Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

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canoecrafter
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Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by canoecrafter » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:59 am

I don't see a precise ways to determine where to locate the cockpit cutout for a soon-to-be-completed Resolute kayak. I'm using a 17" x 32" template published by Paddling Light magazine. Any suggestions? I'm 6' 2" and 190 lbs.
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KenC
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by KenC » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:43 am

I think the seat position is more critical than the cockpit boundaries, in terms of fore/aft balance. The cockpit outline can be anything, as long as it doesn't interfere with the use of the seat.

In kayakcraft, the back of the cockpit looks to be 3-4" behind station 10, which if I recall correctly, was roughly where I positioned mine, on my Endeavour. That would suggest your seatback will be roughly at station 10, plus or minus depending on your personal center of gravity.

I drew my own template, and recessed the coaming, so mine was a significant deviation from the plan.

Image

canoecrafter
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by canoecrafter » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:01 pm

Ken,
Excuse the stupid questions, but I'm a lifetime canoeist and kayaking is new to me. Kayakcraft plans show the standard Resolute 30" cockpit located a few inches behind station 10 to a few inches ahead of 8. I'm using a custom long 32" cockpit template. Should the extra inches go ahead of station 8 toward the bow?

What's the reason for recessing your cockpit? Don't you want the coaming supports to turn aside waves that break over the bow?

From what I've read, the deck height in the Resolute is limited enough for guys with large feet. Does the recessed cockpit make entry even more constrained? Is it really an issue?

I see you used cedarstrip cutoffs for the coaming support wall which makes sense to me. What was your attachment method for the vertical strips to the hull?

Thanks for the input.

Gary
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KenC
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by KenC » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:32 pm

Gary, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Extra inches would go toward the bow … your center of gravity while seated, doesn’t change regardless of the shape/size of the cockpit, so you want the extra inches where your knees will appreciate them.

The recess … yes, part of the function of the coaming is to keep water out of the cockpit, but if you’re out paddling in conditions that will be washing over your deck (which is WAY more fun than flat water, BTW), then you’ll be wearing a spray-skirt anyway. A non-recessed coaming would only keep out very tiny waves. I’ve been hit in the middle of the back by following waves, and have buried the bow in oncoming waves, and there’s no cockpit coaming that’ll turn aside that water. But the main reason I went with the recess is that I didn’t like the look of that angular point on the back edge of the design coaming, and the only way I could think of to eliminate it (ie. to achieve a horizontal back edge of coaming) was to build a recess. Also, I like to roll, and a recessed coaming is much more roll-friendly.

You are correct, the recessed coaming does make entry a bit trickier, but its not really a shoe-size issue, its more of a knee issue. As it turns out, I miscalculated my cockpit dimensions, and I can’t do a butt-first entry. I have to set myself up by sitting on the edge of the rear deck, and then wiggling in feet-first. But if I’d made the opening an inch or two longer, it would have been fine. I wear size 13 shoes, btw.

The vertical risers were actually a laminate of leftover cedar strips, and ash (1/8” of each), so that the appearance would be cedar on the outside surface, and ash on the inside surface. I used the same glue to assemble the coaming as I used in the stripping … ordinary yellow carpenters glue (Titebond). Its all glassed, of course, and this coaming is tough as nails. I regularly pick up the kayak by the coaming, with never an issue, and it gets banged around a fair bit, as I do a lot of rolling and re-entry practice.

Let me know if you're interested in doing something like this and I'll dredge up some of my notes from the build.

canoecrafter
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Re: Cockpit in Resolute kayak

Post by canoecrafter » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:58 am

Ken,
As it turns out, I miscalculated my cockpit dimensions, and I can’t do a butt-first entry. I have to set myself up by sitting on the edge of the rear deck, and then wiggling in feet-first. But if I’d made the opening an inch or two longer, it would have been fine.
What is the length of your cockpit? Will my 32" long cockpit allow a butt-first entry for my 6' 2" frame?

The vertical cedarstrip/laminate coaming is a feature I'd like to duplicate. I'm trimming the boat in cherry, so the 1/8" inside laminate would be cherry. Your ash laminate piece appears to be about 2" deep. If it's 1/8" x 2", I think I can steam-bend the cherry to make the tight coaming curves of the circumference, but I'm worried about the cherry making the up-and-down curves the 2" way. Did you use a single piece of 1/8 x 2 ash for the inside laminate or use two 1"-wide pieces and glue them edge to edge after bending them?

Oops, I just checked your photo closely and saw that your inside ash laminate appears to also be cove-and-bead strips set vertically. I assumed you had made the ash laminate from a solid 1/8" x 2" piece and laminated it onto the inside of the cedarstrip layer.

I spent a week in your area of Ontario several years ago working with Jack Hurley in Dwight, Ontario (near Algonquin Provincial Park) learning the fine points of cedar/canvas canoe construction from a memorable master builder. That experience came in handy when I had the opportunity to assist in bringing the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum to life in northern Wisconsin recently. I'm building the kayak at the museum workshop. http://wisconsincanoeheritagemuseum.org.

Gary
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by Patricks Dad » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:21 pm

What is the length of your cockpit? Will my 32" long cockpit allow a butt-first entry for my 6' 2" frame?
I think the best way to assess your ability to get into a 32" long cockpit is to mock up the actual shape, mount it on some blocks and try it out.
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KenC
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by KenC » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:55 pm

Gary, what a great place to have a workshop … all that inspiration around you … BTW, I do a lot of paddling on Rice Lake, ON, where we have a cottage. It’s directly south of Peterborough, home of another museum you might be familiar with.
What is the length of your cockpit? Will my 32" long cockpit allow a butt-first entry for my 6' 2" frame?
The template I used (self-drawn) was 31” x 17”, but because of the way the template drapes over the curved surface of the recess, and because the coaming riser is installed inside the cutout, the final dimensions of my cockpit opening turned out to be 30.25” x 16.5”. Bear in mind that with the recess, my coaming is lowered by about 1.75” at the front, and about 1.5” at the back, versus the plan specs. The height and angle of the coaming (the front edge is typically higher than the back edge) have at least as much influence over ease-of-entry than the length of the opening.

Your best bet, as Randy suggested, is to do some tests to estimate the ideal distance / height for the front edge of the cockpit, given your leg-length. You don’t need to mock up the entire shape of the cockpit opening (and it would be near impossible to do so anyway, given the draping effect described above). Just sit on your living room floor with your back against something solid to represent your seat-back, and maybe sit on something to simulate the height of your future kayak seat above the hull surface (I carved my own foam seat so I’m only about ¼” above the hull, but some commercial seats are higher). Then arrange a crossbar stick at varying distances/heights to and see whether you have clearance to get your legs under the bar.

KenC
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by KenC » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:06 pm

The vertical cedarstrip/laminate coaming is a feature I'd like to duplicate. I'm trimming the boat in cherry, so the 1/8" inside laminate would be cherry. Your ash laminate piece appears to be about 2" deep ...
Oooh, nice … cherry …. Fair warning, my recess/coaming modifications accounted for a full 10% of my overall build-time.

It is hard to see in the small picture, but there was actually no bending whatsoever involved in the riser section of my coaming. Its entirely constructed of short vertical strips, glued edge to edge around the perimeter, a method described by Nick Schade in “The Strip-Built Sea Kayak”. Also, to clarify, the cedar/ash lamination was done in advance on the workbench, in an 8’ length, then chopped down into short pieces. There was bending involved in the lip of the coaming, of course, but the riser was built entirely of straight pieces.

I highly recommend incorporating the recess. The aesthetics are entirely a personal choice, of course, but there are functionality considerations as well. The recess method is also described in Nick Schade’s book, although I had to improvise some to apply it to the peaked deck profile of the Bear Mountain designs. Thats OK, though, troubleshooting is half the fun.

I'll have to hunt around for my notes ... I’ve corresponded with other builders over the years, and have documented the recess/coaming construction in some detail ... (there may be Endeavour kayaks with similar cockpit arrangements roaming the waters off of Chile and New Zealand) ... might take me a couple days to locate, but I’ll be happy to pass them on.

canoecrafter
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Re: Coaming in Resolute kayak

Post by canoecrafter » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:38 pm

Ken,
I think I'll pass on the recessed cockpit and leave the peaks on the front and back, height considerations trumping aesthetics. I'm stripping the deck now and will cut the 32" cockpit hole (works for my legs) after it's glassed on both sides.

I plan to glue a series of short 1/2" blocks to the underside of the cockpit hole, then glue 3" vertical cedarstrip cutoffs to those blocks and the deck edge. I think I can steam and laminate a number of 1/8" x 1" cherry bands to epoxy onto the outside of the cedarstrips so the outer side of the coaming wall will be horizontal cherry as will the rim.

You're right, the Wisconsin Canoe Museum workshop is a wonderful place to work during the winter. Though our historical canoe display is less than 10% of CCM's 600+ models, our workshop is HUGE and surprisingly well equipped. There are currently four cedar/canvas canoe projects going (two new and two restorations) and one cedarstrip kayak.
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by Denis » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:44 am

As KenC mentions any extra length should go towards the bow. I made my opening 32 inches and have 31.5 inches of usable opening which still means I must enter by the method KenC uses, legs first then butt. If I were to do another I would add another couple of inches to the front.

Another thing I did was to flatten the back deck a bit as my first Resolute is according to plans and I find I am crushing the rear deck with my paddle as I enter.

Another Idea is the keyhole style cockpit which gives one a bit more leg room for entry and still provides ample knee bracing. I am attaching a pic of one I helped to install in a venture Kayak a few years ago. I believe the lenght of the opening to be 33 inches.

Denis
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canoecrafter
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by canoecrafter » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:35 am

Dennis,
Thanks for the helpful pix. I like the keyhole cockpit and can easily adapt the template I have to add a keyhole section to ease entry for these senior-citizen legs. I'll probably end up with a 4"-6" keyhole section out as far as 36" overall with a 17" width.

I have a local upholstery craftsman here who has consented to make me a spray skirt--though he has never seen one--and I'm wondering if there are any nuances in making a spray skirt for a keyhole cockpit. My steam-bent coaming rim will be narrow and follow the keyhole shape rather than your wider one which has a smooth oval shape for the outer edge. It would seem hard to get a seal with the elastic band in the skirt at the two sections where the rim curvature becomes concave at the elongated narrower section.

Gary
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by KenC » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:16 am

Denis, I remember that paddle well ... we almost sunk Glens new boat ... I'll bet it hasn't been that low in the water since.

Gary, a sprayskirt will not seal, if your coaming rim follows the keyhole shape, which is why most keyhole cockpits use wings inside of the oval lip (as in Denis' picture) to achieve the keyhole. However, depending on your intended paddling, you may not need a tight seal. Personally, I use a neoprene sprayskirt with a very tight fit, because I like to roll. Therefore I need the skirt to be effective at keeping water out when I am upside-down, or laying far over to the side. Touring-style sprayskirts tend to be looser, because they are more intended to keep stray splashes out.

In the configuration you describe, you'd still keep most stray splashes out, but if a wave were to wash over your coaming from the side or the front, you'll take on some water. The rougher the conditions, the more you'd take on.

If you want to extend the length of the cockpit, I'd recommend just stretching the template.

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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by Denis » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:30 pm

It would be interesting to see if a spray skirt in the shape of a key hole cockpit would seal. I would imagine it would keep most water out. I bought one for my first resolute but only use it now and then. Mostly in the fall on a cool day.

your upholstery person will need to make a pattern to match the finished cockpit and he may have some suggestions for a way to wrap around the keyhole. Perhaps something preformed that would hold snuggly.

Best of luck with it. :thinking

ps you notice KenC the stern is lower than the bow :laughing

unfortunately if we tried it now I think the bow would be much lower :crying

canoecrafter
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Outside-the-box cockpit?

Post by canoecrafter » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:17 am

Ken, Dennis,
As I look at my finished Resolute hull and deck, and lay my cockpit template on the deck, I'm trying to think outside the box about the cockpit before I pick up the saber saw and make an irreversible hole in that beautiful cedar deck.

The discussion of cockpit length centers on being long enough for ease of entry vs remaining compact enough for aesthetics, attachment surfaces for thigh pads, structural integrity, and spray-skirt attachment. Long/short/keyhole are all compromises.

Couldn't cockpit size be flexible? With plenty of room for long legs upon entry and exit, but short and compact when paddling. We build removable flush hatches into our boats; why not a flush cockpit/coaming section that can be removed or swung out of the way when entering, then replaced or swung back into position for paddling?

For example, if a 17 x 30 cockpit with coaming had a 12" x 20" removable trapezoidal extension (with 12" of the coaming attached to it) extending toward the bow, one would have 50" of length when entering with the extension removed. Reattached, the cockpit would look and function like a 17 x 30 cockpit except for the two hairline joints in the coaming. And a standard 17 x 30 spray skirt would fit nicely.

Does this make sense and seem feasible?

Gary
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Re: Determining cockpit location in Resolute kayak

Post by Denis » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:19 pm

Interesting idea but not something I would tackle. As I mentioned earlier I seldom use my sprayskirt. I have seen a picture somewhere where someone has done somthing similar but can't remember where I saw it. I dont think the one I saw was fastened in place, it was simply placed on a lip in front of the paddler to fill in some open space. You might try a mockup before cutting into your deck.

Denis

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