Outfit a Decked Canoe

Well, Pnet has gone and done it again. The recent chatter about decked canoes caused me to pull the trigger on a trade for a kevlight Bell Rob Roy over the weekend.  It just kind of happened.<br />

We are headed to the Adirondacks, and I want to outfit the RR for air bags for day trips and, alternatively, to hold in gear, fore and aft, for overnights. I have one of the Ostrom packs that is like two duffle bags that clip together to make one big pack, which will work great to divide up the gear and distribute the weight. Evidently, Ostrom does not make them anymore, but the Ostrum website is much improved.

Anyhoo, here is what I am thinking for the execution of the outfitting:

For the deck, Drill holes and install stainless steel bolt/lock washer/cap nut. I would like to use a small D-ring like washer on either side, but don't have any and no time to order them. So, I will probably just make a webbing loop: fold over a 4” strip of webbing, glue, dry, and drill. The inside d-ring (or webbing loop) will be for the air bags/gear keeper strap. The outside will be to hold bungie cords, to hold maps, compass on the bow, and probably to hold a spare paddle on the stern.

Besides tape and a wood block backing, any tips on drilling kevlight? I’ve drilled flexcore with gel coat, and royalex, but it’s been a while. Any drill bit type that is best? How best to start the pilot hole? An awl maybe to mark it, and start with a very small bit.

For the hull, for the ends inside, I am thinking a vinyl pad/disk with sewn-in D-ring. First, reach in as far as I can, outline with pencil the pad footprint, and sand it. Sand the bottom of the pad (not the stitching), thin coat it with g-flex or epoxy, reached way back, slap it down, maybe weigh it down with a water bag. I could probably skip this part but I like the idea of holding the end of the air bag in this way with a pulley action, if you can visualize what I mean.

Closer to the cockpit, install a webbing loop, but instead of the bolt, g-flex it onto the hull like an inchworm. I have seen it recommended that one should “fray” the ends of the webbing when doing this. How far should it be frayed, and how? All I have managed to do with a sharp knife is fray it about ½”. Will that really make much of a difference? Should I slap a two squares of fiberglass over the ends of the webbing? I did that on another boat, with West system resin, and several squares of glass, and it was way overkill and looks sloppy. This time I will use saran wrap and a lighter touch, and perhaps it will be better. I am inexperienced with resin/fiberglass work. Does the fiberglass/resin need to be painted to resist UV degradation?

I am functionally handy, and I need to get this done. My boats are not for show, and I am not shy about attacking them for practicality, resale devalue be darned. Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. Thanks, Dave

You might also check cboats.net.
The folks there may be helpful, even though your craft is quite different from the c-1s we paddle.

Thanks for the suggestion
I’ll try some other forums/resources as well. I reckon I’m between worlds somewhat. Come what may, I’ll be on the water soon. Dave