Nice DIY Roof Rack!

John Larkin made an Excellent example of a wood roof rack that he uses to carry a 90 row pound boat on his Subaru wagon.  He used j bolts and wing nuts to hold the rack to the cross bars. The bike tires keep his boat from sliding around. Really nice job John!

Back to paddling

As some of you may have noticed I've not been paddling as much as I should these days.  With work, family and friend commitments there has been little time set aside for the important paddling.  This dry season peaked in July.  In the first week of August  family and friends were either better or in a better place, I went paddling and realized I had not paddled for the entire month of July.  This has not happened before in more than a decade so I was quite surprised by the discover.  I also noticed an extreme lack of fitness and capability. In addition I think my boats are now a little to small and the fit is too snug. So snug in fact that breathing deeply is inhibited.  However, I'm at it again and really enjoying it.  I've added and out rigger to my most comfortable boat to help compensate for the lack of balance and I'm having a great time with it.  I think in the future I'll try to keep paddling in in its proper place so that I paddle at least 4 times a month and sometimes 4 times in a week.

As you can see the outrigger is home built. The tough part has been molding the bracket between the Aka and the front deck.  The PVC outrigger has a kink in the top but the bottom is fair and I have a plan to make the next one even better. It's going to be a wonderful fall!

Stretching is OK again

Apparently stretching is once again considered good for you. 

Stretching for Paddling

Rest assured I never actually stopped stretching, because each day I do not perform stretching exercises for  5 - 30 minutes I have reduced range of motion and increased pain.

She gets worse before she gets better.

We just visited the Mother-ship and were glad that she floated and started.  We heard stories of other boats in the area sinking. Their engine cooling water strainers cracked when they froze and the boats sunk when they thawed.  Luckily it appears our heater system worked well with our other winter preparations.  So far so good. She started and ran fine.  We charged the batteries,  removed some more broken electrical, installed a step some other hardware.  So many fun boat chores on a sunny day, and it was so warm for a moment I thought about taking off my outer shirt.

The interesting thing about the Mother-ship is that things often look worse before they get better. 

For Example:

Here is our electrical panel before we bought her.  Clearly the AC power breaker panel on the left if not ready for anything but starting fires and explosions.  And in two years I have gotten to this stage:

So the bad panel is out making a big hole on the left where I can put a new DC panel in and slowly replace the currently working DC panel on the right which works fine but is 41 years old so I think it is time for all new.

I'm not certain this boat will ever see an AC panel.  Occasionally AC devices are run on board with an extension cord and a ground fault interrupt device. 

I think a lot of time is going to be spent kayaking before any time is spent considering AC power on the Mother-ship.  Her purpose after all is to facilitate more coastal and inlet paddling.  And for that she is wonderful.

The Mothership

I wonder if my boat misses me while I'm away?

We'll go visit the old girl and see how she is doing.  She needs some attention and we need to get some of those kayaks back home.

The attack on stretching continues!

It is getting pretty ridiculous that in this modern age we are still arguing about the effectiveness of stretching.  As a species we have been able to write down our findings for about 6 or 8 thousand years. And yet we are still deciding what is the best way to maintain ourselves in good condition.

Below is an article that says stretching is bad and then in the comments that follow the authors shares advice one how to improve range of motion in a complicated way that I basically reduced to using dynamic stretching.

I've had poor results from static stretching but no injuries from it.  I've also had painful results from yoga classes that put you in a difficult static pose and then have you hold the pose through the pain.

For the past few years I've been doing some very basic Tai Chi warm up exercises that most anyone would call stretches. However these are done without stopping, so no static stretching in one position.  Also these are done in a way so that the your full pain free range of motion is used.  So if you have any perceived tightness you are going to far.  After a few months of these warm up exercises or stretches my range of motion and my ability to walk and sit comfortably was greatly improved.  So it may be that static stretching is bad, but other stretching is good.

DIY Cheap Roof Racks

We built these racks for a john boat but they worked great for canoes, kayaks, and SUPs.

It is just a 2X4 cut to the right length for the roof and then attached to a suction cup handle with very heavy duty zip ties.

It rack has no trouble with heavier kayaks or other light boats.

This design only keeps the load off of the roof.  To keep the load and the racks on the roof you can see that we put straps though the doors and tightened then very snug.  ( Open the doors to strap down the load).

The suction cups are not what is holding this load down so please don't do something dumb and blame me.  In fact I'll just say don't try this at home!  I just think it might be neat for others to see what worked for me.