Boat outfitting

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mozz_uk
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Boat outfitting

Post by mozz_uk » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:17 pm

I have a few questions about outfitting a squirt boat. I have a valley prodigy with absolutely no outfitting at all, so a blank canvas to play with.

I am planning on using 3" minicell foam. I've found loads of the advice on kayakoutfititng.com really useful, but I have a couple of questions.

First of all, do I need a knee block? I know what one is in that I know what it looks like and where it goes, but what does it actually do?

what is a splash dam? And do I need one?

Also, whilst I'm here, are there any opinions on being too heavy for a boat? I bought the boat cheap second hand, so I didn't really have the luxury of getting a good cut. I am the perfect size for the boat, but about 10kg too heavy for it, is that likely to cause me problems? I guess I won't find out until I get it on the water, but I would be interested to hear what people have to say.

Thanks

Dave Garratt
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by Dave Garratt » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:30 pm

Hi mozz
I've used the same website and found it really good too. I'll do my best to answer your questions but I'm no expert.

1) I assume by a knee block you mean as in suicide block? I've found this not to be vital. However it gives vastly more control of trimming the boat with edging. Therefore you will want one as you progress.

2) A splash dam is a ridge of minicell. It runs parallel to the front of the cockpit and follows its line for 6-10" either way from the front middle. It's purpose is to deflect water rushing over the front deck and forcing itself under your spraydeck seal.

3) with regards volume I had the same concerns. I am about 5kg over my boats cut. It's probably a bit sinkier than intended but does it matter? I don't think so.

You've bought second hand like myself. It's not gonna be perfect but I bet like me you bought it for fun. If so enjoy it and don't worry what others say. Everyone I've seen in one is really sink, as long as at least 1/3 of the boat is above the water and it sits slightly nose high, enjoy it.

Dave
portages are always a grade higher than the rapid.

Jones Chris
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by Jones Chris » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:33 pm

You can never be too heavy for a squirt boat unless you can't get it to balance flat. It just means that you have to get used to paddling a sinky boat - but the mysteries will be awesome. In addition a slightly older boat like yours will have been chopped at a time when chops were not as extreme as they are now so again it should work in your favour.

I'm not a hundred percent sure but I think a splash dam is a wedge of foam that goes on the outside of the boat just in front of the cockpit to stop water forcing its way under the deck. Since it gets glued to the deck its adding volume to your boat and therefore to be avoided. Plus you'll get more water in through your neck seal when you head under than you will under your deck anyway. Don't bother with it.

Knee blocks - if you mean the blocks under you knees pushing your knees up into the deck then no, you shouldn't need them either if your boat is close to the right size there wont be room any way. My legs touch top and bottom of the boat with barely room for an extra layer of thermals. If you mean a suicide block wedged in between your legs to spread them slightly and keep them from rolling inwards then again, with an older boat the ergonomics weren't quite as good as they are now so you will probably want to shape one. You could make it slightly wider at the bottom than the top if you want to force your knees up and out but ensure that you can remove it should you need to swim!

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Pete C.
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by Pete C. » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:33 am

I agree with Chris. And don't worry about the chop - I don't think I've ever seen anyone in a Prodigy that's too small for them.

The only other thing I'd mention is the seat. In the older boats there was a bit of a trend toward fairly high (1" or more) seat pads. Most of the time you don't need them - they're just raising your centre of gravity and making you less stable. I paddle both my boats with very thin foam instead of a seat pad, and it drastically improves how they paddle.

Oh, and sort your backrest out first, because that sets up your trim which will affect the rest of the outfitting.

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MikeR
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by MikeR » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:04 pm

Hi Mozz,

I've got an old Prodigy that came with all its original outfitting, so I'm probably your man for this! There may be benefits in starting from scratch with your outfitting, but here's how the factory went about it:

There's 3 bits of foam that need to be slotted in (hastily scribbled sketches to follow...). Piece A supports the nose and stays in permanently. Piece B goes in after you get in the boat and slides between your legs. Piece C is the crux of it all - it's effectively a suicide block that slots into the raised 'turret' section on the deck and provides support to the inside of your knees (i.e. it shoves them out into the sides of the turret). You're going to wobble without piece C (and the Prodigy isn't the most stable of craft!!).

Things to note are that pieces B and C will need to be removed in a hurry if you are unfortunate enough to need to bail. Suitably robust straps well attached and with extra reinforcement are a must - cos you won't be taking them out gently ;-) If you're not bombroof and confident you may want to think about other outfitting styles (no offence intended!).

This system works really well for me and I've never been tempted to try and do better. Have a think and let me know if you want any more info. I'm away over the next week or so but may be able to provide photos and dimensions of the foam blocks if you give me time to dig the old girl out of the shed.

Mike.

PS Mine has a foam pillar in the tail of the boat (glued in) and a foam seat that slots into place (not sure if Mega still do the slick-on foam seat pads?)

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MikeR
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by MikeR » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:19 pm

Here we go!

Image

Image

Image

Shout out if none of those make sense.

Mike.

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Pete C.
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by Pete C. » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:29 pm

MikeR wrote:(not sure if Mega still do the slick-on foam seat pads?)
Those are the bits I was talking about earlier. I'd strongly recommend trying a paddle without the seat pad and seeing how it compares. I find it much better to keep my seat as low as possible. Other than that suggestion, great tips!

purelandexpeditions.com
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by purelandexpeditions.com » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:53 pm

any one got a squirt I can borrow for an hour so so in the evening of SAT DEE FEST, I fancy some soul daze after all the workshops?

d
Raft Kayak Trek Explore
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Pete C.
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Re: Boat outfitting

Post by Pete C. » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:14 pm

Daz, I'll be kicking around with my Bigfoot and Cletus, my Asylum. You'll need a lot of appetite to fit in either of them, but it may be possible depending on how much your legs have grown after all your weights insanity.

Levels are at 3.0 right now, which is a bit too low for the Trove, but maybe worth it if you're desperate...

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