Friday, October 24, 2014

Making Life A Little Easier - Designing And Building A Kayak Loader

The last time I went kayaking my loading technique failed and I dropped the kayak on the car, scratching the paint in the process. This simple roller system is what I have thought up to make the job a lot easier. The whole system was very cheap to make as I already had many of the components in my shed (Never throw out good stuff shipmates, you never know when it might be needed). The whole outfit consists of - A long bronze bolt, 10 plastic wheels, 4 stainless steel hose clips, 1 large plastic hose clip, assorted lengths of plastic tubing and (2 lengths of black rubber tubing - see photo below).
The long heavy roller axle is an old bronze keel bolt. The only components I had to buy were the plastic wheels ( $1 each at 'Arthurs Emporium', a local 'second hand' shop).
The components have now been put onto the shaft including a couple of black rubber bearers (not shown in the first photograph).
This photograph shows my good old trusty bike rack on which I transport my bicycle. The Kayak Loader will sit on top of this held on by stretchy bungee cord. But, first the bike rack has to be turned 180 degrees on the tow bar and the Allen Key bolts re - tightened on the tow bar.
The Kayak Loader is ready to be used once it is securely tied with its three bungee cords.
To get the kayak off the roof rack the stern is pulled down onto the loader / off loader. The rollers enable the kayak to move smoothly without too much effort on my part.
This shows the three bungee cords holding the roller securely onto the reversed bike rack.
As you can see, I am pretty pleased with this new arrangement. To test it I unloaded and loaded the kayak twice before storing it back up under the car port roof. I am confident that this new system will work well 'In the field' as they say and will make the kayaking experience a whole lot less strenuous.

I have typed 'Kayak Loader' into a Google search and looked at other peoples ideas and think that my solution stacks up pretty well. If I hadn't had a bike rack, I would have attached my rollers to a long vertical pipe and attached this to my cars tow bar (a la bike rack).

Next two jobs are 'Mariners' engine and restoring the Starling dinghy (at last). Watch this space shipmates.


Ben said...

Well done! When you are young you can compensate awkwardness with force. But with declining strength, the brain comes in and can design beautiful tools to make life easier.

Alden Smith said...

Yes, I completely agree with you Ben. I find myself thinking through what I am about to do rather than "compensating awkwardness with force" (a very good description Ben) - Using my brain rather than brawn has saved me from injuring myself lately - and I have to be especially careful since my operation. Physically I am almost back to where I was (better in many ways) but I will never be completely 100% - but I will settle for an excellent 98% at this present point in time. :>)