Swift integrated gunnel system

Has anybody seen or better yet had experience with A Swift made this way?The weight claims are almost unbelivable.Do they make an Osprey in this Layup.I havn’t gotten an answer from Swift.


Intergrated Gunnel
Bay Creek Paddling Center in Rochester, New York has a Swift Kipawa and an Algonquin 16 with the intergrated gunnel system in Carbon and Kevlar Fusion. They are prettier then what I imagined they would be with thin lighter weight cherry decks(1/4’ or 3/8’),their signature sliding bow seats, and curved portage yoke.

I have an older Kipawa in expedition kevlar layup and was most impressed by the weight difference of the new fusion. The integrated gunnels are a smoothly flushed with the outside wall of the canoe.

I spoke with Swift Canoe in the spring about having the fusion available in their solo Shearwater and Osprey models. They said they were constructing a couple for design and testing purposes and would only make them available if there was market for them.

I saw it too
I agree with your observations.I also put a bug in the ear or the Swift guy there about an Osprey so built.Hope springs eternal.Lets see maybe 27#?


Swift Factory Visit

A buddy of mine stopped at the Swift Muskoka Store last weekend on his way home from Algonquin. The factory rep/sales person said they were having mold/form issues with the Osprey and Shearwater. He said the new fused gunnels require a two piece mold due to the way the inwales are constructed and that there are some “seam” issues. I’m not quite sure what that means… I hope it’s just hearsay.

Charlie Wilson of Placid Boatworks could shed some light on this.

horse first, then cart
Perhaps Swift will be able to do an integrated gunnel variation of the Shearwater and Osprey. But, I would hope they first get the basic Shearwater and Osprey vacuum infusion molds up and in production.

CobraSox rails

– Last Updated: Oct-10-07 10:19 PM EST –

The Swift Integrated rail system bears a striking resemblance to our CobraSox XLT Rail System. We share a hull designer, and as Swift concentrates on tandem canoes and kayaks and Pb on solo canoes, sharing seems the graceful thing to do. Placid and Swift also exchanged information as we both fast-track developed infusion technology with reusable silicone bags winter 05-06.

While the concept for the rail system, material selection and foam shaping were developed by Placid boatworks, Swift came up with the final hull/rail junction used by both. We finish the exercise differently, and Pb has moved to a second generation foam profile. Further differences are that Swift uses wood thwarts and seats. Pb uses the same foam, braided tube, infusion technology to manufacture solo boat thwart sets weighing 7 oz.

The rail set, multiple-pass shaped foam inserted in a carbon/Kevlar braided tube, is the first thing that goes into the mold, followed by the hull, sacrificial layers and the vacuum bag. Vacuum is pulled, and the entire hull and both rails infuse with resin in ~6 minutes. The entire rig, rails and hull set up as one piece of fiber reinforced plastic.

Comparing trimmed hulls, the weight savings is 20%. Once outfitting is added; seats, footpegs and backband, the savings is 15%. This results in our SpitFire in CobraSox weighing 20 1/2 lbs with full outfitting in a very rugged hull. Our 15 foot RapidFire comes in at 25.5 lbs. Rigged for kneeling, we add a 10 oz kev diamond to beef up the center and a kneeling seat to come in at 27 lbs. We are working on a foam cored kneeling seat that will take more than a pound off that weight.

Pb uses two piece molds; Swift mostly one piece. Two piece molds are required to release our extreme tumblehome. Sealing the keel-line flange of a two piece mold to hold an atmosphere of pressure can be an issue.

While the top edge of the CobraSox hull is quite stiff, which is a good thing, the hull comes singing out of the mold. A one piece mold would not preclude manufacturing an integrated rail. A split mold, with a halfway split to release a moderately tumblehomed hull like Swift's Osprey might be impossible to seal. They may need a new two piece mold to infuse Osprey, which would be a major expense and time drain.

For both Swift and Pb, a resin "seam" is left between the rail and the mold top flange. We both use a carbon/kevlar braid to reduce summer heating and for Kevlar's tensile strength, and sanding Kevlar results in fuzz.

CobraSox or Swift Integral Infused rails are strong, rugged, lightweight and zero maintenance trim options that required lots of engineering and are quite labor intensive. A neat little advance in building better boats through aerospace technology.

I'll bring a CobraSox XLT SpitFire to Raystown and will bet that Bill will have more than one of their integral rail beauties too.

The Osprey
in the fusion layup is a great mystery. I own an older ulralite Osprey and was considering a fusion Osprey. Conversations with Swift staff indicate the mold change issues which were supposed to be resolved in the fall, then the winter and now maybe in the spring. It sounds like they are letting their solo line fade as they focus upon tandems and kayaks. You may want to pin them down to a definite if you want a fusion Osprey.