Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to Mount Kayak Decals

This article was directed toward my Lake Spivey Civic Association neighbors as we prepare for the boating season to start.

It's almost time to put the boat (kayaks) back out on Lake Spivey again.  Last year was our first year with the kayaks on the lake.  Susan used her kayak to follow me while I swam.  Before that Susan followed me in the pontoon boat.  

To put a ski boat, pontoon boat or kayak on the lake, property owners are required to register their boat with the civic association which manages the lake and pay a small fee annually for a sticker.  Along with a sticker, the resident's member number is required to be displayed.  My number is 180.  The "L" is for kayaks and canoes.  Pontoon boat use the letter "P".  The number "1" on the far right indicates the first kayak.  Our second kayak is "L2".  Last year we found that the stickers stuck to the textured hull of the kayaks like a Post-it Note.  More that once we found ourselves reaching in to the water to grab an errant number as it sank.

This year Susan and I had a plan.  I bought two 11 1/2" by 15" flexible cutting mats at the Dekalb Farmer's Market for $2.29.  One mat cut in half for each kayak.  

Than I laid out the numbers on the new mat.  The mat was about 3" too small.

I drew a line down the center of the mat with a marker.

I cut the mat in half and rounded the corners with a pair of scissors.

I used a hole punch to put holes in the corners of the mat.

With a few of the numbers long gone to the bottom of the lake and some the remaining numbers rather tattered, I bought new numbers at the local Home Depot for $0.68 each.  The new numbers are reflective.

I laid out the new numbers on the mat.  Even without the "-" the numbers were too wide.

With a paper cutter I trimmed the first "1" and last "1" (and the "2" for the second kayak) to make them fit.

 I marked the mat 1" from the bottom and stuck the numbers on the mat from right to left.

I used tie-wraps to mount the mat to the kayak.  And there you have it!  New reflective registration numbers installed on one of the kayaks.  The kayaks are all ready for the Swim Across America open water swim event on May 5th.  

Thanks for reading.