Barracuda Layup?

 What is the opinion of the new Barracuda material?  I am generally reluctant to purchase any new item when it first comes on the market but the Wenonah Prism shown in their  2011 catalogue is a fine looking solo canoe that is tempting me though I don't really need one since I have a Prism in the kevlar flex core layup.<br />

Any opinions about the new Barracuda layup would be appreciated.

I believe CE Wilson commented on Maybe he’ll come by. But you should realise that “Barricuda Layup” and no link are not strong cues to get the attention of pnetters.

Here is a link to CE Wilson’s comment.

Barracuda; Innegra S

– Last Updated: Dec-08-10 11:30 AM EST –

Barracuda cloth is aluminized 8 oz E glass, that renders a composite hull that looks like a sheet metal canoe.

Innegra S is a new high density Polyethylene that has characteristics similar to Spectra in weight and strength but laminates more easily and costs less.

The Innegra folks indicate it is used differently than Spectra, particularly in F-1 chassis.

Wenonah's laminate is standard industry protocol; put the Spectra type stuff inside compression layers to get it to laminate, and surely, a layer of 8oz glass will keep the Innegra from floating in resin. Nova incapsulates Spectra similarly.

The Innegra folks contend that The compression layer should be contained within an Innegra capsule.

I've made several test panels when down at Colden Canoe; have several more to work up here in the North Country with Placid boatworks.

Issues are cosmetics and stiffness. Innegra is white and will remain so. None of the panels done at Colden were as stiff as the Carbon/Kevlar/Kevlar control panel but they deformed much farther before failure.

If the next series of lamination schedule tests work as anticipated, Joe will be able to save some three pounds on the current 20 lb SpitFire, a 12'X 27.5" hull. That doesn't seem like much, but it is a 15% weight reduction in completed hull, and that includes an outfitting package, seat, foot pegs and backband that weighs ~ 3 lbs.
So the real skittle weight savings is 17-3=14 lbs; closer to 20% reduction.

Builders infusing hull and integral rails of aerospace materials find few silver bullets left. Innegra may be the next thing, as Vectrane continues to be unavailable, but we're running out of options to build lighter and stronger. And, that's at any price. As DY has said for decades, if you want it light, it will be fragile or expensive.

Charlie, what is the “Syntex” discussed
in the following link?

He’s discussing it in context of surfacing strippers of S&G.

Reply to Charlie
Thank you very much Charlie. I am always reluctant to be one of the first to buy a new product whetehr ir be a gun, scope, or canoe. It just seems hard to leave kevlar when it has such a good track record for something that is not yet proven.

I don’t like companies to do their testing on my bucks.

Innegra is polypropylene derived

– Last Updated: Dec-08-10 1:05 PM EST –

It has great potential, but also presents some challenges in manufacturing in terms of interlaminar bonding. I've worked with it and like it, but my view is that it needs to be combined with other materials to create a viable matrix.

Because Innegra is polypropylene based it doesn't want to stick to anything, let alone itself. As such the bond is more mechanical and this works due to the void characteristics of Innegra. I find that infusion is required to make a decent hull as it's critical to retain the resin in the material while it cures. Hand lay-ups and even bagged alone lay-ups will have pooling secondary to the vertical sections draining down.

Post cured epoxy laminates tested better than Vinylester, but both suffered interlaminar damage upon impact. Keep in mind a glass / epoxy Necky for example would easily handle said impact, albeit at a greater weight.

So, I'd opt for a co-weave with glass to create better interlaminar bonding at a slight weight gain. You also need to core the material or use more carbon, glass, etc for stiffness.

Note: These are my instincts after messing with it a bit, and are subject to change as I get more test results and experience with the material.

Vectran was great on paper and no so great in real world lab tests. Though I paddle a Vectran surf boat today that's held up OK.

One advantage Innegra has over Kevlar is it's not hydroscopic.

All materials have their pro's and con's, and good engineering is about applying the materials in the right context where their properties add value. Marketing driven engineering can lead to materials being poorly applied.

I think it's prudent to be wary of the latest and greatest until it's been thoroughly tested, and it's working properties dialed in.

No idea!

– Last Updated: Dec-08-10 12:12 PM EST –

Syntex, when Googled, yields a tarp maker in Iowa, an oral contraceptive firm and a rubber plug molder in Jersey. So Syntex is not a copyrighted trade name for a high performance fabric and likely never will be.

When Googling Syntex Fabric an Indian manufacturer of nylon and polyester comes up. I've emailed for information.

It fabric image is white. It could be Vectran, Dyneema, Innegra or something else. Innegra cuts pretty easily, Vectran needs be melted with a hot knife in production, so would be very difficult to cut with shears. On the other hand, Kev really cuts pretty easily with good shears, so..... Kinda tough to tell without feeling, cutting, burning/melting and weighing the stuff. Sorry!

Poly what?

After a phone con with Loren Chambers, Innegra’s sales VP I found my note included polyethylene, polypropolene and polyolofine. Turns out PolyPro is a form of PolyE, and PolyO is the same, except has the characteristic ring structure of aromatics. Apparently all terms are correct? from top down, not bottom up. [ IE Innegra, is a HD polyolofine, which makes it a polypro and a poly E, but not all Polyesters are polypro or PolyOs.]

I’ve been working with combinations of Innegra and carbon. What laminations were you building?

CE, not being critical
but polypropylene would be more accurate, but it’s irrelevant in this forum context. I am familiar with the Innegra folk and US based weavers etc.

I’m working with an R&D team now that’s comprised of chemists, engineers etc, who have developed coatings for the material where it’s applied in ballistics etc. Some of these coatings would greatly enhance bondability, but not at a cost realistic for kayak manufacture.

My involvement with the material has been to build a prototype kayak that is now in testing, and we’re messing with it in other applications as well.

Feel free to email me off-line and I can share more of what I experienced without boring the hell out of folk here. I think there’s great potential for Innegra in hulls.


I would like to know in what ways the
hydroscopic nature of Kevlar is a problem. I have Kevlar somewhat exposed, all over the inside of several boats, and there seems to be no problem. Nylon is about as hydroscopic, while polyester is only hydroscopic to a minor degree. and other sites caution that Kevlar cloth will absorb moisture while just sitting in storage, but I still haven’t found information about Kevlar being problematic once in a laminate.

I’ve answered this for you before
But I will once again. Many, many excellent canoes and kayaks have been made with Kevlar 49. Most paddle craft don’t sit in water day in and day out, and most receive relatively minor abuse. But even some that do have held up well, and many of those use Kevlar 49 in combination with e, or s glass, carbon fiber, core material, etc.

Some kayaks with high percentages of Kevlar “can” get spongy over time, and you can see interlaminat delamination on them over time. I’ve paddled and owned several. Kevlar surf kayaks definitely sponged out after a couple of years and you could feel that on big drops etc. Is a bit of water absorbtion a big deal on a micro level. Probably not for most, but it can and has caused problems and reduced lifespan.

So, it’s a good material with positives and negatives. It is not a material “I” would use in constructing a kayak hull because I like other materials, and combinations better.

In the end it’s about what you think is best for you.