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Check out for a bit more gnarl, or for that cool breeze, for that gentle float. Useful information • • • • • • • • • How to Choose a Boat • • Other Subreddits of interest: • • Filter by Link Flair » » » » » » » » » » » » Go out and explore! I have an older (~1996?) Prijon Yukon (expedition? Can't remember). I also have a 3-year-old daughter.
I'd like to take her out on near-shore jaunts on Lake Erie, Chautauqua Lake, etc. But I don't have a tandem or sit-on-top kayak. The Yukon smells a little bit like a dead cat (long story), which, after 8 or 9 years, means it smells a little like cat pee.
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Reducing its sale value a bit. So I want to chop it and make it a boat for my daughter and me. The plan () is to cut forward from the cockpit, expanding it to within a couple of inches of the forward bulkhead. I'd leave the bulkhead there, treat the raw cut edges of plastic with a poor-man's gunwale (e.g., split open vinyl hose, riveted to the plastic edge, to create a rounded, not-scrapey edge), and glue a foam pad, like a thick heel pad, a foot or two back from the bulkhead, for my daughter to sit on. My feet would go to the foot pegs, probably on either side of her; but she's thin and the kayak is kind of roomy, so I think this will be OK. Here are the problems I see with this: • reduced crush resistance.
This is a big deal, but if I do this, I'll probably never take this boat on moving water again. In fact, I think my brief involvement with whitewater is several years behind me, in general.
Of course, you can get your boat wrapped around you in some situations near the shore of Erie, but those seem extremely unlikely (?). • weird balance.
Putting my daughter in front will make this front-heavy, make us weathercock like crazy (maybe), etc. I will move the fixed seat back the few inches it will go, and maybe put some weight in the rear compartment to compensate. This thing has a (clunky but OK) rudder, so that will help ameliorate handling problems. • No more edging. I'm not really great at it, anyway. But this means edging is out. • No more skirt.
I suppose I could rig something up, but this modification would mean this was essentially a recreational canoe with two closed compartments. I'm not going to take my girl into a situation where we think there might be a storm, or where rain or spray would build up to scary levels. • Lower sides. Heavy water might wash up over the 'gunwales' more easily, potentially leading to swamping or capsizing. This is another thing I'd like to take seriously.
But I don't plan to take this into pushy-water situations. On the plus side: • Opening the top would be 100% driven by the desire to find a safe way to take my daughter out in this.
In case of capsize, she'd be in no more (or little more) danger than if she were in a canoe. • This boat (and Prijons in general) is really strong. It's plastic (and weighs around 60 lbs) but really tough, shape-holding plastic. It's much stronger than most blow-molded plastic boats; its strength, I think, easily rivals fiberglass or wood, though without the brittleness of fiberglass. So I hope cutting off a structural chunk of the cockpit and deck will leave a boat that is essentially still rigid enough for the activities I plan for it. • I think I have an idea to preserve the cut-away part, to be attached back on the boat if I want this to be a (maybe slightly leaky) single-person open-water touring boat again.