This past Wednesday (1-14-09) Jen and I loaded up in my Forester and headed to Sparta, TN for the best day of the year thus far. We were heading to the Jackson Kayak Factory to witness the creation of our custom black & white Dynamic Duo (DD). We got to walk through every process it takes to mold and build a kayak. It was fun and very educational! After watching the craftsmanship that goes in to each boat that is manufactured at the plant, it really makes you appreciate your kayaks. Plus it was really cool to be the first person to bring home the newest kayak model from Jackson Kayak!
The reason that we were getting a custom boat is because we will be using it in our wedding on May 2, 2009 on the Nolichucky River. The ideal for a custom boat originated by EJ (Eric Jackson – President of Jackson Kayak) at a business meeting with Colin Kemp; after I sent EJ a note requesting to be the 1st owner of a new Dynamic Duo (DD) for Jen’s & my wedding. Jen and I later visited EJ at his home in November. During supper we discussed the details for the custom design of our future DD kayak. Jen came up with the ideal of a black and white boat to give us a formal touch to our river wedding. Sweet! EJ approved excitedly and we waited the next two months for the mold to be constructed.
Late last week EJ notified me that the factory would be ready to mold the first DD boats on the following Wednesday. He invited us to come down for the day to watch the entire manufacturing process of our boat. Jen and I became very excited at the opportunity and were counting down the days.
Wednesday finally came and after a 3.5 hour drive we arrived at the JK factory a little after noon. EJ, Emily & KC Jackson, Stephen Wright, & Nick Troutman met us in the parking lot shortly after to greet us. We rushed into the factory and headed back to the molding department to start the construction of our kayak.
Once we got back there we got to see EJ’s green DD hull that just came out of the mold. He will be using this boat for R&D. Our DD would be the 3rd one out of the mold and the second one to get built behind EJ’s green DD. The first molded hull was only for testing purposes and did not get built-out.
Leaf was in charge of molding and I could tell immediately that he had thought out our kayak’s custom deign very carefully. Our boat is the only boat that JK has produced in their factory that has more than one hull color. So everyone was a little nervous about how it would turn out…
Click on the link below for a full photo tour of our kayak building process (60 photos with descriptions):
EJ and crew left for Rock Island to test his boat as soon as the assembly of the outfitting was complete and they ran it through Quality Control. Check out EJ’s report of his new green DD with the link below:
The boat turned out as perfect as we could have imagined it! It is an awesome wedding gift from the JK Factory and Team! A huge THANK YOU goes out to Steve, Brad, & Wendy for staying over their shift to finish our boat’s outfitting and quality control, so we could bring it home. I can’t wait to get it out on the water and to start my life with Jen in it! See you on the river in our Cruise Kayak!!