New black hull

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paraglia
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New black hull

Post by paraglia »

Does anyone know what Folbot's new black hull material is?
I wonder if it's just a black version of Evaloy, or is Folbot going back to Hypalon. Hopefully it's the latter.
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gbellware
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Re: New black hull

Post by gbellware »

I can't say what the black hull is, but I can say what it isn't, and that is Hypalon. Hypalon is no longer produced due to environmental issues created during the manufacturing process. Apparently the product is not environmentally unfriendly but the process to make it is quite toxic. The black hull material used by Klepper, aka Wayland, is TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane. If Folbot went this direction it is a step in the right direction.

g
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paraglia
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Re: New black hull

Post by paraglia »

I hope you are right. Besides with the Cooper's quality issues, it seems Folbots are good kayaks for the money.
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Jake
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Re: New black hull

Post by Jake »

A bit over a year ago I sent Folbot a question related to the durability of their hull material, Elvaloy, didn't receive a reply. It's my notion the the black material is essentially the same stuff. Seems like they're trying to keep production costs down while they use gimmicky things like boats decorated with hand painted decks. Maybe they're on to something. :)

Apathizer
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Re: New black hull

Post by Apathizer »

I wonder why Cooper doesn't seem to have any info on their web site. All I can find is a brief post on their Facebook page, which has no info about the material.

In many ways Folbot seems to have gone downhill since Eric Thome, et all bought it a couple years ago. Jake, you aren't the first person to mention Folbot's silence re. Elvaloy. I think the dirty secret is out of the bag: It's very difficult to repair, and practically impossible in the field.

Maybe this new hull material is a step in the right direction, but it'd be nice if they provided more details.

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Re: New black hull

Post by berniem »

In the frequently asked questions on the Folbot.com website, they say the hull material is DuPont Elvaloy and that it takes 175 pounds of direct pressure on a screwdriver to puncture the hull. The DuPont site indicates that Elvaloys are ethylene copolymers. However, they seem to have a variety of formulations. Elvaloy is used for roofing material as was Hypalon. However DuPont stopped making Hypalon in 2010. I suspect that Folbot chose Elvaloy because of its durability and flexibility and not because it was trying to keep production costs down. In their Maintenance and Repair section, Folbot now sells a single tube adhesive with Elvaloy patches and also a Tear-Aid patch that works with Elvaloy and vinyl. It will be interesting to hear whether anyone has experience with these products.
BernieM
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gbellware
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Re: New black hull

Post by gbellware »

If you search "elvaloy" on the forum you will find a few threads on the subject. Some criticism on the subject of repairability, but I have no direct experience and can't add to the debate.
g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

1988 A1 Expedition
2010 carbon Klepper Quattro
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39' jib
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

Apathizer
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Re: New black hull

Post by Apathizer »

berniem wrote:In the frequently asked questions on the Folbot.com website, they say the hull material is DuPont Elvaloy and that it takes 175 pounds of direct pressure on a screwdriver to puncture the hull. The DuPont site indicates that Elvaloys are ethylene copolymers. However, they seem to have a variety of formulations. Elvaloy is used for roofing material as was Hypalon. However DuPont stopped making Hypalon in 2010. I suspect that Folbot chose Elvaloy because of its durability and flexibility and not because it was trying to keep production costs down. In their Maintenance and Repair section, Folbot now sells a single tube adhesive with Elvaloy patches and also a Tear-Aid patch that works with Elvaloy and vinyl. It will be interesting to hear whether anyone has experience with these products.
That screwdriver test seems like an inapt way to testing hull durability: When out paddling, how likely is it that a screwdriver-like object will be jammed into the hull? Most potential abrasions are a consequence of scrapes against rocks, shells, docks, etc.

There's another thread discussing the difficulty of repairing Elvaloy. If you check the info about the Elvaloy repair on the Folbot web site, the link to the instructions still doesn't work! When I inquired about this, Eric sent me the info:

Elvaloy Hull Repair Procedures

1. Move kayak to environment with humidity less than 70%; no direct sunlight
2. Prep: Gather rags, glue brush, solvent - MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), and adhesive. Clean surface. Cut patch with an extra 1/2 inch to 1 inch of the size of your hole
3. Scrub both sides (boat and patch) with MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) on a rag to clean surface. Wait five minutes. Repeat two more times.
4. Apply thin glue layer to both sides. Aggressively work it in with brush.
5. Wait five minutes or longer if glue still looks wet.
6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 (total of 3 layers with with five minute open time between)
7. Wait 10 minutes after third layer of glue.
8. Join the surfaces during the next 10 minutes. If over 10 minutes or if glue has spots of white haze the glue has picked up moisture and you should try to "reactivate" it. With a clean rag wet the glue surface with MEK but do not rub the glue off (one quick swipe)
9. Assemble immediately. Press hard. Wipe off excess glue with solvent.
10. Wait at least 48 hours before use or removal from the climate controlled space. The adhesive bond will continue to strengthen for the next week.

Now, does this seem practical for field repairs?

[Update: I just watched their kickstarter vid for the new hull material: If I understand correctly, it's just a black version of Elvaloy. :x ]

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chrstjrn
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Re: New black hull

Post by chrstjrn »

Wow-- that is not good at all. What model years has Folbot used this material? It sounds like a very inappropriate choice.
Chris T.
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Re: New black hull

Post by berniem »

The instructions for Elvaloy are almost identical to that recommended for hypalon - see http://www.nrs.com/repair/hypalon_repair.asp

In brief there are 11 steps for hypalon repair
1. cut patch
2. trace area of patch on hull
3. use sandpaper to roughen hull
4. clean hull with toluene
5. apply thin layer of hypalon adhesive
6. after first layer of adhesive is tacky apply a second layer
7. Repeat step 6 and apply a third layer of adhesive
8. when the third layer of adhesive is tacky join the patch
9. When the two layers are in contact, apply vigorous pressure with a hand tool . roll every millimeter in multiple directions.
10. Wipe up excess adhesive with toluene
11. Allow to cure optimally at temperature above 60 degrees F and below 50% humidity for 8 to 12 h. Avoid repairs when
humidity is above 70%

I noticed that Folbot also sells a tear-aid patch for elvaloy and vinyl that is supposed to adhere instantly for a field repair.

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chrstjrn
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Re: New black hull

Post by chrstjrn »

"Allow to cure optimally at temperature above 60 degrees F and below 50% humidity for 8 to 12 h. Avoid repairs when
humidity is above 70%"
That's the worst part. But the rest isn't too encouraging, either.
Maybe Ralph Hoehn was always right about PVC, although now we're being told that's bad for the environment and for our health.

Doesn anyone know whether TPU is more easily repaired?
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Apathizer
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Re: New black hull

Post by Apathizer »

chrstjrn wrote:Wow-- that is not good at all. What model years has Folbot used this material? It sounds like a very inappropriate choice.
They started using Elvaloy about 2-3 yrs ago. One of the reasons they changed is because Dupont stopped making Hypalon. However, it's my understanding that other manufacturers still produce essentially the same material under a different or generic name. I'm not sure why Folbot won't use it, but suspect it's because a hull made of 'synthetic rubber' isn't as marketable as one made of a trademarked Dupont product.
berniem wrote:The instructions for Elvaloy are almost identical to that recommended for hypalon - see http://www.nrs.com/repair/hypalon_repair.asp
Hmm... When I had a Hypalon Cooper (about 3 years ago), I don't remember the repair instructions being so involved. Compare these to repairing the PU material on the newer Pakboats models: it's much simpler; more like fixing a hole in a bike tire.

Many posters deride Pakboats for being made in China, but it seems like the designers have a more practical approach. Elavaloy field repairs seem impossible, though short-term makeshift repairs are probably plausible.

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flatwater
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Re: New black hull

Post by flatwater »

Notice that both of these repair instructions are the "Official Recommendation" from the manufacturer. Both equally complicated and impractical (or impossible) in the field.

Hypalon has been around for many decades and the boating world has found many simpler but still effective ways to quick patch in the field.

Give Elvaloy a few years and you'll probably see the same thing. Tear-Aid already makes a one-shot patch that appears to work.

Any time you're forced to change your materials through cost considerations or government regulation, there's a learning curve. People who have been comfortable with an old material for years or decades don't like that learning curve. New skills and materials are required to reach the same level of comfort.

I suspect that the main reason people don't like Elvaloy is because duct tape won't stick to it. :D
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