Kayak outfitting, no more duct tape

Since I have a brand new kayak, I have decided to do away with my old minicell foam outfitting which was duct tapped in place. I went out today and bought a can of the 3M 08088 adhesive spary that works so well. Now, I am in the process of cutting the foam-using a bread knife of all things. I was told a bread knife works well and in fact it does. And, I am using a belt sander to fine tune the foam. So, far this project appears to be going well. Whatever happens the final project has to look better than the duct tape.


Like to see what you end up with. I’ve got a lot of foam scraps around…

Someone recommended using plumbing solder ('cause its stiff and reasonably flexible) to make a template for the inside of the hull. Bought some but haven’t tried it yet.

Hobby Lobby
and other hobby stores that carry artist supplies carry a thing called a flexible ruler. They’re about $6 each. Lucky for me I married an artist who already owned a couple of them.

Meanwhile you face the possibility of losing “Redneck” status if you don’t have at least one piece of duct tape on your boat or your equipment.

Redneck toolbox = Duct tape and a can of WD-40. If it moves and it ain’t supposed to, use the duct tape. If it don’t move and it’s supposed to, use the WD-40.

electric carving knife…
an electric carving knife is even better. Be sure to get on with a serated edge (like a bread knife). They provide a nice straight cut when you need it as well carving delicate curves. They can also be used to shave off thin layers. I find it much quicker to fine tune using the electric knife — the shark skin sanding block is then used just to give the final finish to the surface.

Red Green is weeping…
…at the loss of another duct tape disciple.

Smooooth minicell
After forming and sanding minicell foam it can be made to look as if it had a smooth out of a mold look by going over it with a hot air hair dryer on high, or a heat gun (start with a low setting). Try a scrap sample piece first. Sanding to as smooth as possible prior to heating is a key to the right out of the mold look.

Also with the help of adhesive backed Velcro (3 inch roll form – see Home Depot) and in combination with waterproof rubber cement adhered to a rough (sanded) surface. Note that it is best if the fabric, not the Velcro hook is placed on the kayak wall. This keeps it comfortable when the pads are removed as apposed to having your skin up against the rough Velcro hooks. Now you have pads that are secure, adjustable and removable.

Just a thought, it worked for me.

tool dip
you can also paint a few layers of rubber tool dip,the non slip grip stuff that you’d put on screwdriver handles, on the minicell to make it tougher,I saw it done on a seat and it seems to work,looks messy in application but the results work.

Tool Dip
Sounds interesting.

I like the idea of color options.

Arctic Hawk kit
it’s the recommended method for finishing the seat.

CLC Hawk

I own a CLC 17.

One of the kayaks I have only seen from the cheep seats (internet) and have been admiring is the Artic Hawk. Hopefully I’ll get a look at the real thing in the future. From the sounds of the manual size there apears to be a lot of thought that went into making the Artic Hawk.

Thanks for the insight.

you forgot
the universal tool–pliers. Can be used for twisting baling wire on, or peeling really stuck-on duct tape off, as well as used as a hammer, screwdriver, prybar, potholder, bottle opener…

And then there’s the advanced redneck tools, stuff like JB Weld, etc…

How should it fit?
I understand the mechanics of fitting the cockpit, but I want to know how it should fit. Should the padding (foam) brace your thighs, knees, what? Can anyone suggest a site or book that shows where one should put the padding? I have not installed any padding in my boat yet, and my legs fall asleep after paddeling for a while (I have to hold my knees up to make contact with the boat). When I paddle my wifes boat (which has a smaller cockpit) I fit tighter in it (although I could probably still add a thin layer of foam to tighten it up), and my legs don’t seem to fall asleep. Our boats are sea kayaks (WS Cape Horn 150 and WS Alto).


Jeff in South Dakota

Are you useing this on a roto or glass boat? Will it work on my roto?

legs falling asleep
often times your leg(s) fall asleep because your seat ends too abruptly. Try sticking a piece of foam or even a partially inflated paddle float just in front of your seat and see if that helps. It solves the problem for many people.

Also, I am only adding foam where I feel myself slipping around when I edge or do braces and rolls. When I put my kayak on edge I want the boat to move with me-not be sloppy.


I’m using it on a fiberglass kayak but I’m thinking it might work on a RM kayak as well. I would (maybe)rough up the part you wanted to bond first. A big can of it is only 10 bucks so you won’t be out much if it does not work.


how should it fit
is answered well at www.kayakfit.com I used their material and instructions to outfit an Old Town Castine. Made a seat and hip braces. Probably lost 2-3 pounds removing the factory seat. I copied thigh braces from Pygmy Boats. @ 6’5" I made the seat longer than what Rasmussen recommends and I don’t have any problem with my feet nodding off. I use some built up foam on my Coho to alleviate the same problem. I have never done a foam seat for the Coho because of the comfort of the Thermarest.


Customizing your Cockpit
Try these folks http://www.kayakfit.com/ Lots of good info.