Colorado River – Kayaking – 2018

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Earlier in the year us river rats discussed floating the Yampa and the Gunnison rivers. But, as the Colorado spring remained fairly dry, and work and personal schedules made June trips difficult, it became clear that those rivers just weren’t going to work for us this year.  So, we headed back out to the Colorado River for a float through the Ruby-Horsethief Canyons section, west of Fruita, Colorado.

We arrived on a hot, August, Saturday evening, stopping for dinner at El Tapatio restaurant just off of I-70 at Exit 19. This is very convenient as it is right across the road from James M. Robb State Park which is where most of us were camping for Continue reading

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Colorado River, Ruby-Horsethief – Kayak

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Well, the summer seems almost gone and I finally got out for a river trip. John and family took a raft this year, while Marty had his Old Town canoe, but also a new kayak. This trip would be on the Colorado River, passing through   Continue reading

Add a Woodstrip Deck to a Kayak

Today someone asked me how I added a custom woodstrip deck made out of Western Red Cedar, to my Mill Creek 13 kayak. What follows is the process I used.

The process involves making some forms to support the deck, give it some shape and allows for a place to staple the deck in place while the wood glue dries. Once the deck is finished being built and sanded,  I remove the deck, and thus removing all of the staples, flip it over and sealed the underside with epoxy and glass. Once it’s cured I use fiberglass cloth and epoxy to glue it onto the shell.

First, create the forms. I used MDF I had around the garage left over from some cabinets I made. The forms are only temporary so use what ever you have available. I used the original templates used to shape the shearclamps to transfer the arc onto the forms, and then cut them to shape with my bandsaw (if you have a jig saw that works too. I used hot-melt glue to hold them in place in the boat shell.

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A close-up of the forms during a test-fit

I spaced the forms about 12″ apart   Continue reading

Kayak, Canoe Shed

I’ve got 4 kayaks, which I built myself, and one canoe. Storing them has become a bit of a problem as two of them have been taking up one of my two garage bays, sitting on the canoe strongback I made a few years ago when building a wood strip canoe for a friend.

I designed the shed last fall, visiting home improvement stores to learn the various construction techniques. Then, in January my second son and I built the floor and walls, but it was too cold to do anything with it. So, it sat outside over the winter. This spring it was rather rainy so it delayed the construction even further. But, summer is in full swing and I’ve been able to make great progress with it. It’s 18 feet long, by 4 feet wide, by 4 feet high and a bit higher at the peak.

The floor leveled and walls framed

The floor leveled and walls framed

As soon as I got the roof on, I moved the boats   Continue reading

Colorado River Trip – 2012

Each of the last 4 years I’ve been attending a “guys only” canoe trip in August. This year, like the first year, we floated the section of the Colorado River between Fruita, Colorado and Westwater, Utah. In river miles it’s a pretty short trip. Roughly, 30 miles. Last time we took 3 days, 2 nights on the river, but the guys thought we could use a little more time to goof off and relax so, we extended the trip by a day and night. The BLM manages this section of the river and there are many designated camp sites. For better or worse the BLM now requires boaters to make   Continue reading

Canyonlands Green River Canoe Trip

This summer I planned a June canoe/kayak trip down the Green River in Utah. We took five days and four nights to travel between Mineral Bottom and the Confluence with the Colorado River. There were nine of us this year, which included my three sons, my 78 year-old father, a co-worker friend and another father and his two sons.
The Green River through Stillwater canyon was Continue reading