May 12, 2009

DIY - PVC Kayak Stand

Completed kayak stand with kayak frame
I knew that in the build process that I was going to need to build some kind of kayak stand to hold the kayak once I removed it from the strong back. I did a google search for "PVC kayak stand" and it returned somewhere near 10 million hits. I bounced through a couple of pages and ended up with a fairly detailed article. For my idiot-self, I liked that it had a specific shopping list, instructions and pictures. I figured I couldn't screw it up!

The first thing that struck me as odd with the list is that it's using 2" PVC. From the article and his (I assume a "he") pictures, he's holding a plastic sit-on-top kayak. It's not uncommon for these to be upwards of and over 60 lbs. For my intended use of holding a wooden-framed skin on frame kayak, it was definitely going to be overkill. I thought about going with 3/4" or 1" PVC and modifying the plans from there - but, for the sake of simplicity, I went with the instructions as written. I figured he'd already done the figuring on what size bolts and all that jazz. (Next time, I'm surely going to take the time to downsize it!)

A quick trip to Home Depot yielded all of the supplies that I needed. Being a complete newbie at all of this, I had to buy everything - including the PVC glue. My bill totaled around $40 for the pieces (including the glue). Again, next time - I'm going with smaller PVC which should bring the price down by quite a bit.

I measured the 10' pieces into 2.5' sections. I learned that it's NOT exactly 10' - there's maybe 1/2 to 1 cm extra. Oh well, we're not looking for exact in my projects. My first challenge was how to secure a round object to the workbench (well, strongback ACTING as a workbench) -- some men like duct tape; me, I'm a fan of clear packing tape. A couple of wraps of packing tape and the PVC wasn't going anywhere. My first cut was kind-of straight. The rest seemed to get worse and worse. It's was pretty appalling, to be honest. BUT- they'd be hidden by the 90-degree elbows.

I glued the first square together with the realization that I wasn't exactly sure how to ensure what I was making was exactly square. I got it pretty close, though it does not lay flat on the floor. I glued up the second square, linking it into the first as the instructions specified.

Crossjoint for PVC kayak stand
I drilled holes through both pieces on both sides for the center-bolt that acts as the joint. I realized how not-straight my holes were drilled when I had to forego the washers in order to get the nut secured. And, then I realized how much worse the second set were when I couldn't get the bolt to make it through the 2nd-piece of PVC. I ended up taking the bolt out and drilling the interior holes out wider on each side to give the bolt enough play that it could be forced through and secured. It's "speshul", but it gets the job done.

Straps/webbing for holding kayak
As I seem to do with everything, I deviated from the instructions and instead of mounting rope to the ends of the PVC, I went with mounting it to the top, inside of the elbows. I chose not to use rope, instead I picked up some 2" polypro webbing. I was able to wrap the webbing around the PVC 1 1/2 times and then I screwed through it. I put the bolt, washers and nuts on and it seems like it should hold quite nicely.

The other thing I decided to deviate from the instructions was I added a piece of rope to the bottom of the stand. Otherwise, the stand would open to the point that the webbing would not have any slack to it. Since my kayak is pretty light, I wanted to have a nice cradle for the boat to set down in.

Completed kayak stand
The stand turned out alright. It's not square, but it works for me.


corgimas said...
these are the stands that i made..i like them...and did make them out of 2" pvc to be beefy....they are good workstands for any of my boats...

Doug S said...

I really like that design - especially the fold-flat nature of it. Maybe next time!

Amohkali said...

if you make one square larger than the other(wider and taller), it will still sit level and fold flat.

Basically, one square fits inside the other.

Pawistik said...

Hi Doug,
I like your stand better than the one you based it on. I found yours by googling after I decided I want to build a stand of my own.
Cheers & happy paddling & building,
Bryan (aka 'Pawistik')

Doug S said...

A word of warning - the 2" webbing that I use has chewed into my PVC kayak covering as I worked getting the skin on. Try to find something as soft as possible for the slings.