Here is a photo of a platform kayak just out of the bathtub. Yes, everyone needs to relax in a nice, hot tub every once in a while ...including skin-on-frame kayaks. This kayak got a little uptight this winter, being cold, dry, and dusty. In fact, she got so uptight I could not get the skin onto the frame!
I didn't really know what to do and after scouring the net and talking to the manufacturer I still didn't have a really good answer. In fact, the manufacturer sent me instructions for cutting the frame down ...making the boat smaller. ( Not too appealing.)
So I had this idea. Why not soak the skin in hot water and maybe she might relax enough so I can get the skin on to the frame. Guess what? Voila! It is still a bit of a tight fit but at least it goes on. Actually, everything fits pretty well. I can zip it up, attach the washboards and inflate the sponsons. Prior to the soak, the longerons overlapped to such an extent, I could not get the fore and aft frame sections to fit together.
I'm going to give her another nice, hot soak in the tub and see if I can get the skin to relax a little more for an even better fit!
By the way, you may be wondering what makes this a platform style kayak?
Unlike other kayak setups that have fixed seat positons that lock you into one place while underway, platform kayaks have open cockpit designs that allow you to move around (in a limited way). You can take up other positions in the boat to paddle, or engage other touring activities such as sketching or photography.
Note the red lower deck (floor) in the photo above. It is a strong composite material with a thick, continuous rubber mat surface that you can squat, kneel, stand, and sit on. Also, there is a sit-on-top bench in the mid section. There is a flip up seat-back (attached to the middle section of the outrigging boom) for another sit-on-top seat positon toward the aft end of the cockpit.
At least for the purposes of the artist studying nature and drawing the river landscape, all of the platform features mentioned above contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable kayak touring experience.
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