Longevity of natural skin kevlar canoes

stickman, I happen to live close to
the ocean. I love real sea kayaking that involves surf.

Somehow launching from the water si not possible because of the surf pounding on the shore.

I have to start being in the boat with the spray deck on and paddle in hand to make it through the surf.

Oh yes, I could opt for the calm waters of the bay but often that would bore me tears.

I also own several gel coated kayaks that seem to be doing fine after years of beach launches.

The clear coated kayak that I had, wore through after 4 sessions. I think that a hull that wears to cloth on FINE sand after 4 times is not a real sea kayak.

Now, chances are that not all clear coats are like that (you hope) but how can you know that?

The manufacturer assured me that his kayak was very strong. You know what? he had to warranty me two kayaks because of his claim. The replacement ones are gel coat hulls.

If taking off from water is your situation and you don’t envision any abrasion, well then there is no comaparison.

Clear coat looks ooh so pretty too. I love the look…

It might seem ridiculous, but it might
be realistic.

There’s an alternative to gel coat
versus Wenonah’s skin coat over Kevlar. The alternative is to use at least one layer, maybe two, of S-glass, or even just E-glass, on the outside of the boat, with just “skin coat.” That’s how several of my boats are done. Glass as an outside layer will wear smooth, resist deep scratches, and will contribute significantly to the stiffness of the boat. S-glass over Kevlar is not heavy, though one should expect an 18 foot wilderness tripper to come in around 50 pounds in such a layup, not near as low as Wenonah achieves with their ultralight layups.

an even better one
is to coat the pretty Kevlar with a flash coat of epoxy.

But hey, way too expensive (or toxic or whatever) to justify the extra price that the consumer most times won’t appreciate.

That’s how I fixed my problem of clear coat (which btw had a layer of S-glass cloth).

UV stabilized flash coat of epoxy. Added negligeable weight but gained great abrasion resistance. Just too bad that the S-glass separates from the Kevlar layer when impacted creating white marks.

None of that to worry about with gel coat. Even if gel coat is not as abrasion resistant as epoxy at least repairing a damaged/worn spot is easy and cosmetically perfect.

somehow I thought we were talking

– Last Updated: Oct-23-08 3:20 AM EST –

about canoes in this post. Tandem canoes used on flatH2o.

I wouldn't think of using the layup I'm harping on here in a sea kayaks and never infered it was appropriate for a sea kayak, but would have no problem using an ultralight layup on a kayak such as a Kayakpro Vampire or West Side Thunderbolt-X on flatH2o, or a tandem canoe used on flatH2o... which the original poster was questioning. And what do sea kayak layups have to do with this post??? And who was talking about getting into kayaks from the H2o???

Most skin coats
are laminated with an exterior layer of s glass or carbon to give abrasion resistance to the Kevlar layers.

Might Be…
But is not, what logic are you using. You certainly are full of yourself.

Not logical to say that one has to be
able to lift and handle a canoe in order to enjoy the sport? And, I have not claimed any special ability or knowledge for myself. Except that I hooked you.

Gnarly, two of my boats have a flash
coat of epoxy, over their S-glass. A flash coat of epoxy does not add any structural rigidity. A purely Kevlar boat is going to suffer from the inherent low compression strength of Kevlar, and so will require a foam core and/or inside ribs for stiffening.

Just using S-glass or even E-glass for the outer layers means a stiffer boat, and one that will wear smooth… no fuzzing.

Certainly true for Bell, Souris, and
Bluewater, but apparently not for Wenonah.

Carbon outer layer makes for terrific stiffness, and will wear smooth while slipping easily, but carbon is much softer than S-glass and E-glass. On my slalom boat, Dagger put the S-glass outside, and the carbon inside. Extremely stiff boat, and hard-wearing, but not as tough as it would be if it had Kevlar inside.

You Dagger slalom…
Did Andy Bridge build you Dagger Composite?

Yeah, but note. I am an old duffer who
likes to paddle easy “citizen” slalom races. I met Andy when he was still at Dagger, and he let me try his personal Magnet, a wonderful general purpose c-1. The Zealot I bought from Adam Clawson, who along with Davey Hearn, represented us in the '96 Olympics.

Modern slalom boats are really a blast. Unlike the early ones, they aren’t particularly hard to paddle, and they seem like they will do anything if you’re up to it.

g2d, you are right
the flash coat of epoxy did not add any structural rigidy (I could not see how anyway) but sure made the finish finally usable for real sea kayaking.

Epoxy is more abrasion resistant then gel coat.

Trying to blend/smooth out a ridge line once the epoxy was cured was way harder then my gel coat repairs.