CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

Greetings all! I am interested to know if anyone has converted a CLC 18 sea kayak into a sliding seat rowing boat. I have an 18 that is in good shape, but I am having a hard time sitting in the boat for more than an hour {old age } before it becomes painful and my legs fall asleep. I have a brand new Piantedosi row wing and wood spoon blade ours that I would install in the 18. I suspect some of you will think I am crazy and you are probably right. But I think it would work and could be a great little camp cruiser since it already has the two hatches and watertight compartments. I just wander about how the boat would balance with the rig in the area where the cockpit is, will it make the boat ride bow down? Cheers




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RE: CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

   Interesting idea - so would the plan be to enlarge the cockpit opening and install some blocking to accept the rowing rig? My first thought was that with your bodyweight sliding back and forth the thing will 'hobby horse' like crazy. But looking at it, I think it might work out pretty well. There are plans on this site on how  to drop in a rowing unit on a Mill Creek 16.5 and you've got a longer platform than that. Go for it!

RE: CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

 hi paddlinginpuddles, 

i saw your note and have another idea you may want to consider.  when i have seen folks describe some of the challenges of flexibity you descibed, an open cockpit often provides a lot of relief.

but have you considered turning the craft into an open-cockpit (alla surfski), kayak.  i can't find pictures right now, but i have seen this kind of conversion before.

this way you avoid a lot of the challenges of a sliding seat retrofit (the additional height of the seat decreases stability, properly bracing the structure for oars, potentially hobby horsing) but you get all the flexibility of knee bend position of an open cockpit.

its still a lot of work but simpler and probably less risky than turnng it into a rowing craft.

RE: CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

   I would respectfully disagree with James.  If you enlage the cockpit of your CLC18 and install a rowing rig, that would put your bottom (center of gravity) about three feet forward of where it is when you paddle.  The boat will be loaded very bow heavy and will track very poorly.  If you insist on using your current hull, you would have to also remove the aft bulkhead and move it further aft so that you can keep your CofG in roughly the same location that it is in now.

I would add that adding a rowing rig to the MC16.5 works because that is a double kayak with a very large open cockpit.  The rig is positioned roughly in the center of the boat which keeps the boat floating level.

I would submit that if you really want a rowing boat, you would be better off building one.  CLC have lots of great rowing boats and the MC16.5 would be a good multi-use boat.  Paddle it, row it, and sail it.

I would add that if you are not comfortable sitting in the kayak, that is an easy and relatively easy fix.  Your legs going to sleep is likely the result of the seat.  Take a look at the many great seats and seat cushions available.  My favorite is the seat from Redfish kayaks.  It is expensive but worth twice the price.

RE: CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

   Thanks mates for the different views. I did consider the ski idea, yet I was concerned about recovery in the event of a capsize, skis are usually hollow and can be flipped upright. They also usually have some sort of auto bailing "do hicky". I think I will pass the 18 along to someone who will enjoy its speed, and does not have old hips, it's just to pretty to mess with. I may have found a used M.C. 16.5, if the deal goes thru I will start with that, as it is a simple retro. If this rowing stuff turns out to work for me, I plan to build an expedition wherry so I can tackle rougher water, and do a little coastal cruising. Years ago a friend and I rowed a 20 ft dory he built, out the mouth of the chesapeake bay, and up the atlantic coast of the delmarva penisula. We had a blast taking turns rowing out in the ocean, then "surfing" into an inlet in the evening and camping on the beach. The wherry might be able to duplicate that trip. Although we had an oar we put in a keyhole in the transom, so one of us would row and the other provide steering { if you could call it that}  Ah the good ole days! Cheers





RE: CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

  I was faced with a similar problem - arthritic knees no longer liked getting in and out of my Chesapeake 17 or my Sport Tandem.  With my long legs I have to get in feet first and out butt first by pressing myself out of the cockpit with my hands on the coaming. So as gravity continues to increase with the passage of time I looked for a solution - rather than trying to modify the 17 I ended up building a Mill Creek 16.5. Easy in and out, one person or two, paddle or row or sail. So far just paddling as I look into rowing setups - I really like the RowVista setup but don't like the price but then what am I saving up for? - my old age? - I'm 75 now. It looks like the RowVista should fit in the MC 16.5 but I plan to see one in person before I spend that much. The forward facing position is very attractive to me as my neck doesn't swivel like it used to. I'll be interested to hear what you decide. 

John in San Diego

Chesapeake 17

Sport Tandem

MC 16.5

RE: CLC 18 conversion to rowing.

Thanks for the input John, I managed to score a nice used MC 16.5 last week.                 So the 18 will be spared the indignity of "Frakenboat" experiments. I will be installing the "P---dosi" row wing that I have and we will see how it works out. I must say I was surprised by how heavy the MC 16.5 is, and also how light the gunwales and deck area around the cockpit are. Anybody got any suggestions for adding some reinforcment to that area to make it stronger, so the boat can be picked up and moved by one person. Also anyone have experiance/advice about installing the CLC hatch kit on the MC 16.5?      Thanks All!                                                                                                                             P.I.P.







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