So my COVID lockdown project has been to slowly assemble the gear I need to get back out on the water. Folks here provided a huge amount of help with my request for ideas on how to install the nuts and bolts deep in the boat. Thought I’d provide an update.
Back in the first decade of the 2000s I used to kayak quite a bit. I lived in Seattle at the time, and for me, it was always easier to rent than buy, in no small part because my daily driver at the time was a convertible, and my other car was actually a motorcycle. No loading up a boat for me.
Anyway, a few years go by, life gets busy in other ways, and my wife and I eventually move to Santa Barbara. The rental boats down here are not to my liking, so I haven’t paddled in ages. And apparently the sea/touring kayak market cratered sometime while I was ‘away’. A lot of brands I knew: gone. The local dealers I expected to find: non-existent. But there’s always Craigslist, so I kept an intermittent search. Pickings were slim, and I missed a great chance a couple years ago to pick up a Kevlar CD Gulfstream for practically no money. Had family in town and figured it was rude to leave them to go grab a boat. And when they left, the boat had already been sold.
But right at the start of this current mess, this Tempest 170 Pro showed up locally. Cosmetically, it was in terrible shape, but the structure was sound. So I got it home and have spent the last several weeks wetsanding and polishing, replacing all the deck rigging, and swapping out the sun damaged cockpit padding.
That left only a rack, certainly the most expensive part of this whole deal. And Thule had a 20% off sale last week, so here I am, with more boat than car. Shakedown paddle tomorrow. Can’t wait!