101 ways to trash your boat

I can never leave well enough alone and being poor, i try to find ways to modify my boat and gear cheap!


putting some duct tape on the bow-ridge so when I drag it across the sand, the tape wears away instead of the boat.

Making my own paddle leash

adding a bungie cargo-net under my bow bungie cord to hold small things

glueing close-cell foam pads under my foor-braces. etc…

What did you do tyo modify or trash your boat?


– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 11:17 AM EST –

I typically trim down the seat hangers & raise the seat. Goal: to get my #13 feet out from under the seat
without any hang ups if I capsize. Getting dragged downstream in a section of shallow water, that has lots of rocks & current, by a boat half full of water, is not that much fun. Been there/done that.

If not present, I always add bow & stern painters.

Before I bought kneeling pads from Bell & Cooke Custom Covers, I'd often add knee pads, as I am kneeling at least 80% of the time.


P.S. I'm more likely to be taking something "out" of a second hand canoe.
I particularly dislike removing large pieces of "cheap" material (in lieu of a large sized, well made, removable knelling pad) that previous owners felt they needed to glue into the bilge of their canoes. Last one of those that I did took me the best part of a day.
Not a big fan of every thwart having multiple holes drilled into them, and long lengths of bungee cord added to the top of each thwart.
Also not a big fan of foot braces in a canoe.
One of the things I really hate is a Wenonah style bucket seat, attached to the top of a wood/cane seat with screws.

Canoe and Kayak Mods
In canoes I almost always add the cheap kneeling pad mentioned above. I glue it in so it doesn’t blow out while riding in the roof racks and so I don’t forget it, But I just used 3m trim adhesive so it will pull up pretty easily in a few years for replacement.

In Kayaks I usually remove the back band and carve foam or make some other short back support.

I also modify or replace the seat to tilt it forward of have it level. I cannot for the life of me figure out why most kayaks come with the seat tilted way back so you have to lean way forward just to be upright, about an hour of that position and I’m hurting.

I put reflective tape along the shear

– Last Updated: Dec-14-09 12:02 PM EST –

of my mud brown Tarpon for visibility.
Then I sold it and got a yellow one.

a few ways
eddied into a piece of channel iron at a high rate of speed. Ran New Boston section of the farmington at a new for me low level.

Discussion board topic.

I would think this would generate
Advice, Suggestions and General Help but then I do not purport to knowing everything.

My advice to trashing ones boat is to return with more than you left with.

Use a perimeter line
to lift your boat full of gear. Those little plastic thingies that hold all the deck bungies/lines down snap quite easily. Then you can call the company for new ones.

I glued garden kneeling pads to the floor of my single canoe to kneel on in the rapids. It looks really cheap and trailer trashy. Works great.

Going to drill a hole in the foredeck of my fishing kayak and install and after market pole holder. At least the colors are complementary.

Made homemade skid plates for the front and back of my Solo 14. They look like real ammature hack job crap, no paint, just cloth and glass. Works great.

Put duct tape on the nose tip of my expensive seakayak so I don’t wear away the rest of the nose cap when transporting in my truck bed. Nice chrome bumper effect. Looks really bad against the Ferrari red upper. Works great.

Aesthetics trashing or physical trashing
I’ve modified all my kayaks in some fashion or another. Most of them I’m happy with, but the two I did on my wood boat I’m not so sure of:

  1. A few years ago I added someone else’s homemade fiberglass thigh brace pieces to my Shearwater Merganser 16 kayak which I’d built from a kit. The kayak’s stock tiny coaming extensions that should have served as thigh brace platforms (glue some shaped minicell under them) were too far forward for my short self. The add-on pieces worked better, but they are UGLY and heavy. Now I wish I hadn’t put them on. I can remove them by sanding off the fiberglass tape and thickened epoxy I used to attach them, but I would also have to recoat the affected areas. And try some other way to improve the outfitting.

  2. On the same boat, I added an epoxy-silica-graphite coating to the bottom two panels, extending past the chine by about 1/2". This was done for protection against deep scratches; any gouges in the coating can be filled and smoothed to match the surrounding area (unlike varnish). It doesn’t look nearly as nice as its all-varnished, see-all-the-wood previous condition. If I ever use this kayak much again, I’ll be glad I put the coating on (based on the scratches garnered before that). But I like paddling my commercial kayaks of different hull shape much better, so I wish I hadn’t done the coating. The all-wood finish would look a lot better (than dull gray coating) as a wall hanging!

Small stuff
Added bungie cord to the aft deck,

electrical lug fitting on aft hatch cover as socket for mounting stern light,

screw eyes for tie down of float bags,

small pulley block for handling anchor line,

added tie down lug behind seat for securing cargo,

attached tag for owner’s info,

affixed boat name to stern sides.

Advice? Suggestions? General Help?
Not from this lame topic.

The post Natsi has arrived.

advice/don’t eddy into channel ironNM

I Have a Rivet Gun
I have a rivet gun abd not afraid to use it.

My poor little Ocean Kayak Frenzy is covered in eyepads. Can’t remember what most of them were supposed to be for…

Have bits, will drill…


every boat
gets a foam pad,or two contact cemented to the seat, and then I carve the foam to relieve pressure points. /velcro style strips placed to locate my GPS. On race boats I often cement in a ring of foam to drop my hydration jug in.

maybe not cheap but
modifying kayaks is just the norm in my garage.

Some mods are rather simple but some are really complex.

The interesting ones have been documented and posted on my blog.

Adding a sail: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/03/shop-diy-sea-kayak-sail.html

Removing a rudder and making a skeg: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/02/shop-kayak-mods-fabricating-skeg-box.html

Installing an electric bilge pump: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/04/shop-electric-bilge-pump-in-kayak.html

Recessing a bulkhead: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/10/shop-recess-in-bulkhead.html

Solar panel for battery charging: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/06/solar-panel-battery-charger.html

Paddle parks: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/03/shop-sea-kayak-paddle-park.html

There are many more but the above ones are the most popular ones.

Just a few ideas for tinkering during the winter months :slight_smile:

I’m working on it
Developed a hole under my seat in my Explorer, upon investigation my interest turned to the coat of paint a former owner applied to…the deck. I still haven’t fixed the hole in the bottom but have the deck 98% stripped.

I can say the citrus stripper is the best stuff so far. I sanded a lot but also tried a few other strippers, more caustic. I’m getting there.

I used staples and non-waterproof glue
to seal the deck on my skin-on-frame.

–Doesn’t come any cheaper (or stupider?)

than that!

Yoga mat material . . .
Great stuff - closed cell and cheap! Get it in the color you want, cut it to desired size and shape,use it for padding, braces, layer it, put it under your thermarest seat pad,cushion under your foot braces, etc.

Pool noodles and plumbing insulation tubes have similar applications - in-the-round.

Another thing: each boat (even the Pygmy Tern 14s) gets a compact-style flush mount for Scotty fishing rod holder, right side, immediately aft of cockpit. These require drilling something like a 3/4" hole and attaching with a flange, screwed on from the bottom to make a watertight fit. It has a little tethered flush-fit cap. This mount is most unobtrusive and not available everywhere (I get mine at Hook1.com)and versatle for a number of attachments, including attaching a light pole for night paddling.