A few years back, I acquired a 16-ft. Old Town Otter. It had 2 adult seats fore and aft and a child’s seat in the middle. Nice. I lashed it to the roof of my Gran Cherokee and parked it in the middle of the driveway to surprise my wife. Now and then, she likes my surprises. Rarely do I fail.
That evening, we took it down to the local waterfront. My wife is 5’ tall in heels and could not easily or safely muscle her end of the kayak off the Jeep. A youngster fishing nearby offered to lend us a hand.
After paddling around for an hour or so, we encountered the same problem. Fortunately, the lad was still fishing. I needed either a taller wife or a shorter kayak – but I was particularly fond of both.
My idea was to figure out how to keep our new kayak on the waterfront safely – not lashed down on a rickety weatherbeaten wooden rack with a chain or cable.
A considerable number of kayaks are stolen off wooden racks in this country each year. Further, I thought it’d be advantageous to be able to keep not just our kayak – but our PFD’s, paddles and other gear as well. I’d be more than willing to pay the city (or perhaps private marina) a monthly or seasonal fee for such convenience and security. Not to mention easy and more frequent access – heading down there a lot more often to enjoy our kayak. I reckoned that others would be willing to do the same – but there was very little research available – inasmuch as there is no competition for Kayak Condos. Lots of racks, tripods and slings – and other “storage” devices. But nothing close what we imagined then – and have created today.
But what about the waterfront municipality or private marina, state park, or resort? What’s in it for them?
Here’s a way for property managers to create an expanded or brand new stream of income – derived from those like us willing to pay a little more for a lot more convenience and added security. And certainly those (we call ourselves “seniors”) who want to enjoy kayaking – but maybe can’t lift a kayak, and find the lugging and toting associated with the sport a bit cumbersome. Others might include those who’s busy schedules and limited time does not allow for an hour or so of “prep” time before you even get into the water. Enter the era of a “lunch-break paddle”?
There seemed to be numerous “win-win’s” here. I got to work, and came up with “Kayak Condos®”.