This is too strange. A bit of a shaggy dog story, but stick with it, it's relevant.
I stopped into Annapolis Canoe and Kayak this morning to pick up a replacement foot bar/brace for my Rendezvous. Dave asked me what boat it was for and I told him it was for the Rendezvous because I took the one from the Rendezvous for the SRT and we proceed to have a conversation about paddling, during which he mentions he knows a guy with a Rendezvous, that the guy races it, and does well. So, I ask him, is this other Rendezvous decked? Well, yes. And Dave knows the guy and gives me his phone number. So, how much of a coincidence is it that we were just posting about this and I suddenly discover a connection to the guy?
So I call the guy and we talked about his decks, two pictures of which I have posted:
His decks are made of 6mm okoume plywood. They are attached to, not exactly, but basically, a second inner gunwale. He sanded the okoume perfectly smooth, sealed it and used a poly paint. The bulkhead part of his system is just glued to the hull with 3M-5200. On the edge of the bulkhead where it meets the hull, the okoume is triple layered to provide more bonding surface.
To make the deck lighter, he used a router to remove half the thickness of the plywood in a waffle pattern. The deck and bulkheads are fitted with 6" inspection ports.
How much does it all weigh? He didn't have an exact answer, but thought it was an even trade off with the air bag system he previously had installed in the boat. He also removed the "tanks" Wenonah installed in the ends, which seemed to me would reduce the structural strength of the stems, but the guy has been paddling the boat for years so I guess it is not an issue.
Does water on the deck roll into the cockpit? Yes, but he didn't see this as a big issue and thinks it sheds water better than air bags. No doubt. He didn't fit the deck with a lip or install a concave deck because that would have interfered with racking the boat.
He uses the boat in whitewater and has had it swamped and has never had a drop of water inside his decks. He did mention some sort of bedding compound in which he set the decks, and undoubtedly that is a key element in keeping water out.
Shall we all start building decks now?
Touring Kayak Paddles
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