Now THAT'S a durable hull!

Perhaps others here have already seen these video clips from the ONNO/Tideline site, but if not, check them out:

That’s what I call impressive! Pokes some serious holes (pun intended) in the “heavy=strong” and “chopped strand mat is good stuff” arguments wouldn’t you say? Maybe I should email this to a certain Welsh kayak builder… :wink:

Seriously, well done, Patrick!

There are many paths…
to a strong resiliant hull :wink:

Impressive videos.

Super durable but flexible
That is one durable lay-up! The trade-off is the lack of stiffness. Watch how easily it bends in the first video.

Would it be stiffer…
if the boat was complete with deck? Perhaps the hammer would do more damage on a complete kayak? I don’t know.

The debate over strong/stiff/flexible, etc. will continue to rage. Is there really any definitive information regarding durability (however you define that is another debate, I’m sure) of chopped-strand mat as seems to be used by some (all?) British manufactures vs. the type of construction seen in these movies? Or do we just end up with a list of pros and cons, opinions and no clear “winner”?

I would like to know more about this as I’ve got one VCP boat and another on the way. I like their designs, but will admit I’m concerned by what I’ve been hearing and have heard for years about their construction. I’m heavily invested now, but I might as well know what I’m dealing with.


Thanks alot : )
The boat was flexed like that in the beginning to show that it COULD be bent in such a manner without damage. Have some other clips of rolling the deck back 180 degrees without a peep.

Mated with the deck one can stand on them and bounce WITHOUT oil canning.

The all carbon hulls are stiff enough to be paddled a -la - canoe… sans gunnels and thwarts even.

Epic site had a video of Greg Barton beating on one of their hulls with a hammer too.

What is it with you guys and hammers? Only ones I’m likely to encounter in a kayak are Hammerhead Sharks!

Take a completed kayak, loaded, and drop it on rocks and a different set of variables comes into play. Flex and impact resistance are restricted once locked into a shell.

What the videos show is impressive though, and would certainly help in real situations - they just don’t demonstrate the same thing.

Pat’s layups do look great. Still haven’t seen one in person though. Someday…

Now think of actually doing that to any of our own boats… goosebumps.

Seriously - very impressive performance. Annnd - as to the comment about Valley, it’s a different ballgame now, especially with their ProLite layup. As to QC, while the combing edges are not as neatly finished as Seaward’s (are anyone’s?) and some stuff like that, I don’t know that anyone has had a complaint about the boat’s durability and quality for a while. The plastic seats they put in some boats last year have been a problem, but if you specify the fiberglass seat that issue should go away.

I can’t get them to play
After I click the link, if i click OPEN it says it is downloading it then it just closes. If I click SAVE its OK until i try to play it with media player, then it says there is an error. What am I doing wrong?

Apple Quicktime?
I’m no computer expert, but I had to go download Apple QuickTime to view.

Forget This "Indestructible Stuff"
go back to the darn shop and finish the mermaid. Put some fear in those manufacturers, gosh darn it, who think low volume is a boat for 175 paddler carrying a 50 lb load.


I also coul not open this on my PC
I’ll try it from the mac.

jmden - VCP
I’ve not heard of people having problems with the durability of Valley boats. There are many VCP boats out there that have been used hard for years. The quality control seems very good – though it wasn’t always so.

RE: plastic seat (mentioned above): two Valley dealers I know are having VCP provide replacement seat/coamings for all the composite Valley boats they sold/received with plastic seats.

I’ve got one VCP boat (and another on the way) that has survived some tough situations without complaint. I’m pretty happy with it.

My question has to do with the specific layup materials and techniques. Specifically, I’ve heard a number of accounts of folks mentioning the negative aspects of chopped strand mat construction as seems so prevalent in Brit boats. I’d like to hear if there is any definitive information regarding layups with chopped strand mat (as in Brit boats) vs. the type of construction we see in these above movies. Or, do we just end up with a list of pros and cons and opinions about these two construction types?

It seems to me that the chopped strand mat wouldn’t survive the impacts as well as the layup in these movies. But are the movies real life? What happens in real life to these types of layups?

vcp is diolen
not chopped matte, chopped matte is NDK.

right, VCP uses diolene
Yes, I’m aware that VCP uses diolene in their standard layup. Many folks deride that as well as chopped-strand mat. My questions about Brit boat construction vs. what we see in these movies still stand.

Hammer - Real world
I never seen a video of someone assaulting a Valley hull with a hammer. I am not sure exactly how hitting a hull with a hammer compares to a boat striking rocks. I am sure there is a relationship, though real world testing is more reassuring to me than hammer blows.

Valley layups seem to survive very rugged use. If a Valley boat suits your needs/desires, I don’t think you need worry about the hull’s ability to survive real world impacts.

I’m impressed with how well the gel coat on my Aquanaut holds up to rocks and concrete launches. It seems to protect the fabric of the hull very well. My boat is a ProLite layup (Carbon/Kevlar/Diolene) yet still weighs over 50lbs. I believe the gel coat is a notable portion of the weight of the boat.

My sense of the point of hammer videos is to demonstrate that layups weighing less than Valley or NDK ones can be very strong. I don’t doubt the strength of the layup of my Valley boat. I also do not know enough about layups to assess the strengths of alternatives. For me the feel and performance of the boat is most important. Quality of build also informs my decisions. After demoing over two dozen boats, I decided on my Aquanaut based on these factors.

Diolene is only the innermost layer
I’ve repaired a few VCP hulls. Although the construction seems to have varied a bit over the years, one thing that’s been pretty consistent is that - as best I can tell - the only innermost layer is Diolene (you can tell by the fuzz when you sand it). The rest of the standard laminate is fiberglass, predominantly mat.

Of course, the Kevlar/carbon layup is different.

Hammering is a severe test
It’s probably more severe than bumping into rocks. However, it’s not the same as hwving a wave slam a boat with a paddler and gear in it onto rocks. However, I have damaged a hull on sharp edges and I know of others who’ve poked holes through their hulls on submerged rebar, so the hammer test is definitely applicable. I think it’s safe to say that any hull that can survive Patrick’s assault will handle most real world conditions well.

One thing’s for sure, there’s no way I’d take a hammer to either of my VCP boats, as I doubt they would survive anywhere near as well as Patrick’s layup. While the hammer test is quite dramatic, it’s not a trick.

boat flips off car at 50mph
Ive had my boat fly off the roof of my truck at 50mph ( got talking at the take out and forgot to tie the damn thing up) thank god it has 12 layers of kevlar in the hull. It bounced and cartwheeled maybe 15 times three of which was on the pavement the rest in the ditch. Just a few scrathes and a broken rudder cables.


Your experience seems to indicate that “Brit” boat hulls may not take the punishment that we see in these movies. I’ve got one VCP boat and another on the way so I’m heavily invested. I do like their hull design shapes along with the myriad of other options and details. Obviously, you don’t want to go around bashing any boat into rocks, but is there anything in terms of use of the boat and repair that I should be particularly aware of? What does diloene (albeit one layer) do for a Valley boat?

Does anyone know if Valley is changing their layup materials/techniques under the new management?

I have seen your sequence of repair photos of an NDK Explorer on community webshots. Thank you–that is very helpful to be able to visualize the repair process that way. It sounds like that from the descriptions in this photo sequence that you find there to be considerably more damage done after impacts to “Brit” boats (specifically just NDK, or do you include Valley and P&H as well?) than would be the case from many North American manufacturers, right?

PS: Might you have any photos of the procedure you used on the interior of the boat for the first layer of cloth?