I have created a coffin but I sure as hell hope that I am not digging my own grave. I made a cockpit cover for my kayak, a kind of last resort safety capsule, a way to turn my boat into a life raft. I’m pretty proud of the design and the construction, it’s like nothing I have ever built before. But when I slid into for the first time today, with the roof less than an inch from my nose, I realized what I had done. This is an absolute minimal design so that I can store it below deck. It is cut in the middle to latch together and to break apart. On top I have installed an air-only ventilator, an incredible design that could very likely save my life. The frame is made from fiberglass which I purchased from Tapp Plastics. The latches I purchased from The Toggle Clamp Store.
First I taped down the mold which I cut from polystyrene foam using a hacksaw and an electric carving knife and then sanded down. I then covered the whole thing with plastic wrap which I then covered with mold release. Then I laid down one layer of 2oz fiberglass mat and then another layer on top of that, all the while rolling to smooth out bubbles as best I could. I ended up with an imperfect piece but good enough for my purposes. I am currently working applying an overhang on the front cover which will come over the rear cover to allow me to make it watertight. All the edges will be coated with a rubber seal.
I imagine trying to sleep in this thing will be pretty close to anyone’s worst nightmare. Alone in the ocean, no land in sight, with a twenty-one inch beam, and two inches of freeboard, crammed down in a cockpit no bigger than a coffin. But while I hope it never comes to that, it is a safety measure that I would feel moronic doing without. I would much rather spend a few hours waiting out a storm in a coffin then the rest of eternity in a coffin. It may seem curious why I would even consider putting myself in these predicaments. I’m not. It’s an all else fails scenario. The goal is to bring this trip to safer than the thousand mile drive down I-95 to the Florida Keys. Not more comfortable, just safer. And this cockpit cover is another step in that direction.