To enable KayaArm use in salt water we use stainless steel bolts, galvanized chain and a 6061-aluminum alloy for the bulk of the device. The aluminum alloy has good saltwater resistance and should be good for many years in both fresh and salt water.
Feedback on KayaArm purchased in 2013 in salt water:
Hello, thank you for your follow up. The KayaArm is doing fine. As expected I do have growth on the portion of the frame that is below the tide line but not an issue. No indication of corrosion, I am very happy with it and certainly feel free to share my email to interested customers.
The arm supports only a portion of the kayaker’s weight during entry and exit and the buoyancy of the kayak in the water supports the bulk of the weight. As a result, the kayaker’s weight is not a concern. A video showing the KayaArms strength can be seen below
3. How do you mount KayaArm onto a fixed/floating/metal/plastic dock?webbie2021-02-12T14:24:03+00:00
We use four to six 2” to 2.5” deck screws with 2 in the flange holes below the angle and 2 to 4 in the angle itself.
If you are attaching the KayaArm to a 1.5” thick piece of 2×6 that has been fastened to a metal or plastic dock, you may only need 1.5” deck screws to avoid having the screws bottom out against the metal or plastic.
5. Does the KayaArm work with wide kayaks, sit on top kayaks or heavier pedal & wider fishing kayaks?webbie2021-06-24T16:25:38+00:00
Yes, the KayaArm works with a sit on top equally as well as with a sit in kayak.
Several of our customers have reported they obtain good kayak entry/exit stability using the KayaArm on a 33” wide Hobie Outback.
Another customer uses 29” wide Pongo kayaks and other wide fishing kayaks at his resort
Pedal & Wider Fishing Kayaks:
We have tested the KayaArm with both the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 (132.5 Lbs, 36″ wide, 12 feet long) and the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 (86 lbs, 35″ wide, 12-3″) attached are the videos and special considerations for installation
132.5 lb, 36″ wide Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
View these videos:
86 Lb, 35″ wide Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
View these videos:
6. Can the KayaArm Be extended for wider kayaks?webbie2021-02-12T14:23:41+00:00
Yes (Although it is rarely required since kayaks of up to 34″ have been used with the KayaArm without issue). The KayaArm can be extended by attaching a short piece of 1.5″ polyethylene pipe. The 1.5″ polyethylene pipe is cut to ~8″ and it is slit from one end ~5″. A stainless-steel gear clamp holds the pipe on to the arm. Below is a photo of the modification.
Click to enlarge
7. What is the maximum height above the water the KayaArm can be used?webbie2021-02-12T14:21:53+00:00
For water levels below that you may attach the KayaArm to the side of a ladder with two bolts (not provided) through holes provided in the mast or you may mount the KayaArm onto a wood block beside a ladder. For more information go to item 3a in the Additional Mounting and Use Instructions
One option is to build/install a small step down platform from the main dock by mounting two 2″x8″s spanning two piers – one 2″x8″ to the front of the piers, and one to the back. Deck the space in between the two to give a small step down dock to mount the KayaArm(s) to. See the following diagram:
The Mast itself can be modified to accommodate up to 4′ above the water level. The below video details how to do this
For heights greater than 42″ see FAQ #9
9. Can the KayaArm be used in applications where the top of the dock to the top of the water is greater than 42″?webbie2022-08-24T14:11:46+00:00
Yes it is possible however this is a more advanced installation requiring careful planning and precise installation. In this case two KayaArm masts are spliced together and additional support is required at the lower part of the mast and it is imperative that the masts are installed plumb in all directions. In typical installations many customers attach a second stringer between two piers parallel to the dock stringer (to provide the support at the lower part of the mast) and install a 4″x4″ post plumb in all directions to splice the two masts together. Please contact us a info@KayaArm.com for special order instructions.
This picture shows a typical installation (Ladder has been omitted). The customer installed 2 intermediate stringers between the dock piers and two vertical 4″x4″ to splice the two masts together. In this installation a second mast was purchased and cut in half and the resulting mast lengths are 6′.
This picture shows how the KayaArm masts can be spliced to accommodate installation where the distance from the top of the dock to the low tide level is greater than 42″
This picture shows a typical installation (Ladder has been shown). The customer installed two vertical 4″x4″ to splice the two masts together. In this installation a second mast was purchased and cut in half and the resulting mast lengths are 6′.
10. How can I add even more stability to my KayaArm?webbie2021-02-12T14:12:46+00:00
For customers who are looking for extra stability we recommend the “Added Rope Feature”. It consists of adding a rope from the kayak seat mount to a dock cleat to keep the kayak from sliding back on the KayaArm arm during entry/exit maneuvers. The video below gives a demonstration of this technique.
Everyone has different strength levels so this will vary per user. To make lifting your kayak with the KayaArms easier we have three main recommendations.
It is important to minimize friction by installing the KayaArm plumb and level using the shims and procedure provided in the installation instructions and video.
It is beneficial to apply waterproof grease on the shoe, so it slides freely in the channel.
A jig for lifting the chain can easily be made to allow you to use both hands to lift from a neutral position (not bent over) and is described in the videos below. Although it is still a manual lift, lifting from a neutral position with two hands will make it easier.
Below is a video of how a customer uses a jig to lift her Hobie Eclipse Pedal Board with two KayaArms.
13. Will the KayaArm work with a Pedalboard or Paddleboard?webbie2021-02-12T14:13:18+00:00
Yes. We have multiple customers who use one KayaArm to stabilize getting in and out of their boards or two KayaArms for lifting and storing their boards at the dock. The first two videos show one of our customers using the KayaArm for entry and exit of her Hobie Eclipse Pedalboard as well as raising it at the dock with a jig. The third video demonstrates how to use the KayaArm for a stand-up Paddleboard.
14. Can the arm be removed from the mast?webbie2021-02-12T14:13:24+00:00
An important feature of KayaArm is that the KayaArm and shoe assembly can be lifted out of the mast. The arm and shoe are tethered by the chain to the top of the mast so they can be slid out the top of the mast and placed onto the dock or left to hang in the water beside the dock thus enabling that dock space to be used for other purposes.
15. After launching a kayak using KayaArm how do you deal with a tide level change (which requires an arm height adjustment) upon return a couple hours later?webbie2022-12-19T14:34:48+00:00
A “Tide Pulley” can be used to solve this problem. When affixed to one of the attachment holes at the upper end of the KayaArm mast, the Tide Pulley enables height adjustment of the KayaArm arm that may be needed due to tide level changes upon return from a kayaking excursion.
A video demonstration of the Tide Pulley can be found below.
Figure 1 Close-up of the Tide Pulley on the KayaArm
16. Can the KayaArm be used for entry/exit of a canoe? Can it be used for hoisting and storing a canoe?webbie2021-06-28T14:03:42+00:00
Yes – but there is a specific paddler order entry for this to work, a video showing how to do this can be found here
The person in the front should be the first person to enter and the last person to exit the canoe.
Hoisting & Storing of a Canoe
Although the KayaArm was designed for a Kayak it is possible to use two KayaArms for hoisting & storage of a canoe and it is important to get the set up right. Everyone has different levels of balance and strength and willingness to experiment when installing a set up for a canoe to get something that works for their specific canoe and we have made the video posted below so you can see what we have done and judge whether this solution works for you.
A canoe is wider than a kayak and you may need to mount the KayaArms out from the dock using 2X8 blocking as the middle of the canoe may interfere with the dock – you can see there is a little interference on the video when our canoe is lowered – not a big deal for our canoe but may be a consideration for wider & shorter canoes.
It is very critical for the mast to be well supported by your dock and installed plumb & level. You will note in the KayaArm installation video that there are two points of contact between your dock and the KayaArm mast, the mounting angle is the upper mount and the horizontal screws 4″ below the angle (shown at the 42 second mark of the installation video) is the lower mount. For heavier canoes moving the lower support as low as you can will allow your dock to support the KayaArm better and reduce the friction when hoisting. It is also very important to make sure the KayaArms are installed plumb and level and well secured and supported by your dock.
To reduce friction when hoisting a canoe it is beneficial to apply a marine grease on the back of the shoe, so it slides freely in the channel. Initially during set up we suggest a couple of drops of regular (or synthetic) motor oil in the top of each channel allowing the oil to flow by gravity into the channel and a small bead of oil on the top of the shoe as you pull it up the must . The intent is to apply a very light coat on the mast surfaces (any excess should be wiped up and not allowed into the environment) allowing it to work into the dry surfaces first while the arm is unloaded and then while loaded with the canoe followed by a light coat of marine grease.
A jig for lifting the chain can easily be made to allow you to use both hands to lift from a neutral position (not bent over) and is described in the video below. Although it is still a manual lift, lifting from a neutral position with two hands will make it easier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA3R3RylY_U&t=1s
We have had several customers report great success and satisfaction with the KayaArm solution for hoisting and storing their canoe. For some it may take some perseverance and experimentation to get the set up right and learn the technique to flip your canoe.
Below is a video demonstrating how the KayaArm system can be used for a canoe.
17. Would an overhead horizontal arm attached to the mast be an improvement? That way someone could hold onto it while getting in or out of a kayak.webbie2021-02-12T14:13:49+00:00
In short, no. Entering and exiting the kayak by pushing straight down “locks” the kayak into place on the KayaArm.
We have installed and personally tested a horizontal arm design but instead of helping it is actually a hindrance. As noted in the “Suggested Operating Instructions” while maneuvering in your kayak it is best to not grip the dock or the mast (or any horizontal bar fastened to the mast) until standing and ready to exit.
The technical reason is that static friction between the bottom of the kayak and the KayaArm arm provides much greater stability than dynamic friction. By pushing, pulling or bracing on any fixed objects outside the kayak you cause the kayak to slide on the arm which changes the frictional contact from static friction to dynamic friction. This friction thing is also the reason that the Added Rope Featureis very effective in increasing stability as it prevents the kayak from sliding on the arm.
18. Can I lock my kayak onto the KayaArms?webbie2021-03-31T14:42:14+00:00
Just simply return KayaArm (or KayaLeg or Tide Pulley) in it saleable condition with all the parts in the original packaging at your expense, including any brokerage fees, within about 30 days (longer if you need more time to get it installed…e.g. need to wait till ice is out) and we will refund the amount you paid for the product.