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Royal is building a PakYak too!

September 1999

Royal has sent in photos of his frame built from the on-line plans. Notice the row of pictures that focus on design changes. Royal can't leave well enough alone and has made several changes to meet his satisfaction. You will note that he went to the extra expense of using locknuts (instead of superglue). This allows for much easier replacement of parts (if needed). He'll send in more photos as he completes more of the project... You can look at his webpage at



The first set is my folded Yak and the hinge in the middle:

Folded frame on top of laundry bag that I carry it in

"H" with hinge mod

Bottom view (H + center struts -- on left)

Pins hold "U" catches

Here are pictures that focus on design changes in my Yak:

angle-bar mod

Gunwail rail
tab mod

Bottom view of angle-bar (left) and gunwail rail connection to inside of mid-brace

Tubing frame needs this

And finally here is a pic that shows the entire Yak as of 10/31/1999 -- and a portrait of Royal:

The frame

This is me!

Skin! But no water...
Lawn kayaking at it's finest

Expedition Model!!
(With racing stripe,
but no seat yet)


Side Catches - The side catches that connect "I" to "H" are made out of 1/16" aluminum formed into a "U" shape. The "U" is more solid and less subject to deformation than having two "L's". Using a thin saw blade, the slots were sawn into "I" and the catch pinned into place using 2 pins whose location is indicated by the two pencil marks at the bottom of "I." The "U" catch is the same width as the catch that the 3/4" clip normally connects with and the bottom edges are tapered for positive engagement.

Mid Braces Angle-Bar - The outside 2 straps (blue) were added to the angle-bar to firmly lock the Mid-brace in position. This just seems firmer and more stable when you place your hands on the outer corners of the midbrace to lower or raise your body into/out of the cockpit. To the outside edge of the straps you'll note a tab from the Gunwail that is screwed down to the inside of the mid-brace. There is one on each end of the gunwail rails.

Gunwail Tabs - In the original design the top angle-bar (mid-brace) has tabs that simply wrap around the gunwail rails (underneath on the sides). This allows the mid-braces to float forward and back. It also allows a lot of flex and coke-bottle waisting in the gunwail. So, the angle-bar tabs were eliminated. Instead, perpendicular tabs on the gunwail rails were created to attach to the inside corners of the mid-brace. This requires an extra minute or so to connect on setup, but makes the entire frame much more rigid in overall performance. It also keeps the bow and stern from diving when you lean back in the seat and press forward on the mid-brace with your feet.

Center Hinges - Instead of "H" being bolted directly to the center struts, I put this hinge in between. This was actually a solution that Jim Heter came up with when I explained to him about the torque. Part of the problem with the gunwails doing the coke-bottle waist thing is the center struts being torqued (twisted) outwards to connect with "I". Subsequently, they attempt to return to their non-stressed state. And, pull the middle of the gunwail rails in during the process. That works okay with the plywood, but will not work if you decide to make the frame out of aluminum tubing. Aluminum tubing won't torque like plywood. And if you get it to torque, it will start to collapse, lose integrity, and never return to original position and shape. So, this little hinge stops the inward pull on the gunwails and allows you to make the frame of aluminum tubing if you so desire.