Lining Holes For Composite Hull

Looking for advice for installing lining holes in an expedition kevlar Swift Shearwater. I put pvc lining holes in my Royalex Bell and like them very much. Now I’m thinking of doing a similar job on the Shearwater, but am concerned about drilling through the end flotation tanks. Plus, because of the tanks, there is no access to the hull from the inside. I’m also worried that drilling will make a mess out of the hull material. Forstner bits, undersized hole to start?

Any tips and moral support will be appreciated.

I read tugeyes now has a special method for installing them in composite boats with floatation tanks. Might be good to contact them.

Anyone Tried Tugeyes on Composites…
with floatation tanks?

Thanks Jose! I sent an email to the Tugeye folks today. Their web site didn’t seem to give any details for dealing with the tanks/inaccessable interior hull situation. Maybe they haven’t gotten the new instructions web ready yet.

It would be great if they do have a system for this. It would probably give a much better finished look than something I’d come up with.

The pvc eyes on the my Northwind look fine but that royalex hull has plenty of character marks on it already.

Please report back ?

Would you be kind enough to report back what you learn and do about lining holes in your kevlar composite boat?

I also have used the PVC pipe approach with Royalex (that worked quite well), and I am looking for a solution for my kevlar composite with floatation tanks.

I have also heard the rumors about tugeye coming up with a system for the inaccessible inside passage, and also not yet found it on their website.

End Pours
I admit that I was not the craftsman for this job.

Kris Wolpert who is the boat repair genius at BMO came up with the idea and implementation. He positioned the boat at an upside down angle and poured a small ammount of epoxy through a tube into the end tank’s “breather” hole.

The black bit is just marker to give it the appearance of a tug-eye, but it actually is just a raw hole throught the kevlar and the interior resin plug. It is extremely strong.

good idea
drill holes on both sides, stand the canoe on end and fill the front with epoxy. When that cures you have a solid end to drill through.

If you don’t want to do that, you can build an epoxy tube. Using a piece of PVC the size of line you want to use. Wax it down and wrap it with epoxy and fiberglass cloth. When that sets up, slip the PVC out and you have a glass pipe.

Drill holes in the canoe big enough to slip the glass pipe, epoxy it into place and you are done. If you use 3 layers of glass in the pipe it will should be strong and quite lightweight. Make the pipe longer that desired, epoxy in place then trim when it sets up. After trimming, brush on a final sealer coat of epoxy to seal the trimmed ends.

Lining rig for Shearwater
If I wanted to line my Shearwater (and I may some day) I think I would tie a tight (non-stretch polyester) cord with an end loop from each side of the carry handles. A small, fixed loop (bowline on a bight … to keep line attachments from sliding around) at the bow and stern ends would allow me to snap lines on easily. Easy to de-rig the system to keep things clean when not needed. Why screw up such a beautiful hull … when occasional lining can be accomplished easily with simple cordage tied in a couple of minutes at the beginning of a trip? Sounds like you’ve got too much time on your hands. :wink:

Thanks/Info. From Tugeyes
Thanks for the responses folks. Some good ideas.

Lining holes aren’t absolutely necessary for much of the paddling I do with this boat. But having them will be handy even when not a must and will likely save the hull some abuse by making handling better at launches, log jams, wade fishing on the coast and up the rivers I frequent, etc.

Dan at Tugeyes responded quickly and helpfully to my email. In a few weeks they plan to have a kit available that is designed to work for this application. I’m going to try a set.

I heard that “in a few weeks” story at least 5 months ago!

Of course I can’t speak for the Tugeyes folks, but my understanding was that they’d be available this spring.

No doubt bringing a product to market, particularly one that requires the purchaser to do some skillful installation, is not all that easy.

Tugeyes available now

I just received a follow-up email from Dan, that he has composite / float tank Tugeye kits available right now. I think I will give it a try. I have no connection to Tugeye, other than as current customer.

If anyone want a report on the kit / installation, I can provide that in a couple of weeks probably.