Sunday, March 2, 2014

Prepping for non-Winter

It's bound to happen eventually, although the light dusting of snow (forecast: 8 - 12 inches, actual 8/12's of an inch) belies the fact. It's inevitable, though, and I needs must prepare: spring will soon be here, and summer after that.

The plane is ready to go, but I can't fly all the time - the cost of fuel precludes that. This is why I have a collection of boats, but I can never seem to get the mix just right. It started with the single-seat kayak that I built, but that was difficult to do alone, especially when going down river. I bought a second kayak so I could bring someone along, but then I got the sailing bug and sold that kayak to get a little single-seat sail boat. That too had problems, the most obvious being that it was a single-seat boat. I could take it 40 miles away to a small lake, or I could take it out on of the bigger lakes here in town. Both were frightening - things can go wrong on a small boat, and there I would be, all alone.

I'm trying something different this year. It took all of one day on Craigs List to find just the deal I was looking for: a 2 to 3 person canoe in exchange for the sailboat. That combination allows for me and a friend or two to take the canoe, or me and two friends to take the canoe and the kayak, although that will require the construction of a suitable trailer. The canoe not only takes up all of the room on top of the vehicle, but it is hard to life it up and down off there too.

The trailer will be quite simple. All I need is this trailer kit from Harbor Freight with a tongue extension and a couple of cross bars bolted on:

The canoe is three years old and if pretty good shape, but the front seat is missing. It more than likely got broken - they're pretty flimsy. That's not a problem either. All I need there is a plank mounted athwart the boat to support one of these:

I build the seat support this afternoon. That was as simple as a trip to Lowes for some angle metal and varnish. I have plenty of certified insect-free (well, it was before it spent two years in my basement - no telling now) wood left over from the airplane kits.

This is the rear seat. You can see the original mounting style, and can probably see how the front seat got broken. That plastic isn't super robust by any measure/

These are my replacement brackets:

The new seat mount (I call it a mount, but there's no reason other than discomfort that it couldn't be used as a seat) is cut from plywood and braced with some 1x1s cut from the wing spar box:

That just needs to be drilled to match the mounting brackets and installed. Then, the trailer!

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