Are you ready for this?
My very latest Sit-On-Top Paddle Fixture design! (September 14, 2006)
I was thinking about my latest PVC designs, shown below. "What's the hardest part about using them?", I asked myself. "Getting your legs in and out from between the PVC pipes" was the answer. OK, so it really isn't that hard at all to do, and there's a lot to like about that design. For one, the PVC design shown below can more easily be modified and adapted to wide and shallow cockpit kayaks like the Malibu Two. Anyway, the idea for this new approach just popped into my head early one morning. By that afternoon I had nearly finished this prototype.
This newest design is so simple and easy to make! I will soon make a bottom plate for the Frenzy and the regular Scrambler. This one is fitted exactly to my Scrambler XT. I can imagine this concept working well in a wide range of sit-on-top kayaks, however... I tried placing it into my Malibu Two, but the inside deck area just doesn't accommodate this approach very well at all. I'll probably give it a try anyway!
The bottom plywood piece locks in between the sides of the cockpit and into one of the forward footwells. The paddler's legs hold this bottom plate in place as well. It may be helpful to place a thin gel-pad over the rear arms of the bottom plate.
The distance from the seat to the paddle can be adjusted a few inches by moving the paddle-lock forward on the top plywood piece. There's about 4 inches of forward adjustment possible with the plywood piece as shown. For this or other kayaks, the vertical 2x12 piece (with the center cut out) can be cut longer or shorter as needed, or the top plywood piece can be made to extend past the rear (or front) of the 2x12 piece.
Early in 2006, after conferencing with a woman who's husband had lost an entire arm in an accident, Istarted daydreaming of another type of fixture altogether. I wanted a fixture that would work especially well for someone with good leg strength but who has use of only one arm or limited use of both, a fixture that could be easily fitted to just about any kayak, particularly the Frenzy they had, and one that would be portable and NOT fixed to the kayak, totally eliminating any entrapment possibilities.
The photos above show the first prototype of the design I came up with. I literally have only one minor change in mind to make to it before I document the dimensions and construction instructions (hey, I'm a poet too!). I'll be able to make a few cuts and implement the change to this same prototype, so it won't take long to get the final plan finished!
To use this device, the paddler simply takes a seat in the kayak, crosses his or her legs so that the fixture can fit down over them, then places their legs normally in the kayak. You hardly notice the presence of the framework beside your legs, and it is your legs that hold the fixture firmly in place. The forward-most pieces of the frame also somewhat lock into the footrests of the kayak preventing forward movement.
February 20: I have completed my sea-trial and sent the fixture off to my new friends in Florida who inspired me to build it! They used it the very first day they received it, and completed a nearly 3 mile circumnavigation of the island they live on!
UPDATE: Here is the very latest rendition... I'll publish the design specs soon.
I plan to make the next one shorter in length. It still has to catch the footrests
with the forward vertical pieces.
Here is my plan for making the "Legs" type fixture out of aluminum plates.
This design provides for easy adjustability of all dimensions!