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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:17 pm
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I'm here looking for help covering my Folbot frame. Technically, it's not a folding kayak, but it's a Folbot, so that ought to count for something.

It was bought by a friend of mine’s father in 1970. He built the frame, but never covered it. I inherited it a couple of years ago when he died. I have all the vinyl, fittings, instructions and so forth, but the glue for the covering had long since dried up.

I joined the Folbot forum a year or so ago and was discussing with some of the people there how to cover it. I was planning on being traditional and using the original vinyl. Well, I tried to stretch on the inside lower cover, but no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the wrinkles out, and I just can't imagine trying to laminate the outer cover on without multiplying the wrinkles.

When I went back to the Folbot forum, it had disappeared. I don't remember what kind of covering they suggested I use, only that it was waterproof on both sides, so I wouldn't have to glue two layers together.

I’d like to hope that there are some people on the Folding Kayaks Forum who might have some ideas.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:34 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
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Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
I would suggest using what most modern builders of traditional skin-on-frame kayaks use, 8 ounce nylon ballistic cloth, stretched and stitched and then coated with two-part urethane. This makes a light and incredibly tough and durable hull that you can dye any color you want. You can find information on material sources and techniques for this at many sites. One place to start would be boat designer and builder Brian Schulz's old and new websites at http://www.capefalconkayaks.com. In fact, here is the direct link to Brian's directions for simple skinning (though he doesn't go on to the directions for coating it with the urethane) : http://capefalconkayak.com/howtoskinakayak.html

The Greenland Kayak group, http://www.qajaqusa.org, has builder forums that discuss materials. And there are books that describe skinning techniques like "Building the Greenland Kayak" which is available on eBay for under $20.

The Skin Boat store is just one of several that sell the materials: http://shop.skinboats.com/840-Jr-Ballis ... rgprim.htm

I have owned and regularly used a wooden framed skin-on-frame kayak with the nylon/urethane skin for going on 9 years now (see attached pic). It can take a lot of abuse and looks great -- it makes a semi-translucent skin that sort of glows in sunlight. I've scraped over rocks and bounced off hidden rebar and sunken tree trunks with no problems. In fact I've seen videos of people deliberately trying to puncture hulls like this with the claw end of a hammer to no avail.

Tip (from a life-long seamstress) for working with any woven fabric is that most weaves will stretch diagonally on the bias, not so much vertically or horizontally.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:05 pm 
recent arrival

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:17 pm
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Thanks. I'll take a look at those links. I'm pretty sure the covering that was suggested previously was a material that was already water proof. I got the impression it would look just about the same as the vinyl that came with the kayak, just double sided.

But you've given me another option to consider, so I'll take a look at it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:41 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 465
Location: inland Pennsylvania, USA
The problem with fabric that is already waterproof coated is that it doesn't stretch. Better to use a non-coated fabric and then coat it once it is shaped to the boat frame, Some people even use linen or cotton canvas and then coat it heavily with oil-based paints.

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Feathercraft K-1 Expedition
Pakboat XT-15


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