Warp a kayak on purpose?

I know it is easy to oil can or dent a poly kayak by incorrect storage or transport in hot weather or direct sunlight; but has anybody tried to purposefully alter a poly kayak (add rocker) by this method?

I have been thinking about attempting this with a 14’ Necky Manatou .

My family has kept the boat in the fleet as it is a serviceable loaner kayak for visitors or a rough use boat, the most common “complaint” is that it tracks to well and a little more rocker would make it more fun.

I was just wondering if it was possible to make it a cheap Zephyr copy, or would it ruin a boat.

My crazy idea would be to build a form out of polystyrene to “mold” the hull bottom, put it in a closed trailer, add some 100 degree days, and see what happens.

Ideas? Or just ruined a serviceable kayak…

I would be surprised if the result was .

– Last Updated: Jul-22-14 10:27 PM EST –

... favorable. It's easy to distort a particular section, particularly sections that are fairly flat. Inducing the whole bottom to bend in some uniform fashion, when that bottom is part of an overall three-dimensional structure, seems pretty hopeless to me. Have you noticed how incredibly difficult it is to bend any of the curved hull areas? What you propose would required several large, curved areas to bend in ways that they would strongly resist. My prediction is that you'll just end up with a strangely warped boat.

Try to bend a paper-towel tube without getting any ugly kinks, if you want an illustration of the principle you are attempting.

It might be possible to force some rocker into the bottom by "jacking" at a few locations between the bottom of the hull and the upper deck. If successful, the result would be a boat that is skinnier across the middle, with both a deeper center section and taller "roof".

Maybe it would be best to just sell it to someone who's happy with it as it is, or someone who's better at maneuvering the thing.

My first question would be …
What color is the boat ?

wouldn’t it be easier?
Is it possible that you are not using the right maneuvering techniques for the Necky. I haven’t found a kayak yet that doesn’t respond well to bow ruddering. Combine the bow ruddering with leaning away from the turn and I’ll betcha it will come around.

In my opinion it would be a waste of time and effort, and a possible outcome will be a warped kayak.

Simpler solution might be to sell the boat, and buy a different, used kayak with more rocker.



and what color will it be when ur done!

2 boats into 1

– Last Updated: Jul-23-14 8:47 PM EST –

There is a guy out here in CA who took a pair of Wilderness Systems kayaks (Tsunamis, I think) and started cutting and welding. His end goal was a plastic boat with the same shape as a Sterling Reflection. From the people who paddled it, they say he got the shape pretty good, but no one (including the person who did it) trusts that the welds will hold under any major conditions.

I agree with the comment that if you don't like the current shape, sell it and get something better. Perhaps consider a dagger Alchemy for something at the same length as your Necky but much more playful, yet still would be good as a loaner.

my fleet leans rocker
If you look at my fleet, I have tended to keep only rockered boats. Maybe I should trade it for the Hammer my wife wants, but jeez, those are heavy for such a short boat.

Was asking about the color
to see how hot it could get …

Not sure how much you going for but, I think I would start with suspending if from the ends in full sun and check on it. Could even weight the deck in a strong places like right behind the cockit over bulkhead.

Could go nutz and wedge some dowels along seamline ( pushing outward ) with something to spread the load.

A kayak store in San Pedro, I believe, added rocker to some Necky Chathams by weighting down the bow and stern under a dark tarp in the sun.

I had a friend who bought one and really liked the extra rocker, but didn’t like the quality of the plastic in general.

white trailer with aluminum roof
It probably gets over 120 on a sunny day.

120 not hot enuf IMO … I was asking
about the boat’s color : )

Is the surest bet. If you want to try stretching the bottom a little for more rocker, your form idea plus filling the hull with water then adding a heating element to the water is your best bet. The odds are, however, that you will succeed in making scrap plastic.