To gelcoat or not to gelcoat an EFT?

-- Last Updated: Mar-21-05 1:00 PM EST --

I've just ordered an EFT from Doug Bushnell at West Side Boats in kevlar. Doug will add gelcoat the to top only or also the bottom and top if you wish. Or, alternatively, you can get the boat sans gelcoat. Since this is my first boat from Doug, any recommendations? I'll be using the boat primarily for cruising our lake. Thanks in advance. Doug

gel coat…
Gel coats protects from UV rays, help against abbrassion, and looks nice when new.

When it cracks, it looks bad, it adds some weight to your boat. Repairing it is no fun.

If the outer-most skin of the hull/deck is kevlar, then you’d better get something covering it. Otherwise if it gets a deep scratch, the kevlar will get fuzzy and wick water into the exposed fibers (it generally won’t seep further into the fiber than just the scratched area).

Does anyone know if the outermost layer of an EFT is kevlar?

Kv top?

– Last Updated: Mar-21-05 5:26 PM EST –

Probably some glass on top.I've paddled Doug's boats since "83" & all of mine have had a layer fiberglass on hull/deck. Nothing like a Bushnell boat!

To gel or not?
I have a Thunderbolt in kv/carbon & Delta kv, but have a boat bag. I bet there is one for the EFT. I try to keep 303 on the deck & wipe it down with a shammy,when it’s not bagged. When I find some Starbrite with teflon, I’ll try it. If you store it in the shade, you should be ok. Good luck & have fun in your EFT!

I wouldn’t think that Doug or similar
builders would use Kevlar as an outer layer. Glass or carbon are the best outer layers. S-glass is better than carbon for resistance to breakage on WW boats, but carbon is lighter and stiffer for flatwater boats.

I only recommend gelcoat for sponsons. Two wrongs make a right.

If weight is a concern…
the gelcoat will add some.

I had the same option when I bought my Kevlar Jensen 17 foot canoe, and am glad that I opted not to get it.

If you scratch into the kevlar cloth without the gelcoat, it is a simple fix using epoxy, and if done right can be done with no sanding.



Treating Kevlar
I’m a newbie when it comes to looking after Kevlar. Can you let me know what 303 is and, also, where I might look for kayak bags. Thanks in advance. Doug

Bets way to get float bags for an eft
is to make them yourself. Sea kayaker published an article on it recently, Perhaps you could check out a major library or e-mail them and grab the reprint, Cheap and reasonable fit. The eft is long I do not know where to get a good fitting bag.

A newbie in an eft? What have you demoed. You will be facing a bit of a learning curve as it is way tippier than 95 percent of most newbie boats. Great bout though for those who like it.

is a non-petroleum based protectant (similar to Armorall, but without the complications on plastics). Provides a nice slightly slippery finish to surfaces that makes them easy to keep clean. You can pick it up at most boat shops and some hardware stores.

There are a few different companies who make kayak and canoe storage bags. Google “canoe kayak storage bags” and you’ll come up with some choices.

I grew up racing olympic K1’s but have not had a kevlar kayak before.

Superb Boat
Faaast. Have fun getting used to the tiller bar steering. :wink: Personally, I don’t think I’d be too concerned about foregoing the gelcoat. Keep it coated with a UV inhibitor, try to store it out of the sun, and you’ll be fine. I haven’t had a problem with some of the cadmium colors (reds, purples, etc.) practicing these cautions, and doubt it will be much of an issue with the kevlar/carbon. Plus, you get that evil green color like the Thunderbolts have.