Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Turtle Craft!

My holiday wishes came true and I found myself the lucky owner of a new "turtling" (fishing) kayak this year.  I had spoken about my dream boat before, the Jackson Kayak Coosa, and I can't wait to really get this thing out on the water...

It's a decent sized craft, coming in at 11'3" and weighs a bit under 70 lbs.

Getting her unwrapped was a breeze, and I quickly had her outfitted for a trip!

Notice the fishing pole and snake hook fitting nicely.
But now the question became how to store it??  I am not the handiest of fellows, but I recruited my buddy Rob to help figure something out.  Rob recently got a hard top Jeep Wrangler and had rigged a pully system for the hard top in his garage.  Turns out it broke and fell, but he assured me he wouldn't make the same mistake twice.  I figured he had more experience than I, and maybe he learned a thing or two from his earlier transgressions...

A couple stops at Home Depot, Lowes, the neighborhood ACE hardware, (and then Home Depot and Lowes again) and we were in business.  The boat doesn't weigh a ton, but Molly wasn't thrilled about the idea of it hanging over the front of her car, especially with twiddle dee and twiddle dum suspending it.  We opted for the fairly high load bearing pulleys, rope, etc.  We made sure to try and and eliminate any "weak" points in the system.  After buying everything, I am sure it won't fall due to equipment failure.  Now, knot failure is a whole other issue.

Most of our supplies, just after getting started.  
We rocked out to some Black Keys as we fashioned the webbing around craft.  We used heavy duty caribiners to connect the webbing to the rope, with a section of rope to keep the straps tight in the middle.

Here we are getting ready for the first test pull.  We quickly fashion rope loops around the rafters just for the test run, and ended up with heavy duty chains, as eventually trading up for climping rope too.

Good thing we checked first too.  The initial pulleys didn't have a swivel feature, and the "track" for the rope was too shallow.  The rope kept coming off and getting wedged.  New pulleys, new rope, and our chains now in place...

To keep the chains from sliding, we bolted them in place in the beam.

Another test run later, the craft pulled up and down fairly easily, with everything staying smooth.

I read you should hand your kayaks upside down to prevent warping.  We lowered it down, figured out how to tie it off on the wall, and we were in business!

It isn't the prettiest, or easiest tie, but it is redundant and it works.   We used a heavy duty loop and hook initially.  The loop is bolted into the beam, and when you pull the hook and knot down it easily hooks in.  Makes it pretty simple for one person to do.  We could only find a small cleat, and probably should have gotten a bigger dock cleat from a boating supply store. Since this was kinda the backup, we opted to just loop a knot around the cleat we had.  What little excess rope there is is looped above.

And there she is, all hoisted up!

Many thanks to Rob for all of his help!  Now I just need to come up with a creative herping name, and get her in the water!  Spring and the rivers are just around the corner...

Any name suggestions for a river worthy turtle craft??


By the way, we hung her Jan 9th, and if any of you were wondering she hasn't crashed down on Molly's car yet!

1 comment:

  1. Love it! If dad could do it, you certainly could. You only get "handy" by doing, so keep at it!