It's only two more days before the NKB seakayak event on the isle of Vlieland begins. I made a phone call with Sien and Paul and it looks as if the organization committee has most of the preparations done. It's getting urgent to prepare myself. First the hardware. Since a very long time I wanted to do some maintenance and little modifications on the deck lines of the Pintail. Vlieland is a good argument to do it now - the kayak of the coach is supposed to be immaculate...
The first thing I had to work on were the toggles (click here for the link to the item on the toggles): one of the white shockcords I added last year was broken, the other one wasn't elastic anymore: I replaced them finally by black shockcords (looks better too) with some extra length to have less stress on the elastics - they should last longer now).
Next thing to do was adding a bead to the deck lines on the bow of the kayak. Purpose of this little wooden piece is to make it easier to slide (while sitting in the kayak) the paddle blade beneath the deck line: a convenient way to store the paddle in order to keep your hands free while your out on the water.
Than came a so called "Duck Tape job": The picture below is a delicate insight in the cockpit of my Pintail. Mostly this sight is hidden under the sprayskirt. Now you know what's beneath it. I must admit it's a bit untidy under there! Last year I padded the inside of the deck before the cockpit rim (= the so called "masik") with closed cell foam in order to have better contact with the kayak. I tried all sorts of kit and glue, but the cell foam gets loose every time again. Duck tape works quit good to fix it- once or twice a year a bit of new tape, it just looks awkward ;-(
An ocean cockpit may look very sexy on a traditional seakayak, but a well designed modern keyhole cockpit with decent thigh-grips gives far better boat-contact!
Finally the finishing touch: the OP sticker: Derrick will be jealous!
For the Vlieland-participants: on Friday-evening I publish a message on this blog concerning the crossing Harlingen-Vlieland (it depends on the weather-conditions whether the advanced group does the crossing by kayak or by ferry).