Folding Kayak Modifications
A canvas cover is easy to make. You do not need a pattern. Here’s how:For my Klepper AII, I bought 6 yards of duck canvas ($3/yd), a couple of yards of nylon webbing and Velcro. Drape the canvas over the length of the Boat with the boat right side up (i.e. not turned over). Cut two seams crossways. One is at the forward point of the cockpit. The second is at the rear edge of the cockpit. Cut and sew the second rear seam only after you have cut AND Sewn the first. So go ahead and cut the material at the forward cockpit point. After you cut you will notice that as the material lies on the boat that it now overlaps at an angle down the sides. Mark the excess overlap with soap leaving a 1/2-inch extra on both sides for the seam. Cut the excess off. Now sew an overlapping seam just like the Klepper deck uses (same seam as on inside inseam of jeans).
To make an overlapping seam take the two pieces of material with the ends even and pinned and the topsides touching each other (bottom sides out). Now sew a straight line across about 1/2 inch from the edge. Open the material back up. The seam butt will be underneath. Fold it to one side and pin. Now sew a second line parallel to the first about 1/4 ” away on the side the seam butt is folded to underneath. Now you have a folded overlapping seam.
Now repeat the process for the seam at the rear of the cockpit. Mark , cut , let it hang down naturally, mark and cut away the overlap. Then sew back together with an overlapping seam.
Once this is done, you need to pin the material snuggly around the stern and bow with a seam going straight down the edge of the stern or bow. Mark the curved bow seam with soap once again leaving 1/2 inch extra. Sew from the inside a simple straight seam. Cut the excess. Turn back right side out.
On the stern mark it, but leave enough for 1 1/2 ” overlap. Sew it half way along the true seam line. The bottom half is finished with hook and loop Velcro sewn on each side to close the cover over the rounded stern end.
To tighten the cover further around the boat: Choose a spot and make tucks to the inside. Pin, sew and cut the excess. Make as many tucks as needed; just try to make them at the same places on both sides to keep it looking nice.
Hem the bottom edge of both sides of the cover. Use a doubled over hem as a simple fold with fray in the wind.
Measure Nylon webbing to go under the boat’s belly to hold the cover on. Make one side short. Make the other long enough that you can reach far enough to attach and release the Velcro straps easily from the boat on top the car or on the ground. (Equal lengths will place the Velcro in the middle under the boat which is inconvenient). Sew hook Velcro to webbing, and loop to the other corresponding piece. Now pin these pieces to the cover once again, checking the length to make sure it will keep the cover snug. Sew on with a box and X seam like on a backpack strap. Once you finish putting on these nylon webbing straps at various lengths along the bottom (I think I used 5 on my Aerius II), you are done.
Alternatively, you could simplify the tightening of the cover at the stern and bow by using bungees sewn into the bottom hem, instead of the Velcro arrangement.
With a couple of night’s work, you’ll have a $25 cover. I used an old hand-me down Sears sewing machine.
Other projects: I have also made a long canvas bag to hold hull parts and my Balogh sail. I also have sewn a set of S4 sails using old windsurfer sails from garage sale for material and using the old S4 Sails for a pattern. Now I am in the middle of attempting to sew 2 complete AII hulls and decks. One is Hypalon/Canvas and the second is clear vinyl-the idea being to show off the frame with a clear hulled Klepper. If it works I want to make a set of clear S4 sails to go with and presto- a see-through sailboat! We’ll see if it works.
Some states require registration numbers to be permanantly affixed to boats in a visible manner; usually this applies to boats carring a motor, but not always. Regardless, there are two good ways top permanantly attach number to your boat’s hull.One method is glued-on numbers made of Hypalon repair fabric. Raft companies and repair companies offer Hypalon fabric in a range of colors, including bright colors like red and yellow. You can trace out numbers on fabric using ordinary stencils, cut them out with an X-acto knife, and glue them on.
Another good method is to paint the numbers directly on the hull with Gacoflex hypalon paint, available from a number of supplies and direct from Gaco. Here are a couple of good sources for materials:
I also noticed the other day that West Marine has a kit for painting registration numbers on inflatables- should work for folders as well. It comes with hypalon paint and a complete set of alphanumeric stencils.