Petestack Blog

24 April 2022

Kayak store completion and trolley

Filed under: Paddling — admin @ 8:04 pm

It’s been a while because I’ve been doing other things too, but the store is now finished bar a cabin hook to hold the door open, and my attention is now turning to Fly and catching up with the garden. But first a quick rundown of my Sea Kayak Oban ‘Confidence Builder’ course on 6/7 April…

It was a windy week, but we found relative shelter on Lochs Etive and Feochan for two great days when we’d come that close to losing one or both, with conditions ultimately helping to make rather than break the course. There were three of us out with Phil and Laura, and SKO have some publicly-viewable photos on their Facebook page. I had their medium-volume Volan and made these lists of what we covered while it was still fresh in my mind. From day one on Loch Etive between Taynuilt and Bonawe:

  • In response to a specific question I put to Laura about what to do with your paddle while securing your spraydeck, wedge it under your PFD. It works a treat!
  • Forward stroke, watching each other for rotation and not fore-and-aft movement, and working a bit more at the catch.
  • In no particular order… how much skeg relative to wind direction, sweeps, edges, stern rudders, maintaining an edge and sweeping round Phil’s boat looking at him, paddling with eyes closed (these last two activities making us feel rather than look at what our boats were doing) and steering a wavy course by edging while paddling strictly alternate sides.

And day two on Loch Feochan between Knipoch and Minard Point:

  • Play in interesting conditions at the Loch mouth and return against tide using eddies along shore, during which we saw two otters playing between navigation buoys.
  • Low brace, where the need for rapid deployment effectively trumps any single prescribed method (no good adopting the ‘perfect’ position if you haven’t got time!).
  • Discussion about calling for help, then rescue stuff punctuated by a couple of stinging late hail showers… contact towing with boats facing same and opposite directions (towed paddler pushes end of towing boat while pulling perimeter lines), towing with a line (clip under one bow line so still attached if deck fitting breaks), heel-hook assisted rescues (paddler in water hooks outside leg in, rolls onto aft deck then over into sitting position) and wet exit (just me after the others decided they were done for the day).

And then I drove home through a stunning low rainbow arching over the east end of Loch Feochan. So overall great, mostly dry, conditions with fresh but manageable winds and really just a cold start to day two and those brief hail showers on the less pleasant side. Bonus otters and rainbow and excellent, friendly instruction, to which I must just add that I’ve now been out with all four current SKO staff and would happily go paddling with any of them again!

But wasn’t I supposed to be talking about the completed kayak store? So let’s go…

It’s three weeks since I fitted the bar to the door and the boards to hold up the ground by the fence. Which I should have done before I even started building because it was quite a grovel sorting the well-trodden edge afterwards, but sometimes you learn the hard way!

And a fortnight since I made/fitted the remaining trim and finished the roof at the back:

Here’s the trolley nearing completion:

And ‘test driving’ outside. There are three minor differences from my original drawing, which are 1. cutting the bottoms of the side braces vertically instead of horizontally, 2. making both gussets for each end as one continuous piece, and 3. incorporating a plywood panel above the axle to guard against the frame racking in plan view. But it’s essentially still the trolley I drew in February and I’m relieved to say it behaves perfectly on its wheels when I couldn’t be absolutely sure till I’d built it and tried it:

And finally with screw-on replaceable wood feet (where the trolley frame is otherwise all glued) and a boat (which is the whole point):

Postscript (25 April 2022): the cabin hook came today, so all done now! :-)

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