Cool Guys and a Warm Sleeping bag

I was in Davidson, NC for work last week and I met two guides who have started their own sleeping bag and outdoor gear company.

Check them out at:  http://deneboutdoors.com/




They have a great plan and they may have the first bag that is comfortable when it is cold but not too hot when it warms up a bit.  Really nifty properties.  Hope to see one soon.

Making paddling plans

Today at lunch time I am thinking of making paddling plans involving my canoe and folding bike.

I cannot wait to start paddling again.

Check out this portage wheel:

SUC it!

I don't know why this is not more popular.  Most canoes paddle much faster and better that the standup boards I have tried.  They carry more gear and passengers easily.  They are easier to carry. In fact canoes are built for carrying over land to the next lake by foot.  And to top it of canoes are easier to carry on a care.


Guess it is time for me to get a long paddle so I can try this properly.

I'm not the only one with the sickness!

I am so glad to find others willing to chop and cut perfectly good boats to make them a little better in ways they want!  I seem to have this driving need to modify everything I touch to make it better.  I am glad someone else is doing it.

Here below is a test paddle by one of the Hurricane Riders kayaking team after modifying a NDK Romany.




Flat Water Surfing at Carolina Beach

I was king of reminded about that quote from "Jaws", "You're gonna need a bigger boat".  I felt like I could have done better with a Sea Kayak given that the waves were small and not very steep. But I had a great time! 

Thanks Virginia and Curry for the pictures and the late lunch!

 
And thanks Chris for coming along!

Skegectomy

I always hated the way my Cobra Expedition Kayak turned.  It took about 10 to sweep strokes to turn it 180 degrees if you edged it.  Turning it flat only increased the sweep count to 11 or twelve strokes.

I had paddled it for a few years and liked most everything about the boat, but one afternoon with my friends Dawn and Lee I noticed that could keep up with them but had to go work much harder and go farther because I could not turn the kayak.  So I started looking to sell it and trying to find something similar.   Unfortunately there is nothing close to what I want for sale within a 500 hundred mile drive.

I wanted plastic for dragging over rocks and logs in my local rivers.  I wanted a sit on top, because it is so much easier to get in and out in shallow water or on and off rocks or logs. ( I think this is why must wade fishermen prefer Sit on Tops)  I wanted it at least 17 feet long and no more than 24 inches wide for decent speed. And finally it needed to handle a 250 pound load for racing and more like 310 for cruising.  If you know of a boat like this please bring it by, because I still want to find it and try it.

Since I couldn't find a boat that was better for me than the Cobra Expedition I decided I would make the Expedition better for me.

 Here is the boat with the mark of how much I wanted off of the skeg.


I found the skeg was solid!  So I had planned the cuts all wrong.


Here the skeg is removed.


I left plenty of solid stuff fo future rock dragging resistance.


I tried welding it back together with a heat gun like I had seen some people try but it is very easy to get whole sections too hot and bendy this way.  In the future I'll stick to welding plastic with and iron type plastic welder and a hair dryer to keep things warm.


Here is the boat post skegectomy operation. Ready for a test paddle!

 
Well I am a little sad that I uglied the stern of my boat up so much.  I am trying to smooth it out with G-Flex epoxy, but I've been having some adherence issues in spit of pre-sanding and flaming.  So I have a good bit of work to do before it is pretty.
 
On the good side it now paddles much better!  I can turn it 180 degrees with five strokes with edging and 7 or 8 strokes if I keep the hull flat!  Aslo it is easy to paddle without the rudder because small adjustment for wind are made simply with a bit of edging during and a bit of sweep at the beginning of the forward stroke.  It now paddles like some of my favorite handling kayaks. I can't wait to take it in the surf again!