The KayakDave.com Duct Tape Kayak Team hit the ground running in 2013. We learned a lot from our experience with last seasons “experimental” duct tape kayak and there is plenty of room for design improvements. This year, we decided to get a jump-start on the re-design and attempt to have the new and improved duct tape kayak ready for a race this spring!
The first build session of 2013 found us back in the attic of the barn at the Billington Sea Kayak shop. We quickly found that working in the winter comes with a new set of challenges. Last summer the barn was stifling hot at times. This often required us to work outside or hold late-night build sessions when the temperature was mild. The dead of winter, of course, offered the opposite problem. Walking into the barn at this time of year is like diving into an ice chest; it’s almost colder inside than outside! It only took about 5 minutes before all three of us were shivering and losing dexterity. Thankfully, Doug had a solution to our winter woes and delivered us the space heater that would become our rallying point!
Our first order of business was to work on the new bow and stern sections. We’re extremely happy with the old middle section but decided that the old bow and stern sections were beyond saving for two reasons. First, we didn’t do a very good job of spacing out the stations which left the extreme ends fairly unsupported. Second, on race day we’d always spend too much time struggling to get the three sections to fit together at the coupling point. The new sections promised to solve both of these problems. They would start with a station that matched its counterpart on the middle section to allow for stress-free coupling on race day. From there, two more stations would be added at 18in intervals (the old stations were at 12in intervals) in an attempt to better support the extreme ends.
This four-hour-long build session wasn’t all business! True to form, the team did a fair share of goofing around. We took frequent breaks around the “campfire” to discuss topics including: the merits and shortcomings of the proposed firearms legislation, the upcoming Patriots football game and the start of the Bruins hockey season, and (of course) our love interests and various other Tom-foolery. At one point Brett and I turned around to discover that Alex had made a chain out of the discarded PVC slivers. Brett provided additional entertainment by flirting with disaster. One of the PVC pipes snapped back and branded a nice, long scrape on his forearm. This left our number of days without a work-place injury at…ZERO!
Thankfully, we were able to make excellent progress on the new bow and stern sections despite the cold and shenanigans! Next time we hope to tie in the ends, lay down the keel, and start working on the new rudder system!
Be sure to visit the KayakDave.com Facebook Page for more pictures of the 2013 Duct Tape Kayak!