version of a Smart Track rudder.


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As one could predict the Valley hatches have dry rotted completely, so they'll need replacing as well.

So that's my project for this winter. First things first though, I need to make some space in the garage and finally get around to putting some racks up.
 

CPS

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He apparently never thought to check. Anyways, nothing a hacksaw won't cure.
 

AM

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Beautiful boat! Looks like it will be a lot of fun on the water, once you fix it up to your liking.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Picked up a used Valley Rapier 18 today. There are some things that need work, but overall it's not too bad.
Looks like a fun project! As you say, the boat is in pretty good shape except for the 'mods'.
:)
It's tough to get fabric (mat??) into sharp corners, so it often doesn't take much to chip off gelcoat.

What's this bolt for?
Valley.jpg





The rudder has also been modified a significant amount, and while it may function, doesn't spark joy. I'll give it some thought as well, but may simply install a newer version of a Smart Track rudder.
It looks like the owner wanted to reduce the sensitivity of the rudder to foot movement? If you can get the rusty bolts cut away, there's a SmartTrack rudder still lurking there...
Is there any provision for a rudder up/down line - deck fittings? It will probably be nice to start with 'a clean sheet' for rigging that anyway - a clamcleat and some shock cord won't be much to add.
That footbar is pretty brutal looking on the outside. It may have been a case of :"I'll try this and if it works, I'll make it better for long-term use." and then other things got in the way.... I have 'temporary' things around the shop that I made 15+ years ago.... :)
As one could predict the Valley hatches have dry rotted completely, so they'll need replacing as well.
Depending on the hatch sizes, non-Valley hatch covers can fit and are cheaper and more durable, too.
So that's my project for this winter. First things first though, I need to make some space in the garage and finally get around to putting some racks up.
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

CPS

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That little bolt was added as a means to attach a piece of shock cord that would return the pedals to neutral position. It didn't work.

There's a camcleat just to the right of the cockpit, towards the rear. I unused currently, but I think I'll return it to the original purpose of being the rudder up/down line. The smart track rudders I have used were spring loaded to go down, and one only hauled them up and cleated them when rudder wasn't in use.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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There's a camcleat just to the right of the cockpit, towards the rear. I unused currently, but I think I'll return it to the original purpose of being the rudder up/down line. The smart track rudders I have used were spring loaded to go down, and one only hauled them up and cleated them when rudder wasn't in use.
Of course.... I wasn't thinking when I typed 'cleat and shock cord' ....All you need to do is add a line, as you say.
 
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CPS

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Another thought while I'm getting organized for this project.
This kayak has minicell foam bulkheads. The front one is really far forward, and I may move it back towards my feet if the foot pedal arrangement I come up with closes off storage potential at the front of the cockpit.
Any thoughts as far as replacing the foam bulkheads with a glass layup? Would definitely be the harder and messier job, but shouldn't be too impossible.
My concern is that they may have chosen foam for its properties (a bit of give on impact, for example) and not for cost savings. In that case I would probably be better off sticking with foam.

Additionally there is a foam pillar in the rear section. I am debating removing that as well to get a more useable space below the rear deck.

Any thoughts on this?
 

red kite

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The previous owner also changed the seating arrangement. It appears that he cut the hangers from the seat, and has added some foam to the underside to adjust the height. I'll be replacing the foam, but I'm unsure if I'll remake the hangers or leave it as a removable assembly. I think it will depend on how I do the rudder controls.

View attachment 10675
If you attach mounting plates (Nick Shade calls them cheek plates) to the kayak you can install the fiberglass seat with bolts to the plates and, with a couple more holes in the plate, adjust positioning as desired / needed?
Unless, of course, you are putting seat and foot controls on sliding bars on the bottom so that you can trim the boat when underway... you might be somewhat set in terms of height in that case.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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Any thoughts as far as replacing the foam bulkheads with a glass layup? Would definitely be the harder and messier job, but shouldn't be too impossible.
..........
Any thoughts on this?
For me it would depend entirely on whether I could reach the new bulkhead location to do a good job with fillets on both sides of the bulkhead.
Working through a round hatch can be awkward.
Getting the old bulkhead area cleaned up and prepped for epoxy work can be tedious. If previous owners have put silicone sealant along the bulkhead, a good cleaning job is essential. Sanding at arms length is real work. :)

How long are your arms, and are you skinny enough to work from both sides of the bulkhead? Wide shoulders are not an advantage for this in a narrow boat!
I thought about moving a glass bulkhead in a CD Prana once - a quick check showed me I couldn't do it.
Installing a bulkhead in a new scratch-built is a lot easier - I've done that in quite a few.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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This kayak has minicell foam bulkheads. The front one is really far forward, and I may move it back towards my feet if the foot pedal arrangement I come up with closes off storage potential at the front of the cockpit.

Additionally there is a foam pillar in the rear section. I am debating removing that as well to get a more useable space below the rear deck.

Any thoughts on this?
Are you planning to use this boat for trips?
If it's mostly a workout boat, the ToDo list would be different.
How heavy is the boat? That foam pillar may have been added by Valley after deck cracking problems?
I think pillars are common in surfskis - my 27# THINK had a pillar up front, and I assume it had one aft as well.

You could reinforce the back deck by glassing in a foam 'beam' (or two) adjacent to the hatch.
 
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CPS

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I'm thinking of using it for day trips and weekends with an emphasis on covering distance. So storage space shouldn't be a real big issues. Was just thinking having that much unused space isn't particularly useful.
 

CPS

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Further to that, having extra floodable space in the cockpit doesn't seem like a feature I'd want either.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I'm thinking of using it for day trips and weekends with an emphasis on covering distance. So storage space shouldn't be a real big issues. Was just thinking having that much unused space isn't particularly useful.
Putting in beams to replace the aft pillar would be a much easier job than moving that forward bulkhead.

You can't easily use the space in front of a footboard for gear stowage, but closed cell foam or an air bag or drybag (filled with bubble wrap or foam) could fill that space on a semi-permanent basis.
 
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CPS

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I took this kayak out to Hayward lake the other day just to get a point of reference for how much my upgrades will improve things. With the seat pan loose in the cockpit and no adjustments for the foot pedals, I had to sit way farther forward than the designers likely intended.
As I expected, this boat was very tippy feeling initially. I was pleased by the secondary stability though, it locked pretty nicely onto edge. I'm confident that once I get it outfitted correctly and can get some seat time in I should be able to enjoy paddling this.
With the existing outfitting I had to concentrate quite a bit on staying upright. But a quick little paddle confirmed my hope that this kayak will be speedy. Even without the confidence to really put power into my strokes it was cruising at a nice speed.
There were other kayakers on the lake who seemed quite amused by my struggles. I wonder if any of them would have fared better.

I got a start on the surgery portion of this project this evening. I know I said winter project, but the weather was gloomy enough the last little while that I'm sure this counts.

I started by cutting the rusty bolts off the rudder. I still have a little nub that I need to drill out, but overall I'm fairly pleased by how this turned out. A little bit of cleanup, a few parts, and things should be serviceable. I'm debating painting it the same orange as the seam. Too garish? Or possibly just garish enough for a blue and orange boat with sparkles in the deck. Maybe I'll stick with black.
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I then turned my attention to cutting through the big bolts that stuck out the sides. Luckily it turned out to be a length of 3/8" threaded rod, so once I cut one end off I could slide the rest out. The rudder controls were definitely rudimentary. I think I will be able to do better.

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The holes left by this contraption are fairly large and fairly ugly. I think I'll patch them up as discreetly as possible, and then cover them up outside with a sticker or something.
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I believe the small hole just near the Valley logo and to the right of the large hole are the original ones. I'll be trying to use them when I install new foot pedals.

Still need to cut off the bolt on the fore deck, but the Dremel was overheating, so I'll tackle it later.

Oh, I also pulled the seat pan out and removed the foam from under the seat. There was about two and a half inches of foam under the seat.
I think the pan was originally mounted quite close to the hull, which should help with the tippy feeling. I'd like to get it to work with the original hanging hardware but I'll have to do some reconstruction for that.
 

CPS

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A bit of progress on the seat front. Someone cut the original hangers off, but the original hardware was still in place. The aluminum is pretty oxidized, so I'll be sure to clean it up before I'm done. Probably a quick coat of paint to prevent future oxidizing. Anyone got a brand they recommend?

PXL_20210904_223603827.jpg


I used some kevlar hangers for canoes. Cut most of the material away, but they should work alright.
PXL_20210904_230805944.jpg


Trying to decide now if I should bolt the seat to the hangers, or get messy and glass them together. Probably going to bolt them and save the mess.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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:thumbsup:
There's some potential for fore/aft seat position adjustment there, if you drill extra holes.

If you bolt the seat to the riser, some epoxy putty (QuikWood or similar) could make a bigger contact area.

Is there a backband in the plans? If so will it attach to the riser bolts? Or??

Did you get the seat lowered right to the hull?
 
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