Re: Building light

Posted by Laszlo on Jan 26, 2006

Light is good, but I like to keep in mind that we're actually talking about a kayaking system. This includes the kayaker and the cargo, as well as the boat.

Even doing all the most extreme measures listed here will never take more than 10 lbs, at most, off the weight of the standard boat as built by an experienced builder. It would be very labor intensive and expensive in terms of time and materials to do all that, and in most cases the boat will be less robust.

My thought is to pay attention to the kayaker and cargo. First the cargo. Anything that you don't take with you is weight saved with no expense or work. So if you're just going to do laps around the lake on a clear sunny morning, leave the strobe lights at home. Same for the bilge pumps and other self-rescue accessories when all you'll be doing is speed training in waist deep water. You don't have to outfit every outing as if it was an oceanic crossing. Any gear you do bring, make sure it's the lightest you can find.

Next, the kayaker. I'd be willing to bet that most of us are carrying more than that 10 lbs in "expendable fuel reserves" (how's that for a euphemism?). While not as fun as shaving deck beams, losing that extra mass has benefits above and beyond just kayaking speeds. As part of that program, muscles can also be conditioned to easily lift the weight of the kayak.

Until I'd gotten to the point of diminishing returns with these strategies, the only thing I'd do is minimize epoxy use and leave out the ring nails and screws.


In Response to: Building light by TB on Jan 25, 2006