Ever wondered what makes a kayak seaworthy?
Ultra Dry Waterproof Bags brings you everything you need to know about building kayaks. For quite a while now, Kayaking has grown to become a popular means of entertainment in sporting and leisure. Kayaks closely resemble canoes in that they are both long, narrow, and lightweight paddle boats pointed at both ends. However, there’s more than meets the eye.
While canoes float on water, kayaks are water displacing vessels. A kayak will float just above the surface of the water. Perhaps you’re looking to have fun playing in lakes, river rapids, waterfalls… That’s alright. Apart from your waterproof bags for all your gadgets, Kayaking might be all you need!
Kayaking offers the best opportunity to relax and exercise at the same time. During the sport, you’ll be forced to sit upright in a kayak and extend your legs to the front into the hollow hull. You’ll then take a paddle and hit right and left strokes for propulsion. A life vest and protective helmet can be worthwhile too! When kayaking through rough water, one might put on spray skirt to prevent water from splashing into the cockpit. It’s quite an adventure. How then, are these kayaks made?
Interestingly, kayak shells are made from recycled plastics. Polyethylene, the primary material of plastic kayak, is quite tough and unaffected by water and many chemicals. This is environmental friendly considering there are adequate supplies of polyethylene recycled from plastic beverage bottles. Better still, polyethylene is also used to make the kayak seats. The floatation devices are made of closed cell foam such as Ethafoam where the foot braces are made of lightweight, non-corrosive metals.
Mould Loading- A substantial amount of granulated polyethylene plastic is measured and mixed with colouring agents. Then, a specific amount is loaded into the bottom of a thinly walled aluminium mould. The mould is then closed to secure the two halves tightly.
Hull moulding – After loading the mould, it is moved to the oven and heated. The plastic melts and flows using gravitational force to the front and rear and up the sides of the rotating mould. You’ll eventually have a thick skin of plastic covering the entire surface. Heating continues until the plastic fuses into a solid layer and attaches itself to the mould. Later, the mould is taken to the cooling chambers where it’s cooled and rotated simultaneously. The hull gradually hardens and shrinks away from the mould. However, repeated heating and cooling is done to make a strong kayak.
Assembling of the shell – After the last cooling of the hull, they are designed to fit together horizontally along the length. The two are carefully sealed until the shell looks like a single structure. A decorative strip is then added to hide the seam.
The final assembly – Later, the cell foam flotation aids are fitted into each end of the kayak. You can alternatively use the inflatable floating bags. The seat is then attached and the foot braces fitted to the inside of the shell. Of course, when all other fittings are done, a drain plug is inserted in a moulded hole in the shell.
Alternatively, there are wooden and inflatable kayaks. The choice of the kayak to use depends on your budget, where you want to go kayaking alongside your preferences. A number prefer making their own kayaks instead of buying. That’s alright. However, taking on the plastic kayak is the best. You’ll have a strong kayak that perfectly fits your budget and preference!