We offer a choice of 4 systems: The wire slider is standard, while the following can be fitted as a custom feature:
The hydraulic skeg, the front and rear rope skegs and the combined skeg-rudder system are all made by Kari-Tek.
Skeg or rudder
The skeg can be used to trim the kayak in wind, and it does not get in the way of tow lines or become a danger when undertaking rescues - which we often see with the traditional rudder. For single kayaks we normally favour skeg over rudders because they handle well enough in intermediate to advanced conditions not to require rudders.
For our double kayak, The Triton, or for racing, however, we recommend a rudder when kayaking in conditions above force 4. In this case we suggest the Kari-Tek skeg-rudder system which is a combination of rudder and skeg. It is a hydraulic system that sits in the kayak in the same manor as a skeg, but also operates as a rudder when fully down. The skeg-rudder does not get in the way during rescues and will retract automatically without damage if needed. For further information, please see Kari-Tek.
Foam seat or the high performance fiberglass seat?
Q: I’m looking for a more comfortable seat for my standard Romany, to give me a little more room below deck and put me in a more positive (forward) paddling position. Would you recommend the foam seat or the high performance fiberglass seat?
The new glass seat will allow you to have a better posture in the kayak but some people still want foam seats. I think the only answer is to try them both. My advice would be to try the new glass seat first, this can be unbolted from brackets very easily so its no problem to fit a foam seat if you do not like it.
Which seat to choose
We offer two designs of glass seats and a foam seat.
The High performance glass seat is our standard seat (post 1/3 2009) and comes in two sizes.
You can buy this seat as a retro fit kit, please see Retrofit High performance seat for instructions. The easiest thing for you would be to go through your local shop, although if you want to, you can still deal with us directly.
The Classic glass seat is glassed into position offering no adjustment (old style). If you are ordering a Classic glass seat, please specify the boat that you want it for in your order.
If you want to replace a Classic glass seat, please find instructions here.
Furthermore, we offer a foam seat that you can glue into place yourself, please see Alter foam seat.
The best way to get the kayak that suits your needs, is to try the kayaks. Get in touch with your local Sea Kayaking UK dealer. Most of the shops also offer on-the-water demos and experienced advice.
We would recommend that you demo the kayak before you place an order and preferably in force 3+ winds.
Polishing your kayak will fill in small scratches and make your kayak look newer. In reality it is actually removing a small layer of the gel coat making it thinner so do it in moderation. Using a power polisher and a sheep skin buffer, or a rag and a lot of elbow grease work through.
Do not store the kayak on a wet or damp ground as it could cause osmosis.
Try and park the car in a shaded area. The surface temperature of dark coloured kayaks can increase as much as 20 degrees more than white surfaces.
Grind off all the old Gel from the inside of the cockpit.
Wipe clean all the surfaces with Solvent (Acetone etc.)
With the boat upright on stands, place the new rim in position and hold down with masking tape.
Make sure there is sufficient gap underneath the rim for the spraydeck (use pieces of foam underneath rim to get the right gap).
Turn boat upside down.
Fixing Rim: Fill the space between the cockpit rim and deck. We use a mixture of Gelcoat/Pre-Gel/Catalyst or you could use a Methacrylate Adhesive e.g. Plexus MA300 or Adekit A300.
Once filled, check under the rim for any excess material which may have leaked out of any gaps and remove whilst wet.
If using Gel coat, leave to harden overnight. If using glue allow a couple of hours to fully harden.
Renewing the Wire in a Kayak with a Plastic Skeg Box
From the Skeg Slider end, pull the new wire through until the blade is back up in the box. Cut the new wire to length, so that the end just touches the front of the inside of the Skeg Slider box. With the blade fully up in the box, slide the Skeg Slider forward, and retighten the grub screw. The skeg should now work !!!!!
Repair a damaged Kari-Tek plastic skeg box
Equipment needed: Allen key set, hand router, acetone, adequate safety equipment, 40 grit sandpaper, wax, gel and hardener, resin and hardener, fibre glass matting, marker pen, masking tape, brushes.
When complete follow steps 1 and 2 in reverse order to re-connect the skeg cassette.
Gel coat repairs and star cracks
Never try to gel coat repair shallow scratches. A thin layer of gel coat isn't structurally strong enough to prevent itself cracking off. Either deepen the scratch using a small blade or grinder, or leave it. Unless the scratch goes through to the glass matting it won't harm the boat.
Thin hairline cracks - star cracks - present a bigger problem. These need to be repaired eventually. It's ok to leave them until the end of the season but much longer than that and water will penetrate the glass fibre matting and cause it to delaminate. These need to be widened using a small blade or grinder and then repaired with gel coat.
Wipe the repair with styrene to re-activate the old gel coat. This provides a chemical bond rather than just a physical one. Apply masking tape around the area. Add the catalyst to the gel coat according to the manufactures advice and mix well. Brush the gel coat over the area, remove the masking tape and leave it to dry thoroughly. Sand the repair flush using a sanding block and working your way through wet and dry paper, from a course grit to a fine one. For best results polish the area. For a bomb proof job, glass a thin layer of matting on the inside of the hull covering the area of star cracks.
How to fix a hole through the glass in the hull
From the inside:
From the outside:
Smooth down using wet & dry sand paper.
Retrofit High performance seat
Place heavy weight on the seat to keep in place. Once set, remove heavy weight and attach backrest, also fit outsides of seat with adequate foam blocks/wedges supplied