One of the most rewarding aspects of owning a kayak is the ability to customize it according to your specific needs. Installing paddle clips using wellnuts is one such customization that significantly enhances your kayaking experience by keeping your paddle secure and conveniently accessible. What makes using wellnuts especially nice is that you don’t have to use any glues or sealers. The tightened wellnut creates a water tight seal.
For this DIY project, you need a bit of time, a few tools, and a bit of patience. The following steps are straightforward, and you will be finished before you know it, with a practical addition to your kayak.
- Assemble your tools. You will need some basic tools for this installation process. These include a drill, 2 drill bits (13/64″ & 3/8″) and a screwdriver.
- Gather your materials, which include 4 wellnuts with washers and bolts. These components are usually available at any hardware store or can be ordered online. Ensure they are of high quality, designed to withstand the marine environment.
- Place a paddle in the clip and put it up against the kayak. Determine the best position for your paddle clip, taking into consideration your own comfort, reach and typical paddling style. The ideal location is often just behind your hip on the side opposite where you like to land fish.
- Now take the drill with the 13/64″ bit and drill a hole through both the paddle clip and continue through the kayak. Make sure to keep the drill steady to ensure a clean, straight hole.
- Now place a bolt and washer in the rubber clip and place it in the hole. Now drill the lower hole in the clip repeating step 4. Positioning is critical here, and your patience will pay off in the form of a sturdy and reliable paddle clip.
- Remove the clip. You will now have 2 holes in the paddle clip and 2 pilot holes for the wellnuts. This is your opportunity to double-check the alignment of the holes and ensure that the clip fits correctly.
- Put the 3/8″ bit in the drill and use the pilot holes to make larger holes for the wellnuts. Changing the drill bit may seem like an extra step, but it ensures a snug fit for the wellnuts, which is vital for a waterproof seal.
- Put the wellnuts in both holes and push them flush. Remember, the goal here is a water-tight seal, so ensure the wellnuts fit properly and are firmly in place.
- Now place the rubber clip with bolts and washers in both wellnuts and tighten completely using the Phillips head screwdriver. Be careful not to over-tighten the bolts, which could potentially damage the wellnuts or the kayak itself.
- Put the paddle back in the rear clip and put the other clip near the opposite blade. Adjusting the clip positions to suit your paddling style is an advantage that comes with installing your own paddle clips. Position the clip a few inches from the end in the front while its completely or near the blade in the rear. This will give you enough distance that you won’t hit the forward clip while you’re paddling.
- Repeat steps 4 through 9 and you’re done. Congratulations on your successful installation of paddle clips with wellnuts! Now, you’re ready for more streamlined, organized, and hassle-free kayaking adventures.