DIY KAYAK BIMINI TOP
The sides of the bimini top are made from two 10′ lengths of CPVC. I place the ends of the CPVC into the fishing rod holders that are mounted in the body of the kayak behind the seat. I wrapped the ends of these CPVC pipes with a short length of pipe insulation to fill the extra space around the pipes down inside the rod holders.
The front end of the 2 pipes are joined together using three 45º CPVC joints which send the pipes back at the perfect angle. At the front of the bimini top I attached an eye bolt through the middle 45º CPVPC joint. I ran a rope through the eye bolt down to each side of the kayak. This prevents the front of the bimini top from swaying back and forth too much as I paddle.
At the back of the bimini top, I attached a cross brace made from a shorter length of CPVP and 2 “T” joints. I had to dremel out the center of the “T” joints to allow the longer pipes to pass all the way through. To secure the cross brace at the “T” joints, I attached two more eye bolts. I ran a rope from these eye bolts down to the back of the kayak and pulled it tight. This lowers the top of the arch a few inches and helps to secure the ends of the pipes down inside the fishing rod holders.
DIY KAYAK FIXED RUDDER
My prototype rudder uses a “yoke end” to secure it to my kayak. I attached the yoke end using a bolt through a hole which is normally used to pass an anchor rope through it. On the top rear surface of the kayak there is a shallow groove meant to be a guide for the anchor rope. I extended the rudder through this groove to keep it straight and inline with the rest of the kayak.
I used small sheets of cardboard to piece together a template for the rudder. It was easier to work with smaller sheets and then tape them together rather than try and cut a single larger sheet of cardboard to fit.
After cutting out the rudder from a sheet of 3/8″ plywood, I found that it wasn’t strong enough without some additional bracing. An added alluminum bracket at the bottom and a piece of alluminum angle along both sides at the top made it much stronger.
Once I am satisfied with the performance of the prototype, I plan to work with a friend who is skilled at welding. Hopefully he can build some custom mounting pieces that work better than what I was able to throw together.