Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sea Kayak DIY Conversion to a Sit on Top

Inspired by the open deck surf ski cockpits, I wanted the performance of a sea kayak but as a sit on top. My combat roll was never that solid and I like the freedom of putting my legs over the side, jumping in-out anytime and more recovery options in big water.

Kayak fisherman Todd Switzer did the first part of the project removing the top and installing a test interior. Sean Thomas of Echo Composites finished the job with a surf ski style cockpit with scuppers and venturi's and rail leash plugs to attach the thigh straps to.



My first session in the new boat was a success while surfing 5' wind waves in a 25 kt northerly on Puget Sound. The scuppers worked great, the boat was only a few pounds heavier than the original 37 lbs and it rolled without any differences than the prior version.  The skeg will be converted into a pull up - push down variety off the back deck behind the cockpit since we removed the side slider. The skeg never really worked well as a slider, sometimes breaking (cable got jammed).

Parts used:
Boat: 2009 Sterling Illusion
 Scupper: Home Depot parts
Venturi's - custom molded by Sean (he has a cnc).
Foam: Mixture of EPS 1lb and blue insulation foam
Foot Pegs - out of production model purchased from www.nwoc.com

Contact Sean Thomas of Echo Composites for more tech builders info. He's thinking of creating a plug to more easily place a cockpit in existing boats. Doing so manually was quite a bit of work.
Sean Thomas sean@echosup.com in Issaquah, WA























Any questions give me a holler. Join my mailing list! Contact me: salmonbaypaddle@gmail.com / 206.465.7167 - Check out our SUP classes in Seattle - Beginning to advanced instruction including freighter and tug wave surfing, coastal surfing, rivers and racing, plus PSUPA Instructor Certification.


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