Friday, March 27, 2009

Continuing as a SkillsUSA Project

I've diverted a little from my original intentions for this bog in that it will no longer cover news solely pertaining to my own personal PakYak, but will now encompass the SkillsUSA Engineering Design team for Terre Haute South and it's endeavors as we go throughout the process of producing five more PakYaks. There will be an opportunity down the road to purchase four of these boats if anyone is interested, from the way things are shaping up right now they're going to be a lot nicer(cleaner) looking that my original. Just incase I've got anyone's ears perked, we will more than likely be asking somewhere in the one thousand dollar range for one boat.

Now on with the news. On Monday got a call form Aker-Shorter, the upholstery business that is going to be sewing the skins, and I received some good news that she had a working mock up ready to test on my existing frame. Bellow is one of the pictures, there are more in the gallery.
From PakYak
As you may be able to tell, the skin is much tighter now. I'm very pleased with the way that this skin is turning our, already the frame is much stiffer/sturdier than before. With these new results, I've also ordered all of the proper fabric materials necessary to create a finished skin, we'll hopefully get to see how that goes down next week.

Then on Thursday Cody, Brennan, and I stayed after school to start of the frame pieces of the next five kayaks. We were able to get all of the wooden pieces at least cut and all of the 20" stringer pieces drilled, roughly 260 cut and 130 of those drilled. Once we had a jig set up for drilling it was just a matter of sticking the piece in and pulling down the lever. Bellow are the results of Thursday's work, there are more pics in the gallery too.

From PakYak
From PakYak

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Alright, so this past month or so has been less of an adventure or progress towards the completion of my PakYak, the Steadfast. No, what I have been doing for this past month has been largely working towards a better SkillsUSA project. When I set out to build my own PakYak it was a choice mostly driven by an intense fascination with the design and the idea of having a Kayak that could be stored easily in a closet and then, just as easily, hiked or driven in a normal car to anywhere with water. What I have taken this little endeavor to now amounts to something that that could potentially result in more than just a fascinating little boat. By entering it into SkillsUSA for the regional competition I feel motivated to take my project a step further. I now consider the boat that I have built to be a sort of prototype, even though the design is not of my own it still has been a massive learning experience for me. As I said, I want to excel what has become, for SkillsUSA reasons, my team's project in order to set my sights upon the high goal of making it to the National competition.
I intend to do this by building five more Kayaks, four of which the plan right now is to sell to foot some of the bill for the National fees, air fair, and hotel.
So thats the sum of my last month. I've been planning and Sponsor hunting for this $1500 addition to my SkillsUSA team. I'm going to solicit the help of my High School's Technology classes/students and get them to build all of the 240+ wooden pieces necessary, as well as the Aluminum pieces, from the detailed pdfs that I have come up with. It should be relatively simple to accomplish if we incorporate small scale mass production techniques.
Thats the News, and again if anyone is interested or has questions, leave a comment with your email address in it, or send me an email to gage6917(AT)