Deck material

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acrosome

Deck material

Post by acrosome »

Howdy,

If anyone has been following my posts elsewhere you will notice that the Long Haul Mk I is on my short list for a folding kayak to buy. My question is this: what is the practical difference between the cotton canvas deck and the Sea Mark deck? I have to admit some reluctance about the canvas- my primary concerns being dry rot and mildew.

Thanks.

Paul
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Post by Paul »

Cotton will be cooler in warmer climates as it breathes but will be more subject to rot over time than a Seamark deck. Cotton will absorb some water, making it a bit heavier after the paddle. Cotton decks have a long history of reliable service as this is all Klepper has ever used. A Seamark deck is basically Sunbrella fabric with a vinyl coating on the backside (or maybe Sunbrella already has the vinyl coating?). A Seamark deck will be heavier than a cotton deck and because it doesn't breathe the kayak will take longer to dry out. I think Mark told me that a cotton deck will have more abrasion resistance when new but loses some of that strength over time. I'd be curious as to the longevity of the synthetic decks and how the two layers of material--the synthetic cotton on top and the vinyl below--stay together. The boats that Mark supplied to the US military opted for the synthetic deck. LH will send you swatches of both materials if you give them a call.

mje
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Post by mje »

I've never seen a canvas hull rot, and they shouldn't so long as you never pack a boat wet for an extended period. I think for serious expedition use in open water I'd lean towards the Seamark with an expedition tuckunder spraydeck, and for tropical use I'd defintely favor the canvas with the velcro deck.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Paul
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Spruce Head, Maine

Post by Paul »

I've never seen a canvas hull rot, and they shouldn't so long as you never pack a boat wet for an extended period.
That's a good way of saying it. When I was considering which material to get I believe Mark said that a cotton deck may lose more of its strength over time relative to Seamark. I'm not exactly sure how significant that would be. At that time they were just rolling out Seamark decks and hadn't had much feedback on it from users. I went with the cotton deck and have the velcro tuckunder spray cover. If I were to do it again I'd probably lean towards the Seamark, but would want to know how much heavier it is and how well it could handle extreme heat. The velcro tuckunder is great, tough, and makes entry/exits a snap.

Alm

Post by Alm »

I doubt that cotton or canvas is much lighter than Sunbrella fabric. Given that it weighs more when wet (unlike synthetics), - synthetic deck seems to be a better choice in most of uses. Except for, may be, very hot climates.

acrosome

Post by acrosome »

Hmm. Thanks. About what I thought.

acrosome

Post by acrosome »

Ok, being a synthetic is Seamark susceptible to UV damage?

mje
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Post by mje »

Seamark is essentially coated Sunbrella, a polyester fabric designed for continuous outdoor exposure. Poly doesn't break down in UV like nylon does.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Long Hauler

Post by Long Hauler »

arcosome,

I'm no expert on fabrics so I won't comment other than to say what has been expressed in this thread already seems right on from what little I do know or have heard.

That said it may be worth your time to come see us at either the Wooden Boat Festival(http://www.woodenboat.org/festival/) or the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium(http://www.wcsks.org/). These events are held in Port Townsend in September.

acrosome

WCSKS

Post by acrosome »

As fate would have it I already have my hotel room booked in Fort Townsend, so I'll see you at the symposium. (I live in Tacoma, after all.) Hopefully someone there can convince my wife to loosen the purse strings...

acrosome

I checked out both decks

Post by acrosome »

I'm posting a little late, and it's a little bit of a repeat of another post I made last week. But here goes...

I was at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium a week ago and checked out the Long Haul demo models. The SeaMark deck seems at least as tough as the canvas. I will admit that it certainly doesn't seem like it would breathe as well as the canvas. One downside to the canvas is that it absorbes water. This is the purported reason that it remains waterproof- the fibers swell and tighten as they absorb water. It also means that the boat is a few pounds heavier when you haul it out of the water than it was when you put it in.

The gentleman running the demos, Pete, considers the cotton deck indispensible for humid areas like the US east coast, but admitted that if he lived in the Puget Sound area he would buy the SeaMark.

garbar

Re: Deck material

Post by garbar »

Acrosome. I may be getting a Long haul in the next few months, and was wondering which deck material you would recommend. I will be using the kayak in Hawaii, Houston, and Alaska for the most part. I will also haul it around the country for other paddle trips, such as Lake Havasu, Costa Rica and possibly Siberia. If you were going to be in various climates, from hot to cold, which would you choose?

Alm

Re: Deck material

Post by Alm »

I will be using the kayak in Hawaii, Houston, and Alaska for the most part. I will also haul it around the country for other paddle trips, such as Lake Havasu, Costa Rica and possibly Siberia.
With plans like these you're going to need 2 different skins (or 2 boats) - one with a canvas deck and another one - with synthetic. If I were to choose one and only material, it would've been synthetics. It's better to be sweating than shivering. Besides, with a vast expanse of non-breathable synthetic spraydeck on the cockpit the breathability of a canvas deck becomes less important. LH MK1 is a lot of a boat to fly with, btw. 2 big bags + 1 small, 92 lbs total.

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BarryM
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Re: Deck material

Post by BarryM »

Alm wrote:If I were to choose one and only material, it would've been synthetics. It's better to be sweating than shivering.
I disagree - you can always put more on - once you get to skin you're done. I'd choose the cotton over synthetic as I've never felt uncomfortable in any of my folders (cotton) at any time of year here in the midwest. On the other hand my Chesapeake Light craft hardshell can get pretty clammy ... ymmv ....
Blackhawk Combi Canoe 15' 8"
CLC Chesapeake 16'
Klepper Aerius 2
Klepper T9 / Heise Skin
Pionier 520-Z / Heise Skin
Pouch E65

Alm

Re: Deck material

Post by Alm »

It's mostly upper body that is sweating, - not legs. Legs are covered with non-breathable sprayskirt anyway (and if they are not, then all the lower body is exposed in long cockits of Klepper/Longhaul Wayland, so the deck material doesn't affect your body). Comparing hardshell sea kayak setup with Klepper/Longhaul cockpit wouldn't be fair, because
1) Hardshell sea kayaks have much smaller cockpit, legs from the knees and below are under the thick plastic, rather than under thin, albeit non-breathable, skirt.
2) In hardhsell the lower body is confined in the limited volume of air between the fore and aft bulkheads, while in a folder there is unrestricted air circulation over the entire hull volume.
3) Cooler water doesn't do much to cool the air trapped in the cockpit of a hardshell, because of the thick plastic hull (or a composite), while in a folder it does. In FC boats I can feel the cooler air flow under the deck, even through the seasock.

One more thing - breathable (canvas) decks stop water from getting inside when wet fibers tighten, but canvas fibers do absorb water and they become wet on the inside, i.e. underneath the deck. So, in heavy weather any cargo touching canvas deck will get wet at the top. (Never at the bottom, because in these boats cargo is separated from bilge water by floor boards).

As I recall now, after a brief (though intensive) relationship with canvas deck of MK1, my gripes with this type of boat were mostly other things, rather than deck material. Main complaints with canvas were - wet cargo at the top, heavier boat when wet (have no idea how much heavier), and long time to dry it out.

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