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DIY "backbone" for drop stitch floor

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:26 am
by evgenk
Hey guys, I currently own an AF Convertible with the backbone setup which works pretty well.

Before purchasing the kayak I've read every single posting on this forum related to drop stitch floor and backbone setups and decided to go with the backbone since I wanted better tracking.

Now that I've taken my kayak out on water about 10 times, I am not all that happy with the soft standard floor and definitely see the benefit of the harder drop stitch floor which should make the kayak a lot more rigid. Don't get me wrong, I love my AF Convertible ... just thinking of ways to improve it.

So, I've been thinking of making my own "backbone" which would sit under the drop stitch floor.
The idea is quite simple, I figured I could use a long "pool noodle" with a piece of 3/4" PVC pipe inside going all the way from bow to stern which would be secured to the outer skin of the kayak with velcro straps glued right in the middle - then the drop stitch floor would go on top of it, very much like the setup with regular floor and AE backbone.

This is what the pool noodle looks like: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2 ... ?locale=en


Do you think this could work? Any other feedback? :-)

Thanks in advance!

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:05 am
by JCOOLEY
Probably won't work. Those noodles are pretty big and the combination of them along with the rigid dropstitch floor may not have enough room in the kayak. You can try it out but it is usually best to have one or the other.

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:24 am
by evgenk
I see ... so basically you are saying that by inflating the main tube and the drop stitch floor the outer shell will not have enough slack to fit this makeshift backbone?

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:16 pm
by JCOOLEY
Yes, you could have an issue with there being enough room to fit all of that. It could also possibly throw off the aligment of the tubes because the floor would then be pushed into the tubes pretty hard.

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:13 am
by evgenk
Thanks for the feedback! I don't think I will be ordering the drop stitch floor anytime soon just to try my backbone idea ... if anyone has the drop stitch floor and are willing to give this a try please do post back with your results.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:03 pm
by Amuzed2pieces
JCOOLEY wrote:Probably won't work. Those noodles are pretty big and the combination of them along with the rigid dropstitch floor may not have enough room in the kayak. You can try it out but it is usually best to have one or the other.
JCOOLEY, more people are reporting they are using both the DS floor and BB with good results. Since the pool noodles (or something like them) offer some compressablity I see their potential to improve hull shape and tracking with the DS and being safer than the BB/DS combo, less stress.

In our boat there is a lot of slack in the floor fabric with BB in place. The DS floor would be better for our dog, and for a snorkeling platform, but I don't want to give up the tracking of the BB. It would also be easier for air travel to not have the BB, just a DS and foam.

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:59 pm
by PJohanson
Instead of a pool noodle, try a pipe insulation tube. Looks like a pool noodle except it's black, much narrower, and has a long slit along it. The insulation is meant to slip over a copper or plastic water pipe.

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:01 pm
by Amuzed2pieces
Good idea! I will. Maybe cut in half. May take the Big Yak to Cozumel in May so it would be a good test, kind of windy there too.

Thanks
PJohanson wrote:Instead of a pool noodle, try a pipe insulation tube. Looks like a pool noodle except it's black, much narrower, and has a long slit along it. The insulation is meant to slip over a copper or plastic water pipe.

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:56 pm
by PJohanson
I do all my tests with friends hovering nearby, in the shallows at our usual beach or lake. If there's anything being tested, I want to be able to get feedback from my paddle group. Also, I keep a dunk bag with warm, dry clothes, a snack bar, and a hot Thermos in the car.