kayak outfitting

Outfitting kayaks is making them more suitable for a particular application, or use. For example, rigging (outfitting) a kayak for fishing typically involves adding rod holders, paddle holders and fishing electronics to it.
Outfitting a kayak can be a one-time project, or an ongoing process that evolves as the kayak owner’s learns more and discovers new and better ways to improve they kayak’s performance, as well as better suit their personal needs and liking.
Kayaks an be outfitted with special seats, motors, outriggers (stabilizers), fish finders, downriggers, anchor trolleys, sails, and more…

More kayak outfitting and rigging information »

W Kayak Angler – View From Another Angle

Sometimes we tend to forget that kayak fishermen are people with additional interests in life besides fishing… Some have families, and they like to share their experience and even their boat with family members and friends.

Such is Dan, from Vermont (see Dan’s W Fishing Kayak Review).

Dan standing in his fishing kayak

Dan invited his daughter Emily and her friend Tunie to try his 2007 W fishing kayak, and like him they had no problem paddling standing:

Girl standing in fishing kayak and paddling

Girl paddling standing in fishing kayak

DIY W Fishing Kayak One Wheel Trolley

John Putnam is a kayak fisherman from eastern Massachusetts who likes to fish the beaches and small lakes in the southeastern part of the state, where few other fishermen venture.  The access to those places is sometimes very difficult, and therefore requires an all-terrain solution for portaging.

A kayak or canoe trolley would be expensive and bulky to carry on board, and might not be up to the task in particularly hard to access spots.

John’s DIY solution is simple and brilliant: Use the W kayak as a wheelbarrow, with a wide wheel attached in the space below the hull tips. The wheel is mounted on a lightweight, plastic tube frame, which itself can be attached to the boat with just one strap going between the hulls.

Says John: -“The W paddle is fantastic. I used it last night in the sea and it makes me wonder whether a trolling motor has that much advantage over it.”

Update from John -“I have moved to what I hope will be a better fishing area in Vermont and expect to show off the W to many of the locals very soon. ”

John’s ‘all terrain’ 2007 W Fishing Kayak:

Portaging solution for W fishing kayak

Trolley for W fishing kayak

Wheel for W fishing kayak

Fishing Rowing Kayak With Outriggers

Wayne T’s W fishing kayak is an interesting project from a number of aspects:

He first outfitted it with a pair of large size outriggers because he wanted to enjoy more stability at his advanced age (68). When Wayne is in his boat the outriggers barely touch the water and generate just little extra drag.

Wayne also outfitted his kayak with a pair or oars, with the oarlocks attached directly to the cockpit rim. He explains that the reason he did it is because it gives him better control over the boat than a paddle does.

Fishing kayak with oars

“This is the best one man fishing boat I’ve ever used and I have tried them all…” He says, and judging by his catch he has evidence to back his words:

Rowing kayak and fisherman

When he paddles it he uses a canoe paddle made from his Mohawk paddling kit.

It looks like Wayne used a pair of oars and oarlocks he took from a small dinghy, and all he had to do was to reinforce the kayak’s cockpit rim before attaching them to his boat.

Oars for fishing kayak

Wayne also chose the simple and easy way to build his outriggers, and you can read more about what he did in this boat review.

Altogether, Wayne’s boat shows that with some planning and no big effort, kayak fishermen can literally transform their W fishing kayaks into a very different type of boat while preserving most of the advantages the original design offers.

Brandon’s Quick Release, Big Fish Kayak Anchor System

Brandon from Cape Cod made this ingenious instant release anchor system for his W kayak.

He writes:

-“Here are some pics of an anchor system that worked really well for me last season. The key is to be able to release the Wavewalk kayak from the anchor line in an instant to chase and fight a big fish.

The Genius Carabiner opens at an angle so only one hand is needed. The float allows the angler to find the anchor system after the fight and start fishing again from that productive spot.
Commercial fisherman use a similar (yet much beefier) system to hook, fight and land giant bluefin tuna here on Cape Cod.”

anchor system for fishing kayak

anchor system clipped to fishing kayak

Brandon's fishing kayak anchor system

Read more about Brandon’s Fishing Kayak

3M 4693 Scotch Grip TM H Plastic Adhesive – Good for Use in Polyethylene Kayaks?

‘Plastic’ kayaks is a term that refers in most cases to rotationally molded Polyethylene kayaks.
Polyethylene (HDPE, MDPE, LDPE and various commercial names) is by far the preferred resin in the kayak industry because of its superior performance when it comes to shock resistance, durability and overall reliability, but it is known to be quasi impossible to bond. This is because Polyethylene’s surface tension is low, which doesn’t allow for significant chemical reactions to occur, including bonding. The upside of this feature is that Polyethylene has superior resistance to strong solvents, acids, radiation etc., and indeed it is used for making fuel tanks and containers for active chemicals.

When an adhesive’s label says it bonds plastics it normally doesn’t mean Polyethylene.

3M is offering a an adhesive called 3M Scotch-Grip TM 4693 H Plastic Adhesive, and the company states it works for various plastic materials, Polyethylene included.

We tested this product and found that indeed it bonds with Polyethylene, and apparently a little better than other adhesives we know.
However, in our opinion the bonding is not sufficiently strong to allow use in structural repairs or for attaching accessories to a Polyethylene kayak, except maybe a fish finder, a decal etc., which are not required to support weight or resist even weak pulling forces at any time.

This adhesive could be used to seal rivet and bolt holes above waterline (E.G. with carry handles, rod holders, eyelets etc.). We would not recommend using it for sealing holes below waterline because we’re against drilling holes in kayak hulls below waterline in any case…

We would not recommend to use it for fixing cracks anywhere in the hull, and as far as filling gashes (such as those created by oysters) we don’t see the benefit of it, and we don’t see how the adhesive would stay in its place if it had to resist abrasive forces.

All in all, we found that common, general purpose adhesives such as the popular ‘Goop’ perform reasonably well too in such light duty tasks.

In sum, this adhesive cannot replace ‘hard’ methods such welding, riveting and bolting, but it can be useful in other ways.