How to upgrade an old Pakboat Puffin

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How to upgrade an old Pakboat Puffin

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

I've had a vintage Pakboat Puffin I picked up for a good price some years ago. I mostly use it for a loaner for friends or to take along on some road trips where I want something easy to set up and super light for lily dipping. But the scuffed and very basic yellow deck has always bugged me.

So when Pakboat started selling off their back stock of decks for discontinued models for only $69 I jumped at the chance to get a new red deck with a few updated features. I sent them my serial number since I was unsure which model and year I had -- since I preferred a red one they assured me the Arrow style would fit. The Arrow was a version that they only made for a couple of years and had discontinued but it was a 12' boat based on the same frame as the solo Puffins.

However, when I got the deck, it was clearly 3" too short for my frame. I tried everything to stretch it, but no go. Alv (Pakboat owner) was surprised when I contacted Pakboat about the problem and offered to refund or exchange it (though there were no other decks of different size with these features). But I kept looking at it and I really liked the fabric and fittings.

So I decided to take the plunge and modify it to fit. I have been making my own outdoor gear for over 40 years, mostly on my 1925 Singer treadle sewing machine, which will sew almost any heavy material. I was able to find urethane coated bright red heavyweight dacron ripstop fabric that matches perfectly to use for the splice, and bought grey webbing and heavy Velcro to extend the attachment strip on both sides. I used black Sharpie marker to extend the "Arrow" graphic across the patch. Here is a link to photos of the "before" and "after" and a closeup of my handiwork. ... 719329532/

If you've got an older Puffin, I highly recommend picking up one of these updated decks. The strip across the front of the bow is a sleeve to hold a spare paddle, which is further secured under the light grey Velcro straps in front of the cockpit. The best addition is the molded rubber handles fore and aft. For very little investment it really upgrades the look of the boat. If you don't have the ability or tools to add the extension, you might be able to have a local shoe and/or luggage repair shop to do the work.

If anyone reads this and decidee to take the same option, send me a private email and I can send you a strip of the red coated nylon that matches. I had to buy full yard of the stuff to get the 4 1/2" strip I needed and can't really think of what else I would ever use it for.
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