Covid: Buying, Fitting & Delivering Your New Covid-Clean Kayak

NDK Pilgrim Carbon Kevlar

Covid 19’s first wave hit just as your and our new set of NDK’s were unloaded from our pre-season container. All are now stored on Peaks or in MIKCo’s Portland warehouse. So all sit in dry, protected storage until we can get your new boat(s) to you.

While we’re all figuring and adjusting to this Brave New World of reduced movement and "sheltering in place", I have prepped and delivered a couple of our paddlers’ custom ordered brand new NDKs - in what I believe is a highly risk-reduced process, as I know some of you hope to paddle before this Covid Thing subsides sometime well into the summer or Fall. If you’re a buyer of one of our new MIKCo in-stock retail boats … same process.

Before these Boats Arrived in Maine

All of our current custom and new retail Nigel Dennis Kayaks were built at the SKUK factory, Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales no later than January, 2020. Thus I feel it safe to represent these boats as coronavirus- free on manufacture. Then each kayak was wrapped at the factory in bubble wrap plus a clean poly sheet material, and taped closed so no part of the boat’s surface was exposed. Factory guys then loaded the container in January, which was locked by customs until we opened it here in Portland about 6 weeks later. MIKCo unloads and stores each still-factory wrapped and sealed kayaks in our locked-up, dry, inside warehouse storage racks. To date, the science indicates that the Covid-19 virus is unlikely to have survived on composite or plastic for the last few months.

Unloading a container of new NDKs
For All New Boat Purchasers

At this point, I feel comfortable indicating that a new wrapped boat transferred from our warehouse onto your car’s kayak rack is a very low risk venture regarding Covid-19. Once loaded onto your car, we can cut off the packaging before you depart, OR when home you can don gloves and use a knife or shears to cut off the packaging, bag it and dispose of it. From them on its only your cooties on it!

For MIKCo’s New Custom Ordered Boat Purchasers and Those Seeking Outfitting

As you may know, Tom B. usually custom foams and outfits new boats for our full price buyers/paddlers who seek same. We feel that such outfitting offers that extra control, on-water-confidence and safety flowing from the personalized fitting of thigh, hip and bulkhead foam to support effective, efficient use of your lower body contact in bumpy water; kneecap position and height, femur structure, hamstring and hip flexibility, pelvis angle are all relevant. BUT you and I can’t do this so much right now. However, as I’ve done hundreds of paddler specific outfitting of NDK’s, if I collect needed physical data of your lower body physique, I do feel confident about cutting and shaping a close approximation for you, though it'll side on the "looser" fit. The glue I use makes it easy to (without damage), later reshape or replace to complete your fitting.

After completing this boat work, I wipe down all primary surfaces with acetone, especially in and around the cockpit, alcohol on the rest. Then gloved up, I rewrap your new boat with its two protective layers, which I then move/transfer into our locked Portland storage unit. You make an appointment, we meet outside, staying 6’ plus apart, and we load your new boat onto your vehicle. I’d listen to any alternative or suggested modifications to this plan?

So, what do you think? Ready to paddle?