paddling our way

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I’ll be honest with you.

When I first had the idea of modifying the inflatable boat we bought, I had some doubts. As did BandGeek. As did many of you also, probably.

I mean, let’s be realistic about how many times I look stuff up on the internet that actually works when put into practice?

Well, we don’t need to go into that, it’s ugly. I have probably had more failures from finding things on the internet than successes.

This, however…this was a success!

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We are taking this in stages. First, I cut out the floorboard (deck?) to (generally) fit the bottom of the boat. But before I went ahead and covered the whole thing with outdoor carpet, I wanted to make sure that the idea would actually work – so we tested it out tonight!

The floorboard is not quite snug in the bottom – there’s some space on the sides and the front and back (bow and stern, I guess?) which I was worried would affect how well it worked – but it did indeed work!

So now, our next step is to cover the floorboard in carpet, and to build bench seats with hinged lids that can double as storage. The seats will be covered with carpet also, and we may even install swivel fishing seats at the BOW and STERN so that BandGeek can fish in comfort AND style!

We also found that we definitely need rope. This is me, holding the boat from floating away from the dock with the simple expedient of sitting on the edge of the dock with my feet in the boat. It will be much easier once we have ropes.

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We also found that the oars included with the boat are really, really hard to use effectively especially for one person. So we ordered a motor mount for $20 and we will be borrowing a small electric trolling motor from BandGeek’s mom and dad when we take it out on its first official maiden voyage this weekend!

There will be three seats – one at the bow, one in the middle (midships?!) and one at the stern, which will house the battery for the motor as well as serve as a place to sit and steer. I’ll post pictures of those when they are built. I’m thinking I won’t attach them permanently to the floorboard – instead, I will make cleats on the floorboard that they can fit over, which will keep them from sliding around but will let us disassemble the boat easily.

To orient ourselves back to the objective, here’s what we’re going for:

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Or something along these lines, anyway. Maybe not quite so fancy. But the initial idea is proving out! I am so excited!

 

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