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Folding Kayaks Forum • View topic - homebuilt kayaks durability and seaworthiness

Folding Kayaks Forum

The user forum for FoldingKayaks.org
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:29 am 
Hi there! I am new in the forum, and in the world of folding kayaks in general. I have constructed a Sea Tour 17 a few months ago and have had a lot of fun paddling it in day long trips.But how about the durability of the boat in really difficult conditions, tricky landings and multy day expeditions?has anyone tried them? the things that seem a little vulnerable to me would be the PVC skin and maybe the skrews that connect the aluminium tubes to the bow and stern. Has anyone ever had any failures and where? and finally how many years will the boat actually last?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:08 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:09 pm 
Thanks a lot Tom! i guess my concerns where more psychological than based on logic, before starting to use the boat in real hard conditions in the Aegean! Thanks for the beautifull plans and instructions in your site


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:56 pm 
A folding kayak isn't an ABS canoe, by any means. I put quite a few holes in the skin of my Sea Tour 17R the first couple of times out, the worst was landing on a cobble beach with 0.5 metre dumping waves. The boat (and I) were pounded three times HARD before I managed to fall out. I finished the trip bailing the cockpit about every hour. Somewhere in there I also manage to shear the three rivets holding the stem piece on, but never noticed until I dismantled the boat for winter.

So I accepted the additional weight and doubled the skin along the keel and both chines. I'm planning on smoothing the edges of the HDPE frames to minimize cuts on easy landings.

There are few if any critical parts whose failure will make you swim. The skin damage is nearly always against a frame part so the holes are small. The real secret is to get your feet wet when launching or landing and your kayak will thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:45 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:04 pm 
Softer is better.

I'm betting that the Sonnet's lack of hard parts to bash against soft parts, and it's likely greater overall flexibility, will be more bash-friendly. This is speculation as I have never paddled one.

Pakboats canoes use a thin closed cell foam pad on bottom between hull and frame, specifically in order to avoid this type of damage. Seems like a good idea that could be adapted to many skin on frame foldables.

Needlessly grinding any boat onto a beach is a no-no.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:32 pm 
[quote]Saleroso wrote... I'm betting that the Sonnet's lack of hard parts to bash against soft parts, and it's likely greater overall flexibility, will be more bash-friendly. This is speculation as I have never paddled one.

You are correct sir 8)

The Sonnet's normally have an 18oz vinyl hull, and the sponson sleeves are 10oz vinyl. This protects the sponsons quite well, and as you have said, the lack of hard contact points at the chines ( sponsons) means less chance for damage. I might add that the Sonnet will still float quite well even with both bottom or both top sponsons deflated and for that matter with a left top and right bottom deflated. I tested this extensively before offsering plans for the boat. Plus, if swamped, 4 sponsons make it float very high, and easy to control, even in rough water. In fact , a fully swamped Sonnet 16 is easy to roll.

I'm currently building a new Sonnet "Combi" using 6 Folbot 15ft sponsons. This hull is deeper ( 11") and the boat is short at 15.5' X 26" beam. Designed load is over 500 lbs. Below are a couple pics of the skinning frame. The only part of this framework that will be a part of the finished boat is the 1" keel tapering to 3/4" at the stems. Weight will be about 30 - 35 lbs and assembly easily under 15 minutes.

A friend and I are motorcycle touring New Zealand's South Island next Spring and this boat will double ( pun intended) as both a double and single with it's three coaming deck. Fiordland here we come. :shock:

If there is any interest shown in this project, I will post updates. Cheers, Tom

Sonnet "Combi" skinning frame and Sonnet 16
Image

The vertical looking stems have a 6" rounded entry.
Image

"Kanu" is the open deck canoe version...."Combi" is the kayak version.... Same hull design. Unlike the drawing all sponsons are 15' and the keel is 1" tubing.
Image


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:46 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:31 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:57 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:05 am 
As it appears that the Sonnets count on the induced rocker of center paddler to optimize their shape, it also appears that having two paddlers, one at each end, might induce a negative rocker. What are your thoughts on this? I seem to remember seeing on your website that an open canoe was your first Sonnet prototype...

Should we be starting another thread for this?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:18 am 


Last edited by Yostwerks on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:05 am 


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