Materials for whitewater kayak

Discussion in 'Materials' started by cthippo, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Can anyone think of an alternative to plastic that could be used to build a whitewater kayak?

    The problem, of course, is durability. whitewater b oats get launched off waterfalls, bounced into rocks at high velocity, and generally take massive amounts of abuse. All the WW boats I've seen have been plastic because you can't break tupperware. The flip side of that is they don't build these boats in size extra-fat-*** and I don't have a roto-molding machine to build my own. Is there any other material that might be able to survive and can be worked with at home?
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Wood with fiberglass over. This is not a whitewater kayak but the materials list will give you an idea. http://www.glen-l.com/designs/canu-row/seakayak-bom.html They have other kayak plans. When I say fiberglass I mean a product like Dynel or Xynole which protect from rocks. You would probably have to use a hard wood for a skeletal structure with ply over.
     
  3. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I was thinking Kevlar which has pretty high abrasion resistance. Perhaps dyneema (I don't know of a boat build with it) which has extraordinarily high abrasion resistance.
     
  4. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    I've been pondering this myself as I have been on a bit of a kayak developement kick.

    Here is a thread on Dynel.
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/materials/dynel-vs-fiberglass-wood-strip-sheathing-3430.html

    Some of Paul's wisedom on fabrics.
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/materials/recoating-dynel-36321.html

    A thread from a kayak forum talking about sheathing and hull material.
    http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Building/Archive10.pl/noframes/read/18311

    It sounds like a double bladed sword. Puncture resistance and abrasion resistance. Dynel on the lower exterior for abrasion over a base laminate of s-glass (less expensive) or kevlar (more expensive). I would be tempted to apply a less rigid interior sheathing to the lower surfaces to back-up and support wood/ply core during impacts. Sounds like dynel has a weight penalty so it's use may be best reserved for the lower exterior shell with a glass sheathing on the inside. FWIW.

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    And one more link that might take you to another resource at Gougeon Bros. Post #5
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?67134-Dynel-over-ply-deck
     
  5. latman
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    latman Junior Member

    a high ductility fibre like Kevlar , Innegra or Dyneema laminated with epoxy resin , leave it out in the sun for a rough post cure.
     
  6. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    The issue, as I see it anyway, is impact resistance and the ability to return to it's previous shape after an impact. Abrasion resistance is also important, but it's the impacts that are going to break things. Be interesting to try though!

    Basically, watch the video and then design a non-plastic boat that can survive that.

     

  7. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

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