Given the number of people on the island and the number of kayaks, we had a 2:1 ratio. So I decided it was time to put the Littlest Aardvark in the water. By the time I was ready to put paddle to water and shove out from shore, the stern of the boat was filling up with water. And not just a little water.
The Aardvark is a handmade wood and canvas kayak. (Not made by me). Unfortunately canvas splits when it's too dry and too tight. Canvas
rots when it's too wet too long. And we think snow got into her when she was stored right side up in the boathouse.
So, I decided to try to fix it with … you guessed it… duct tape! I'd see the guys on MythBuster do it. So it must work. Right? (see what I mean) Hell, they not only fixed a boat, they constructed one from duct tape, including a sail.
So I went down to the beach after the boat had drained and dried and carefully, lovingly added the base layer of duct tape to seal the hole and cracks. Then slowly and meticulously layered more duct tape on to create a water proof patch.
I wasn't able to remove the wood stripping on the bottom of the boat without introducing way more problems, so I duct taped over them. Which meant I didn't make a perfect seal along the rib where the canvas had cracked and split.
However, I was able to take the kayak out for a 10 minute paddle in calm weather and it only leaked a little.
Next step, since the canvas has to come off anyway – cover the whole frame with duct tape!!! These patches took 2 full rolls to complete so I figure I need 2-4 cases to do the whole kayak properly.
Now to find a sponsor.
Anyone know someone at 3M who'll sponsor me with two or three cases of Scotch® Tough Duct Tape for the next step of this project?