Something I started to make early on is some seat padding. The seat well is highly cupped so just getting a large pad of foam and jamming it in wasn’t an option. I ended up making a paper template and had some more 25mm EVA foam cut to shape. I then used a paint removal wheel on the grinder to shape it down evenly towards the edges. This is a very messy process so if you can, do it outside. On 3 separate occasions I had the butt pads finished but decided to make them “perfect” and stuffed them up when the wheel grabbed the edges - see large divot in pad in pictures.
So I still have no seat pads installed as yet. After seeing the marks that are occurring to the softer grey EVA foam I'm thinking I'll now get some of the denser black stuff to make the pads. I’m hoping that the seat will also rise me up a bit to clear the pool of water that usually makes its way into the seat well. Even if that doesn’t happen I know my bony butt will be a lot more comfy.
Next one isn't really a yak mod, but thought it's still valuable for yakking.
After my episode of breaking the tip off a rod when they all got tangled inside the rod shoot, I thought I'd investigate some soft covers to slip over them while they are stored inside. It's probably not an issue when you can carefully take your time manoeuvring the rods whilst on land, but trying to get tangled rods apart and out of the shoot while on lumpy water is a different story. First I thought I'd get some cheap material and then find someone to sew some up but then decided to make some enquiries about what's already out there. The good tackle shops have some soft covers but they were a bit expensive for me. Kmart I found have some Jarvis Walker cheapies for only $6 each and they came in medium and large. I didn't want the whole rod covered, just from the tip to either the final runner, or up to the reel. I bought two large and one medium for a total of $18. I then asked my sister to take the large ones and cut them up the centre and make two out of one, tapered and sized to suit the rods. She kindly obliged so I now have 5 rod sleeves and this keeps everything nice and sorted.
No more broken rods....... I hope.
The last thing I wanted to do was to be able to go yakking at short notice if the universe aligned itself. To achieve that, two things were required. Firstly I needed the yak loaded ready to go at all times and with minimal setup and take down times at my destination. Secondly I needed a way of getting said fully loaded yak on and off the car with ease. To achieve the first goal the kayak has to be pretty well ready to launch into the surf even before it’s loaded onto the car. The Stealth layout makes this pretty easy to achieve with most items already stored inside the yak. The extra weight of the loaded yak makes the second goal even more important to achieve. Before rushing out to spend yet more money on loading contraptions I thought I’d try out the kayak racks that I still had which I used for my old sea kayak. These are the Thule ones that have one set of supports with a carpet like lining making them slippery. Placing the C-Tug trolley (that I got from Alby with the yak) just forward of the rudder allows the front of the yak to be pushed up onto the back of the Jeep Cherokee without the rudder hitting the ground. I put a carpet mat on the car to protect it during this part. This is also where my new front deck side handles make life a lot easier when dealing with a wet slippery kayak.
I then pick up the back end and push the whole thing forward and into position ready to tie down. Hey presto! Job done.
Unloading is just reversing this procedure.
So while there's still a couple of things to do, it's now pretty close to where I want it to be. Some of the things I've done were inspired by others who've worked on their yaks before me, and others I came up with by closely examining the kayak and the possibilities available. Other ideas came from experience or thinking about where and how I use it and what would be appropriate, and a couple just came as I was doing the work.
So there you have it boys and girls, Indie's ultra pimped Stealth BFS MM2. Hope it helps to inspire some others to cut up their nice shiny craft.