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D-Ring Patches

April 22nd, 2010 by

D-rings patches are a convenient way to add mounting points to your inflatable or skin-on-frame craft.   These patches are strong, easy to apply, and are commonly used by whitewater rafting outfitters to attach a variety of gear to their boats.   They are purchased from outfitting retailers like NRS in the U.S. as well as from fabric boat manufacturers such as AIRE and Pakboats.

We recently purchased and installed some on our Pakboats XT-15 folding kayaks.  These patches are typically glued to the outside of the hull, but can also be attached to the inside surface of many skin-on-frame boats.

Our initial intention was to glue the patches to the outside of the hull, but after a lengthy discussion with Alv Elvestad, the owner of Pakboats, we were encouraged to glue them to the inside of the hull and have the D-ring extend through the skin to the outside.  He said it would create a nice clean look with only the D-ring seen from the outside.  Since this procedure involves making an incision in the skin, I admit, I was a bit concerned.   He assured us that the area would remain strong and watertight.

We started by marking the area on the outside of the hull, where the D-ring would be located.   We chose an area underneath the under-the-hull strap  and not too far from the deck.

Next, we measured the width of the D-ring and marked this distance on the hull.

Then came the fun part.  With a pocket knife, we made an opening in the skin and tested the size by pushing the D-ring through.

With a marking pen, we drew a circle on the inside of the skin slightly larger than the patch.  This circle is used as guide for applying the adhesive.

Both the patch and the skin should be cleaned with some alcohol.

Next, we applied the vinyl adhesive that came with the Pakboat’s repair kit, to both the patch and the skin and let it dry to the touch.

We pushed the patch onto the skin making sure to squeeze out any trapped air bubbles.

After allowing the adhesive to cure, we skinned the hull.  For a final touch, some Aquaseal polyurethane sealant was applied to the outside of the skin where it meets the D-ring webbing.

Here are some photos of the finished product.  It was easy, straight forward and took about 30 min. to complete.

Silver Hull

Black Hull

Fair winds and happy sailing!

The Best Lubricant For Your Kayaksailor

April 22nd, 2010 by

We’ve discovered the perfect lubricant for the Kayaksailor.  This product is a dry PFTE lube that will make your Kayaksailor work better than ever.  There have been some issues with the silicone lubricant we recommended in our user manual.  Since the silicone remains wet, it has a tendency to accumulate grit and sand in the mast track.  Since this product dries hard,  it won’t have the grit build up and the mast car will slide much easier.  Prior to applying SailKote, remove any residual silicone with soap and water and allow to dry.  Avoid spraying the leeboard assembly and your mainsheet!  It also works great on rudders, peddles and just about everything that moves on your kayak.   Since this product is solvent based,  it’s best to spray it on the sail rig outside or in a well ventilated area.

Click Here for a link to their website.

Happy Sailing,  Dave and Patti