Sea Kayak Related
Backrests - see "Seats" below.
Building sea kayaks - see the Sea Kayaks page for links to a variety of "self build" articles and sites on everything from skin-on-frame to wooden boats.
Compass - illuminating a deck mounted compass - discussion
Cleats - see this discussion for thoughts on fitting cleats and fairleads. This discussion deals specifically with fittings on plastic boats. Discussion with advice on waterproofing and fitting reinforcement plates.
"Finishing a North Shore Calypso" - excellent illustrated article by "Erling" on completing a "bare hull" Calypso. Relevant to other f/glass work, fitting seats, decklines, footrails etc.
Fittings and bits and pieces - Sealect Designs has a lot of useful stuff.
Foam - closed cell foam for outfitting, making backrest and footrests etc - discussion with suggested suppliers.
Gel coat repairs - see "Repairing f/glass" below.
Hatches - discussion on making VCP hatches fit, easing removal etc. Leaking hatches are discussed here. See this discussion for info on sourcing KajakSport hatches. KajakSport also make replacement covers for some Valley hatches. SeaLect Designs make alternatives to Valley and KajakSport covers.
Keel strip - good articles from Sea Kayaker magazine and one from Atlantic Kayak Tours on fitting / replacing a keel strip. See also this discussion and this discussion. As an alternative to the usual glass or kevlar keel strip, the Keel Eazy is worth considering - available from Reed Chillcheater and also from KariTek - and others no doubt too.
Lap belt for a surf boat - discussion with links to pics and details of how to do it.
Outfitting sea kayaks - article with ideas and suggestions for modifying sea kayaks, installing pumps, tow-lines and various other things. See also Gnarlydognews - for gear tests and superb DIY ideas.
Pumps - fitting an electric pump - this discussion shows a submersible pump installation - this one has a detailed description by Jim Wallis of his installation. This one by JulesT is also very interesting. See also the section on pumps in the article on outfitting sea kayaks. Fitting a footpump in a poly boat can be a little more challenging owing to the fixed bulkhead position, a bulkhead which itself may not be as secure as that in a f/glass boat - this article from the Dutch site Zee Uitrusting offers a possible solution. Foot pumps - repairing the Henderson pump - discussion. Parts for Henderson / Whale pumps are readily available from ASAP Supplies.
Renovating and/or restoring f/glass boats - this discussion details the renovation of an old Nordkapp but has a mass of useful information on the subject. Also worth looking at is this discussion on the renovation of a Sea King, especially notable as the owner had it painted.
Repair kit - article with suggestions for a repair kit.
Repairing boats (UK resources) - Rockpool Kayaks www.rockpoolkayaks.com is recommended for repairs, and Sea Kayaking UK (formally NDK) also seem to offer a generic repair service. A.P.E Fabrications in Anglesey tell me they do kayak repairs. Bournemouth Canoes can arrange repairs. The major manufacturers usually offer a repair service for their own boats, certainly Sea Kayaking UK (formally NDK), P&H and Valley Sea Kayaks all do. For repairs in Banbury, Southampton and Dorchester, check this discussion. Marine Revolution are based in Dundee, they say they have workshop facilities to repair polyethylene kayaks and fit accessories. Techsure (UK) are in Livingston, near Edinburgh, and can repair plastic boats. Sea Kayak Services are based in Weymouth, Dorset and are "dedicated to providing a high quality service to all sea kayakers". Fibreglass Fabrications Ltd, in Paisley, PA3 4AL, have been mentioned as doing a decent job, and Roddy who runs Kayak Bute has had good service from the boatyard at Port Bannantye, as detailed here. Summit to Sea on Anglesey can repair boats.
Repairing boats - See this discussion for a mass of detail, including techniques and suppliers of materials. Also see this discussion. This discussion references how to add fittings and do minor repairs, and suggests the use of epoxy resin. This article from Happy Paddlin' describes how to repair boats made from Carbonlite / Thermoformed Composite Construction (and also Royalex). Kayak Bute have a good illustrated description of how to repair gelcoat on their blog.
Repairing f/glass / kevlar kayaks - very detailed article
by Chris Bolton on doing repairs to composite boats.
Repairing folding / skin-on-frame kayaks - Wayland Folding Kayaks offer, apart from their own range, what seems to be a comprehensive range of accessories, replacement parts and information. They offer a variety of replacement hulls as well. Some potentially useful sources for canvas suitable for such craft are here.
Repairing side-seams on f/glass boats - discussion. This discussion also deals with removing an old fibre glass seam. This discussion includes a detailed description of how to repair and strenghten a seam.
Repairing plastic boats - the "tarp repair" offers a possible solution to fixing deep scratches.
Sails for sea kayaks - Laurie Ford offers some thoughts on designing and fitting sails on his site. The Maatsuyker Kayak Club has this article with some designs. The New South Wales Kayak Club has a link to a simple sail design and this article gives some ideas. From New Zealand, plans and instructions for a Polynesian style sail. Douglas Wilcox offers some useful insight into fitting a Flat Earth sail to a kayak. See also the Equipment page for more information on fitting and fettling sailing kit.
Seats & backrests - discussion. Outfitting sea kayak cockpits / seats - discussion here and here. Seats & kayak outfitting - discussion. Seats - lowering the seat in a P&H boat - discussion. Seat replacement solutions - discussion. General discussion on back rests and preventing back pain. This discussion includes pics of a diy back rest made from foam, as does this discussion with other useful comments. This excellent article offers advice on preventing backpain. See also these articles from Kayak Fit and the Cockpit Outfitting section of the article on Outfitting Sea Kayaks.
Self build - see the Sea Kayaks page for links to a variety of "self build" articles and sites on everything from skin-on-frame to wooden boats.
Skegs - This article on repairing skegs shows how to remove a skeg and also how to fix a variety of common problems, including how to replace the wire and reassemble the system. It also serves as the source for other links, discussions and articles related to making, maintaining and repairing skeg systems. See also this article on modifying the skeg to make the wire easier to replace in the field. Fixing a cable operated skeg - this discussion will help, as will this one. This one will also be of help. notably with regards to Valley boats if the skeg control has rusted. Superb illustrated article by "gnarlydog" on making and fitting a skeg. Kari-Tek produce a fantastic retro-fitable skeg system. Andy Waddington built a wooden skeg system and his article is worth a look.
Spray decks - make your own spray deck, from WhiteWaterSlalom.Net. See also Duane Strosaker's superb DIY spraydeck page and the Baker Brothers also have a nice description of how to make a spray deck (no pics though.
Tape - "helicopter" tape for deck protection, Solas reflective tape, "hook & loop" (Velcro) tape, anti-slip tape etc - Covertape sells on Ebay and is a good source for small quantities. Although I note that his helicopter tape does yellow badly!
Three-part (or two-part) kayaks - "Ceegee" modified a standard Rockpool to make a three-part version - a truly amazing job. These three posts detail the work involved - Initial thoughts - Part 1 and Part 2 of the job.
Clothing & Tent Related
Clothing / tents - repairs - try these folk - "Maintain", Units 1-3, Harker Industrial Units, Harker, Carlisle, Cumbria CA6 4DS - 01228-674410 - repairs and alterations to outdoor kit and lightweight tents. Also try Lancashire Sports Repairs. Rubberman provides an excellent, quick service. Scottish Mountain Gear in Edinburgh can repair tents, Goretex cags etc and are a Kokatat approved repair centre - note that contrary to what Kokatat suggest, they cannot replace latex seals. SystemX are also authorised Kokatat repairers. Hammond Dry Suits offer repairs.
Clothing - cleaning, maintaining and storing garments made from breathable fabrics - excellent advice and info from Kokatat (PDF) on clothing care. See also this document from them on general care and storage. Additionally, don't store (or dry) kit with latex seals in a room with any electric motors - they produce ozone, and ozone damages rubber and latex.
Clothing - reproofing - Nixwax is supposed to be good. (Although the "wash in" proofing may damage latex seals - apparently)
Clothing - repair tape / material - discussion
DIY kit making - have a look here for some interesting ways of re-cycling your beer-cans into lightweight stoves, and designs for home-made tarps, shelters, tents and rucsacs to name just a few of the bits of outdoor kit you can make yourself.
Latex seals - repair / replacement - Liquid Blue offer this service, as well as making some kit. So do Canyon Gear. Rubberman provides an excellent, quick service. Trident offer a replacement service, and a DIY kit. Hammond Dry Suits offer repairs and seal replacement. AquaTek make a range of drysuits and offer a repair service. For a DIY solution, see this discussion which contains excellent pictures of how to do it. Kokatat provide a set of detailed instructions on how to replace a neck seal. Adrian Shanahan also provides an excellent article on replacing neck seals on his blog. West Coast Diving in Ayr offer latex repairs. Edinburgh Drysuit Repairs offer seal replacement and the like and would be convenient for the East Coasters.
Pogies - make your own. From WhiteWaterSlalom.Net
Tent light - how to convert an Osram Dot-It into a hanging light.
Drinking tube clip - DIY alternative to the standard Platypus clip-on tube holder.
Flare tubes are discussed here
Guardian Safety Light - fitting one, and a small LED torch to a BA
Navigation Board - superb idea from Julian Patrick for organising charts/maps.
Paddle leash - article on making your own.
Paddles - making Splits / Jointing systems - discussion that includes reference to making your own splits using the Lendal sprung button system. There is an excellent photo-article on making a set of splits on unsponsored's blog - if you do this, I'd suggest making the cut off-centre so that when the spigot is fitted, the two halves are the same length. A mitre saw will produce a clean, square cut. Lendal will supply spigots for their paddles, and 26/27/28 mm spigots and sprung buttons can be got from Whitewater or Up and Under.
Paddles - making Greenland paddles - excellent article from Thomas Yost's site. Check out the Baker Brothers site, or (if you'd like a carbon fibre one), check out Duane Strosaker's page. Shaman Kayaks is also well worth a look for the wonderful images of boats, paddles and other traditional goodies. Check out JulesT's description of how to make a greenland paddle. Chuck Holst's article on Qajaqusa.org on making a West Greenland Paddle provides detailed instructions and a lot of background, history and tips on Greenland paddling technique - see also Matt Johnson's superb video based on making Chuck's design.
Paddles - problems with Werners - stuck joints seems to be a common problem, this discussion has ideas on freeing them. At the other end of the spectrum, this discussion references worn joints on Werner paddles.
Shoulder Strap Mount for a Princeton Tec eco-flare (or other items) on a BA. The clip isn't sufficiently tight to actually grip anything, but is too wide and inflexible to go into the lash-points on a BA - this DIY offers a possible solution.
Stoves - diy - for background and ideas for making your own alcohol or wood stoves, see Zen Backpacking Stoves. Have a look here for some interesting ways of re-cycling your beer-cans into lightweight stoves.
Stoves - spare parts for - base-camp.co.uk seem to be a good source of bits for all sorts of old and new stoves, as well as bits for pressure lamps like Vapalux and Tilley. John Moncrieff Ltd offer a range of lamp glass, spares etc. Hurricanelamps.co.uk hold a lot of stock for old oil lamps. Needlesports hold stocks of spares for Primus, Trangia, Jetboil and MSR stoves as well, or can get them quickly. This eBay seller, Kibworth DIY, appears to have a range of washers and service kits for a variety of pressure lamps. As does Arty-pharty.
Tow lines - article on choosing, making and using a towline for a sea-kayak.
Trolley - excellent article by Mike Wood on making your own from an old golf trolley. As is this one on a Kayak Trolley made from pvc pipe. This is a superb, simple and cheap DIY trolley. Here's one you you can make for £12.98.
Poop Tube - a neat way of packing out human waste, made from pvc pipe.
Storage solutions - illustrated article with a variety of ideas for storing sea kayaks.
(Updated 24-Feb-2016 )