Kayak to sailboat conversion shows how to weld plastics

This kayak to sailboat conversion is well done and makes for an interesting project. But even if you’re not going to be hitting the water on one of your own, the construction techniques are a useful resource to keep in mind. Many of the alterations were done with a plastic welding iron.

[RLZerr] shows off the materials that went into the build right at the beginning of the video which you’ll find after the break. His kayak is made of High Density Polyethylene and he uses other HDPE scraps, PCV parts, and even some aluminum to make everything. To weld HDPE together he uses a plastic welding iron that is like a cross between a soldering iron and a hot glue gun. It has a pad tip that gets hot enough to melt the plastic, but also includes a channel through which additional HDPE filament can be fed to bulk up the connections.

Additions to the kayak include a centerboard, rudder, and mast. The sail is a plastic tarp attached to the PVC mast which has been stiffened with a wooden shovel handle in its core. The rudder and centerboard are aluminum attached to PVC pipes using JB weld. The boat catches the wind easily, but without outriggers [RLZerr] must be careful not to let a big gust swamp him.

[Thanks Bob]

Comments

  1. kerneya says:

    Instead of trying to stick random pieces of household plastic in the welder for working on something like a kayak just cut some extra right off the cockpit rim. That way you get the same exact composition and it will bond way better than anything you may find around the house.

    It also helps to preheat the surface you are welding too usually until it just takes on a sheen.

  2. Saul_Goode says:

    Sail-powered kayak 2.0- welding outrigger support arms.

  3. brad says:

    Sailyak? I much prefer kayboat.

  4. kabukicho2001 said says:

    miranda said: I melted a plastic water bottle with a lighter and now my throat hurts and feels weird from breathing in the melting plastic fumes loll

  5. Hackerspacer says:

    There are MUCH better tools to plastic weld with. Hot air units for example.

  6. jaqen says:

    I’m unsure what the kind of sail rig he uses is called in english, but wouldn’t the popular Bermuda-rig ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_rig ) be much better?
    That way most of the sail pressure is low on the mast, making it less likely to tip over, and the demands on the outriggers be less.

    Should i ever try something like that, I’d use two kayaks and make a catamaran.

  7. buj says:

    why not use a kite instead? something like nasa para wing 21 could work nicely

  8. Gulfscuba says:

    Very cool!

  9. Jerzee says:

    I’ve looked into several kayak-sail conversion kits in the past, this one actually looks the simplest. I may finally try doing this.

    Thanks for the ideas.

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