Minicelling an Ocean Cockpit: How To?

-- Last Updated: Jul-14-07 9:16 AM EST --

Thanks for your input on my Valley Nordkapp HM Classic.

The boat came with a rather lousy foam job under the deck for paddling. It's too far out for me, so I have Goo Goned it out.

So, how please do I minicell this Ocean Cockpit (OC)? In keyholes, I have minicelled thigh hooks, and I prefer aggressive inner thigh braces for edging. With OC, do I really want my legs together, with no inner thigh prominence in the minicell? Do I want a center pillar like my Dagger RPM? Do I want legs semisplayed, with minicell in sort of a shallow "M"? How thick, i.e. how straight do I want my knees/legs in the boat? I know many would say do it the way that feels right, but I would relish your experience for those that have OCs, particularly as it relates to comfort on long paddles, rolling, and exits. I feel like I'd have trouble rolling with my legs fairly together, as I do not have a masiq, and would thus not be wedged into this thing like a shallow skin on frame.

Here's some pics of it, if you need them to advise. I took the blue pad out, and am considering a fixed 4 inch wide wedge against the bulkhead for a minicelled backrest.

Thank you.

CD1…check out:

Brian Nystrom has an incredible assortment of pics and ‘how to do’ suggestions…


No one can answer those questions…
…for you, as it’s all a matter of personal preference. On my own boats - all of which have ocean cockpits - I use a foam masik so I can use Greenland paddling techniques, but that’s not going to be the ideal choice for everyone. Foam is cheap, so your best bet is to experiment to find what you like best. Outfit the cockpit to suit your paddling style.

There is one caveat with the Nordkapp and that is that the high aft deck makes it more difficult to enter than most ocean cockpit boats, so padding down the foredeck a lot is not an option. I use a 3" thick foam masik in my Pintail and Anas Acuta, but I couldn’t use much padding at all in my old Nordkapp, as I could barely get into the boat without any padding. As it was, my knees and shins would scrape the front of the cockpit when entering. Unfortunately, that’s a design defect in the Nordkapp; it doesn’t work well for paddlers with long legs.

I find that having
my legs apart and knees raised is much more comfortable than laying flat down under a masik. I can roll better with my legs in this position also. But in a narrow, tippy kayak I get a noticeably greater amount of stability when I use a masik and my legs are laying flat down. I also find a backband to be much more comfortable that a foam wedge backrest. I use kayaks with both set ups and have gotten used to them both. My best advice would be to try both ways and see what works best for you and that kayak. I’ll post a link to a webshots page that will show you what I did my narrow kayak.