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 Post subject: Helios II
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:42 pm 
Hi to all...

I'm new to this forum and fairly new to kayaking. That said, I did a fair bit up to BCU3 over 20 years ago but have rarely been out since, so consider myself new! I decided to get myself an inflatable and went for the Helios II after much research as it seems to suit my needs best.
I live in Malta where we have no freshwater areas at all, so I have the sea to play in! My question regarding the Helios is this: I've seen it mentioned fairly often that when used in salt water the metal eyelets cause problems. Is this true with the newer boats too or just the older models? Mine's an Aug '12 production.
Also, I bought the Helios in the belief that it would be fine in saltwater, now I see on a few sites that it needs rinsing in fresh after each use, true or false?

Many thanks and happy paddling to all :)

 Post subject: Re: Helios II
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:12 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
I dont own a helios but I think it:s good practice to rinse any non wooden surfaces in fresh water after use in salt water. I throw all my folding and inflatable skins and aluminium tubes in the bath when I get home


Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island

 Post subject: Re: Helios II
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:15 am 
Thanks Simon

The boats only been out twice so hopefully no harm has come to it! I'll follow your advice and give it a bath after each trip.
Better safe than sorry I guess...


 Post subject: Re: Helios II
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:07 pm 
forum fanatic

Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 51
mike, rest assured that your two go-outs won't have had any detrimental impact! my oldest two gumotexes are coming up to their tenth birthdays and have been used almost exclusively in the sea. I have NEVER washed either of them and there is no problem at all with the eyelets.

however, I do have a much older (20+ yrs) barum that's essentially the forerunner of the helios (gumotex used to be called barum) and all of the eyelets are rusted. I bought it secondhand for not very much so it's not something that bothers me but I suppose it could potentially have an impact on the fabric of the boat at some point. I suppose it's possible that gumotex has changed from a stainless steel eyelet to an aluminium one but I don't know that for sure. Personally I wouldn't bother bathing the whole boat - I'm sure a quick wipe down would be fine.

Is it possible that you're confusing an issue with the eyelets with a concern over the fabric of older helioses? The old helios and a couple of other gumotex boats (2007-2009 off the top of my head but don't quote me) were made from coated nitrilon on the outside of the tubes and uncoated nitrilon on the inside. while this did save a bit of weight, it was universally unpopular as the uncoated stuff seemed to soak up water to a certain extent and thus became difficult to dry. Added to that, prolonged salt water exposure could apparently end up damaging the boat.

This is a quote from a site called "The Boat People" in the US talking about another gumotex/innova boat (gumotex are marketed as innova in the US), the Twist, that was made wholly from the same uncoated 'litepack' material:

"We would suggest using the Twist mostly for fresh water. Tim from Innova has a five year old Twist that's seen a lot of salt water use with little signs of harm, even after being uncleaned for most of that time. Despite this we're still of the opinion that salt soaking though into the inner layer of rubber will likely degrade it in a shorter timespan compared to one of the fully coated Innovas (which let no water go through their material at all), or compared to a Twist that is only used for fresh water."

However, this isn't really an issue any more. The vast majority of gumotex boats that were made from litepack aren't any longer and the ones that still are (the Twist and the Swing) use a fabric called hevealon which is essentially litepack with a waterproof teflon coating.

Barum Albatros
Gumotex Safari
Gumotex Sunny
Gumotex Scout

 Post subject: Re: Helios II
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:08 pm 
Hi Onsafari and thanks for the reply!

It might be possible that the issues I'd heard of were to do with the fabric as they mentioned the area where the eyelets were in contact with the fabric. Either way, one of the reasons I went with the Helios is that I believed it was fine with salt water (we have no freshwater here in Malta). Your post has put my mind at rest!

That said I'll still play it safe and follow Simons advice to rinse after use, but I've decided to do it on the beach with a bottle of water sloshed over the valves and eyelets...
I hope in 10 years time I can report that all's well with the boat! :)

Thanks again...

 Post subject: Re: Helios II
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:02 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 1232
Location: Anchorage Alaska
In older models there was an issue with brass grommets causing delamination when exposed to salt water. The fix was to remove and replace the grommet before any damage was done. Read down on this forum for more info

Feathercraft Kahuna ( Angela )
Mariner Express ( Miruku Maru ) ( In Storage)
Innova Helios 380
Northwest Sportee (SuperBoat)
Innova Safari
Mariner I
Feathercraft Java
Nautiraid 14
Innova Sunny
Feathercraft K-Light

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