The Curse of the Watermelon Boat:
The first kayak we had ever purchased was a pre-enjoyed plastic watermelon-colored model that had no bulkheads for floatation or to offer any internal strength. Whoever had owned it previously had left it sitting on something hard for a rather lengthy time. Sawhorses I would guess. The dents they produced were impressive enough that we got a few extra bucks taken off the price tag to compensate for the amount of effort that it was going to take for us to remove them.
The store owner, who had taken it in trade, sold it to us with the promise that it wouldn't take much effort to restore the hull to its original shape. We believed him. And why not, he had been in business for for decades. He must know what he's talking about.
We brought it home and promptly put it on some foam blocks in the middle of the garage floor. The car's space was in turn relegated to the driveway's turn around.
The first thing we tried were weights inside the boat to press the indentations out. Weeks went by. Nothing. I didn't measure the dents or anything before I started, but even so, they looked just the same.
The second method that had been suggested was bound to take much more effort than the first. Hot water. Our bathroom is located at the opposite end of the house from the garage. It possessed the only spigot on the premises that would both dole out hot water and had enough room under it to accept the big buckets that were needed to transport all those gallons of hot water. I sloshed it down the hallway, through the living room, dinning room and finally out to the garage. After several eventful trips I actually had gotten enough water into the boat to fully cover the bottom.
The day that I had chosen was based solely on the available time I had, and the amount of ambition that remained after a long weekend of fun. No concern was taken for the weather conditions. It was cold out. After all, by then it was the end of summer and autumn was becoming more apparent. The ambient temperature was negating my efforts and soon the hot water had lost its heat. There may have been some change in the dents but after all the effort we'd put into it, all I was anxious to see was complete success.
End-of-season sales enticed us to buy new boats. We had learned a lot through our experiences with our watermelon boat and were then able to chose boats that were designed for what we wanted them to do. The dents weren't a priority anymore even though we were planning to keep the boat. All that was important now was to get all three kayaks up off the garage floor and the family car back in its rightful shelter to get ready for winter.
I've never been short of solutions for problems like this, but our first business was doing well and I was feeling like spending cash rather than time. All I wanted to do was to open a kayaking magazine, buy a suitable storage system, put it up and be done with it. It didn't seem to me like it was too much to expect. Well . . . I looked in one magazine, and I looked in some more, and then on the web . . . There were some methods to chose from, but considering the short garage that we have and the desire to prevent any of those nasty dents from infesting our expensive new boats, I couldn't see anything on the market that I liked.
There was no way around it, I had to give in. It was getting to be that I was spending more time looking for the perfect system than it would to just build one. The design came to me rather quickly and I had it built by the end of the next weekend. The boats were then snug in their roosts along side the family car. I liked my solution. I liked it a lot.
Even after the problem had been resolved, I found myself still looking for that kayak storage system, thinking that I must have overlooked it somehow. There had to be a similar solution to mine already on the market. I enlisted the help of a patent attorney and he came to the same conclusion -- there just wasn't another kayak storage system out there that would hold several boats with as much care as mine.
With the help of some friends, I borrowed some boats for a photo shoot, had some copy written, designed a logo, and my wife combined it all into a magazine ad. Our first ad was in the mail sooner than expected, and the orders started rolling in before we even fully ready for production. After the shock subsided, and scrambled to get into gear, we realized that Talic was in business.
The Talic Sports Hammock is designed with the idea that a hammock-style rack will not only prevent those darned dents from occurring in the first place but will ward off any extra scratches too. All thanks to that watermelon boat. The dents did finally fade away . . . only about a year later!
-- by Tim Tucker