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A collection of photography and exploration focusing on Upstate South Carolina and beyond.
About a decade ago I needed a place to store my fledgling kayak collection. I had three kayaks and a canoe that needed to be stored somewhere. I put together a small rack that held the boats quite nicely.
Over the years the small rack just couldn’t cut it. First, it was getting weak. I hadn’t braced it like it should have been. Secondly, it was in the wrong place. I had put it on the middle level of our yard so that I could take the boats down to our lake, or pull them up when we were going elsewhere. Turns out it was inconvenient for both situations. Our little lake has become almost unpaddleable, so most of the trips were away somewhere.
Finally, I had exceeded the capacity of the rack with the number of kayaks I’d accumulated in that time. I needed a place to safely story nine kayaks and one canoe. A new kayak condo was necessary.
I looked online for plans and finally found an A-frame plan that might be doable. The plan calls for using sawhorse brackets to create the A-frame. However, I was going to change the plan from the one in the link to increase the storage capacity. I would use longer cross pieces and angle them upward slightly. Here’s what my plan looked like.
Here’s what I would need:
If I was lucky, I wouldn’t have to saw anything. I don’t pretend to be a carpenter, and the idea of woodwork sends me into conniptions. Still, I was determined to give it a try.
On Friday I gathered my materials and started construction. The problem with this design is that the way the sawhorse brackets attach, I couldn’t put together the end pieces, then stand everything upright. I found I could get the correct angle by leaning the boards against the truck.
I think started bracing things beginning with one side piece. Once I had it braced I stood everything up.
Just as I tried to attach the last side brace, the whole thing torqued to the right and collapsed. I was left with a pile of lumber and a 4 inch gash in the door panel of my Subaru where the wood hit it.
This was getting expensive. After contacting my insurance company I decided to look into alternatives. There were several pre-constructed solutions that I could buy for much less than my deductible.
Saturday rolls around, and I decide to try again with my original plan, but with one significant change. Laura would be there to help and hold things. I was able to salvage everything, including the sawhorse brackets.
I put three nails into the upper sawhorse brackets instead of the one allowed by the holes in the bracket. That meant drilling a couple more holes, but it also meant the rig wouldn’t torque as it did previously. I also added a thin metal strap on either side to brace things until I could get it stabilized better. This time, it held.
We realized we would have to move this thing, and it was already quite heavy. We managed to get it into place without it collapsing. Weight was a concern, so I decided to modify the design a bit. Instead of using two 2X4s on each side, I went with just one board at each level.
It was plenty of room. The new kayak condo holds five boats with no problem, nine if I turn them on their sides. The new condo is stable, and looks like it’s going to be perfect.