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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:43 pm
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Location: Rolla, Missouri
Ok. So what makes a guy take a plastic cutting Dremel wheel to a perfectly good $2500 kayak? Innovation of course! Being a born tinkerer/modifyer, I am always striving to make things better (for my uses anyway). I'm sure many of you can tell by the picture what's coming. Here's my issue: Hobie makes a great product. I love my 2012 PA. I love everything I've done to it so far. However, I also love the 2013 PA's flat floor with flush mounted hatch but I hate the new seat. It gets an "A" for coolness but it's not for me. So in my quest to constantly improve an already great thing, I am creating what I believe will be the first Hobie Hybrid 2012/13 PA 14!

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Do not panic. This has been carefully thought out and will not end up being some hacked up mess. I've spent many hours pondering this idea and have created a solution. I obtained specs for the 2013 hatch and it can work. It will however take a lot of thought and a significant amount of plastic welding. Luckily I will have plenty of material from what I've removed plus the old lid.

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For those of you who have messed around with plastic welding, you know if done properly it can create welds as strong as the original material. The way I have this thought out, my PA will retain its strength and may even be stronger in the floor area than originally.

This is a small sample piece I've welded up (creating an outside corner) to show the type of results you can get, especially when you have the same factory material to use as filler. I hit this piece real quick with a rough sanding disc. My finished welds will get the full treatment.

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The easiest install would be to put the hatch in where it opens to the left or right (not near as much welding new pieces in). I would like to mount it width ways as it is on the 2013's.

Stand by! Good things to come!

Carl


Last edited by ckossuth on Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:49 pm
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Wow, you are one very brave guy :D :D :D
I would need to change undies several times during the process :D :D
Really hope it works well for you.
Cheers,
Rod


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:27 pm 
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I hope this works out for you. I would have waited for the hatch to come in before making the cuts. There may be some unforseen things that may cause some problems. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: High Point, NC
While I actually prefer the raised hatch and cutting board, and have not found it to be in my way when standing or moving about, I admire your "can do" attitude.

One of the fun things about kayak fishing is the modifications possible to these boats. Anyone with a little ingenuity can usually get everything just perfect for their personal needs and tastes.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:47 am
Posts: 199
Location: Florida's Treasure Coast.
WOW! Image

I take it that the hatch will be installed lengthwise top to bottom as opposed to widthwise?
Can't wait to see the finished project, good luck. Image

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:39 pm 
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Location: vero beach, fl
balls

of

steel

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:21 pm 
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KEEP US POSTED.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Location: Rolla, Missouri
Ok here we go. This first pic is where we left off, a fairly ragged hole. I removed just enough material so as to get past the curve in the mold and down to flat floor.

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Obviously creating parts to be welded that have straight lines to match up is easier than ones with curves. So I've again removed the minimal amount of material to get straight lines. This also allowed me to get to the true thickness of the floor. Since the initial cuts were made horizontially on an upward curving piece, it created a sharp, thin edge. No good for decent welding.

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Here is the piece to be welded in. I cut this out of the center of the old hatch lid.

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This is the side of the hatch toward the seat. You'll notice ive taken some more material out on this end as well. Notice the curved area in the original mold that wraps around the threaded wells where the old bungee fasteners were. It just so happens the new hatch will tuck nicely in next to those. I will have to fabricate and weld in a vertical wall that flows into the curved area on each side. This back "wall" will turn 90 degrees out into a floor and extend a couple inches toward the center of the hole. This will create a surface to mount the back side of the new hatch. It will also cover the old threaded bungee holes. This will be welded in place and sanded, creating a continuous flat surface.

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Here's a view of the hole with new cuts to both ends.

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Stiff aluminum adhesive tape is placed on the under side of the floor. This will help hold the piece to be welded in place.

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New piece in place.

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Last edited by ckossuth on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:42 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Location: Rolla, Missouri
New piece tacked in.

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Here you can see the area the new hatch will cover. I decided to go left to right with the new hatch just like the 2013's.

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Starting to weld.

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Welding complete on this piece.

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Filled in one of the old forward bungee holes.

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Rough sanded.

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A little smoother. Keep in mind, I've exposed fresh plastic by sanding. After a few trips it will once again perfectly match the rest of the floor.

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Starting to take shape.


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This smaller cardboard cutout represents the inside dimensions of the new hatch. You're probably wondering "What's he gonna do about the two scupper holes that are going to be covered by the hatch flange"? When the hatch arrives in two days we'll get into that.

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More to come.......

Carl


Last edited by ckossuth on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:04 am 
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Location: Wilmington, NC
Clearly a very skillful man! Nice job Sir!

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Cape Fear River - NC


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:17 am 
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Location: Amelia Island, FL
You are making me pucker :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:07 am
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That is awesome.Gives me inspiration. Are you using a plastic welding iron or a heat gun to do your welding with?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:54 am 
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Location: Rolla, Missouri
DaytonaBeach,

Believe it or not I use a 25 watt soldering stick from Radio Shack. I modified the tip making it more round. It puts off great heat to get the weld all the way through the plastic and does not over heat the surrounding area. This is one reason I stay away from heat guns. They can cause major problems when you're doing precision welding like this. My filler material is pieces of scrap material I shave off with my utility knife. What I'm doing and how I'm doing it isn't for everyone. I have a lot of tig welding experience where you have your arc/heat control in one hand and your filler rod in the other, so this method comes naturally for me.

Carl


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:47 am
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Location: Florida's Treasure Coast.
Carl my friend, you may have just opened up a "cottage industry" for yourself....I can see folks clamoring to your door for this lil' bit of plastic surgery. Image

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:55 am 
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Wow. Brave man, very brave. I am eagerly awaiting your final results. I fly fish from mine and sometimes think I would love the flat deck. Good luck but honestly looks like you will not need it. Your skill is evident by your welding.
Cheers JG


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