Outfitting my new Nirvana L

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wildwaterc2
Pain Boater
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:16 pm
Location: Roanoke VA

Outfitting my new Nirvana L

Post by wildwaterc2 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:42 pm

I've been on the elusive hunt for a new cruising C1 that I like and for regular runs down my local Johns Creek that is reasonably forgiving and comfortable for me at 48. After years paddling wildwater boats and using my Gyramax as my cruising C1, I don't like really slow boats, and most new hulls are pretty slow. I tried a Cascade a few months and did not like the shape. I have a River Elf Storm Chaser which is a cool boat but still not quite what I was looking for. I'd eyed the Nirvana since it came out and found a demo kayak that I bought and have been converting. I thought the conversion info so far may be of interest. I'll add to it as I refine it further. So far so good on the Nirvana hull for my tastes.

First, what to do for the saddle? After looking at options I decided to try the Jackson C1 saddle. I spoke with Jackson and they don't keep these in stock but literally mold one when ordered. It came in about a week or so later. The Jackson rep explained that Jackson updated the boat bottom rail and that the saddle did not quite fit as intended, but that he understood people still made it work. I looked at other options but decided I wanted to try this one - I appreciate that Jackson developed something specifically for C1s, and I like that they make it nearby in Tennessee.

First I had to remove some kayak parts. I did not really follow the C1 directions with the kit as they did not get me where I wanted in fit. Removing the seat was a little tricky to get the two side bolts out. I ended up using a Milwaukee powered ratchet to access the nut and held the bolt end with a hex key and that made it super easy. It is tight access to get to those bolts. I also removed both the front and rear walls. On the front wall I removed the kayak footbrace assembly and filled in the gap with a piece of foam cut to fit.

I then looked at saddle fit. The new welded rail is clearly bigger than the old rail that the saddle was designed to fit. After looking at multiple options, I decided to trim the new saddle ends that are supposed to fit under the walls and to through-bolt the ends of the saddle rails to the boat welded rail.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6f88vxidlm5rp ... l.JPG?dl=0

To do that, I made access holes in the ends of the welded rail and used 1" long 1/4" bolts. Using those 4 bolts plus the bolt already in the welded rail gives a very solid mount for the C1 saddle and makes it where you don't really need the walls to hold the C1 saddle in place, since the C1 saddle and the boat welded rail are held tightly together by the 4 end bolts I added plus the one factory bolt.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/y1937yxctn2hy ... d.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xr3rk484m1fdo ... k.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0wfflaor1icto ... e.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/adgmt1rq3mj8r ... e.JPG?dl=0

I also paddled the boat some to figure what position I wanted the saddle in, and ended up using the next to most forward position on the factory bolt as my reference point. I needed to figure that out since adding the 4 bolts to the plastic saddle fixed it in one fore-aft location.

I also found that the lower thigh strap mount did not work for me - way too far forward. I happened to have an old lower thigh strap mount that I removed from my first Gyramax which consists of a brass bar threaded to take 4 10/24 machine screws, and that looked to fit the saddle and get the lower mounts in the right place. So, I also mounted those to the Jackson C1 saddle. I've always used the rearward strap mounts on those.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bspum2jkkwzn6 ... s.JPG?dl=0
You can see the original mounting location on the C1 saddle at the bolt hole that is nearly aligned front-to-rear with the forwardmost Gyramax thigh strap mount bolt. I used that original thigh strap bolt location plus a more forward hole to mount the rope gear loops that you see.

For the upper thigh strap mount, so far I'm using the Jackson factory lower thigh strap mount. I drilled out the most forward rivet on the hip pad mount and replaced that with the factory lower thigh strap mount. I may modify this later but it gets in in about the right location for me and it works for now at least.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/86k2f51su2r8d ... p.JPG?dl=0

After getting those setup, I took the boat out for more paddling with the Jackson C1 saddle and factory backband. I ended up changing all of those around but will post about those later.

Paddle Power
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Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Re: Outfitting my new Nirvana L

Post by Paddle Power » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:28 pm

Thanks for sharing.
Keep us up to date on how it works out.
Brian
http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

wildwaterc2
Pain Boater
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:16 pm
Location: Roanoke VA

Re: Outfitting my new Nirvana L

Post by wildwaterc2 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:12 am

I’m continuing to play around with the boat. I’m really liking the hull - good edges for turning, great stability, predictable and speed for a short boat.

I tried yesterday with the saddle 4” inside the inner cockpit rim - this appeared to be almost right on the balance point, as leaning forward or back really moves the ends up or down a lot. Also, surfing on waves, I was able to turn the boat back using a stern draw that was very difficult with it further forward. I also moved the saddle 2 holes rearward and rebolted it - that was pretty fast.

Speed was less at 4” offset - if I did not lean hard forward the boat squatting was pretty noticeable. I think 5” may end up being right for me.

From my experience and what I’ve read from others, it seems like fore-aft placement in a kayak conversion has a really substantial impact - I wonder if that has to do with not having the wide point behind the saddle like in a c1.

More details to follow as I continue to tweak it. At 48 I’m a lot pickier in setup - I want to be as fixed as possible in the boat without being tight, which is tricky. I’ve got some pretty good varicose veins from years of kneeling tight with tight thigh straps.

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