Some time ago I kicked around the idea of installing a compass in my kayak. You know, for that tran Atlantic trip I’ll be taking some day! In all honesty that may never happen, but a more realistic use may be some coastal treks or larger lakes. Unlike many roto type kayaks mine did not come with a compass recess per molded into the hull.
The first order of business was finding one. I found what I needed at Reed Rockpool North America and a few other goodies which I ordered. Given that this was a PayPal type interaction I figured I’d be waiting a few weeks for my gear. After three weeks I decided it was time to email. Another week passed and no word then I received a reply from a lad named Ray. Turns out they had no spare paddle holder or recessed compass mounts and the owner (Chris) had the machine for making new decals on the road with him. Mind you on the road was in Alaska! I asked the Ray to call me and talk about what we can do and where we can go from here.
Ray replied and said he’d call the following day. He did and informed me that the web site was in need of updating…..as it should say whats in and whats not in, really I thought to myself and he also said the owner would not be back for another two weeks. Hmmm….I asked for a full refund, go it and asked that the owner contact me when he returned.
Three weeks passed, then four. On the fifth I decided to email again. This time mailed Chris via the still outdated web site and Ray. No response from the Chris, but Ray said that my recessed compass mount was sitting on a work bench in Chris’ shop. Great I said, please have Chris contact me as I wanted to talk about the decals. Okay was the reply. Many more weeks go by and no word. Once again I emailed Ray and he said “Chris was waiting to hear from you”! Hmmm…So at this point I had a compass sitting on my desk acting as a paper weight, a compass recess sitting on a bench the other side of the country and a business owner who either has his head so far up his ass that he has no idea how to run a business, or he’s so busy he can’t enen think straight and reply to any of mt emails.
As Clark Gable said “frankly my dear, I don’t give a dam”. I figured what did I have to loose…..I’d just order it again on line and hope that some day I’d get it. At least if he did not show up I could send him a few more email he surly ignore and them I’d be rightly pissed.
Well finally after a few months, thirty odd email, two phones calls, one refund and countless occasions when I considered buying a kayak with a per installed the mount showed up.
Here it is.
The kit also came with epoxy.
According to the video on YouTube in which Chris demonstrates installing the mount he states that the kit will include a template for cutting the hole correctly, well guess what, mine did not have one! I made my one.
Here’s everything prior to starting installation.
Go watch the video for a live version. However, here are a few shots on my install.
String to find center and a level for good measure. For those of you who know me I cant do 1/2 measures!
Template in place and lines transferred. The “Deep End” was reminder to install the mount in correct orientation.
Laid out as we say in the welding trade.
Rough cut (by jig saw).
Finished hole. It was at this point that you don’t want to regret your decision!
Final fit up.
A couple over sized band aids to hold it all in place.