PVC skin durability

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CitizenWolf
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PVC skin durability

Post by CitizenWolf »

Hi All. I've only ever owned plastic kayaks and I've never worried about crashing up on a stony shore or banging the bottom against some rocks, as plastic is pretty tough and takes a pounding. However, I was wondering how much can PVC coated kayaks such as Long Hauls or Kleppers etc take with regards to abrasion? Any thoughts or experiences from anyone who has a PVC Long Haul, Klepper, Nautiraid? Thanks.

mje
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by mje »

Long Haul and Klepper kayaks are Hypalon, not PVC. So are Nautiraid and most Folbot and Feathercraft boats. Both Hypalon and good quality PVC are very resistant to impact and abrasion. They can, however, be cut by very sharp rocks or some bivalves, if dragged over them.
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CitizenWolf
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by CitizenWolf »

Ok, thanks for the reply. I didn't realise Long Haul were hypalon (only some of Nautiraid are hyperlon). So, anyway, the overall advice is - just be careful. :)

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gbellware
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by gbellware »

Well...it gets really hard to say what the hulls are made of, both because the brands and materials get smooshed together, sort of like Scotch Tape and adhesive tape. Newer Folbots were made of some unique material, unobtanium I think, that is probably a formula of TPU (urethane) but which is unique. Newer Kleppers can be spec'd with TPU in lower end models and it is standard in the Expedition. Their formula of TPU is, in my experience, really tough, flexible, and slippery. In my opinion it is superior to the older Hypalon, although only time will tell and not enough time has passed for these newer formulas. I don't know if Long Haul has switched over to any of the newer materials, perhaps someone else has experience with that. And, finally, I don't think any of the major folder makers use PVC.
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Yakadoodle
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by Yakadoodle »

Here, look at this:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7300

then to be quicker look at this or find it when you read the first link!
https://inflatablekayaksandpackrafts.co ... materials/

Oyster shells can easily put a hole in the hull material, but I'm not sure if you have oysters in Ireland. Broken seashells broken up along the surf I imagine will put a hole in any hull if you make contact on the sharp end.

The question is: You have plastic, are you looking to buy a folder? Looking at your question you might be considering buying one.

Banging it up against rocks. The answer lies in the frame itself. Nowadays the frames are made of aluminum tubing or wood strips.
Bang an aluminum frame against a rock hard enough and it will bend which is going to deform the hull shape. Sometimes it is a little bend you can live with, but you might win the lottery and really bend it which will be no fun if you are out overnight and need to get it straight to get home.
A wooden frame has some resilence where it might bend out of shape absorbing the impact and then return to original shape or you might crack it.
Aside from the blow to the kayak, both are fixable. Aluminum frame makers, Folbot for example, have a field kit which has short section of aluminum tubing that if you really dent the frame you can cut it at the point of the bend-slip the tubing over it and then try to bend the rest of it straight to slide the repair tube over it and tape it in place to get home.
A wooden frame if you crack it-use a straight piece of something to tape to it to hold it's shape to get home. Cut a tree branch, spare paddle, piece of a step stool...anything that will hold it straight to keep it in place to get home. So have a good repair kit with you with lots of tape!
Now keep in mind that the guy who paddled from Germany to Australia did it in a folding kayak. 30,000 miles and the same frame, new skins along the way, but something had to wear out and it took him 7 years! Materials today are a lot tougher. So it's a thought in the back of the mind hitting a rock and damaging the kayak, but it is not that destructive to throw the kayak away.

Another stupid thing that happens to an aluminum frame is an owner will leave the kayak it out wet and it freezes. Water trapped in an aluminum tube will split the tube when it becomes ice. Only happened to one kayak I know of and I didn't find it until after I bought it in the summer time. :(

The bottom line is all the folders made by different manufacturers are really good boats and fun. It is the difference in customer support received over the years that have given some a bad name. You just need to be aware and knowledgeable buyer.
"Yakadoodle" ...I had to come up with some name since Steve already stole my name! :lol:

CitizenWolf
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by CitizenWolf »

Thanks for the replies! Good tips on repairing the wooden struts in the field. Holy heck, that sounds like it would be interesting and scary if away on a trip. :shock: Yes, there are a fair few oysters right beside me where I live, and lots of other bivalves, and lots of rocks and sand. I'm now terrified of ever doing a dry landing in a foldable :P Yep, I had read about that German guy who went down the Danube and forgot to stop when he got to the Mediterranean. :) What an adventure !

CitizenWolf
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by CitizenWolf »

Also, thanks for the links too.

Christov10
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by Christov10 »

Sorry late to reply.

A few years ago, my PVC hulled Pouch RZ96 got a hole between the keelstrips while paddling a stretch of river that, honestly, seemed hazard-free. I'm not sure when the tear occurred. Here're a couple of links to images: https://christov10.files.wordpress.com/ ... =244&h=214 and
https://christov10.files.wordpress.com/ ... loseup.jpg

I repaired it with a PVC patch the seller, Ralph Hoehn, supplied with the boat and used PVC cement I bought at Lowe's. Dunno, maybe cleaned the area with toluene first? I only patched the outside and the repair has held without problem ever since. It was one of those weird flukes. I abused my old Pouch E68 over piles of dead trees on the Elk River, dragged it over concrete, hit hidden stumps with it while paddling all-out - no problems.

The PVC on the Pouch kayaks is difficult to unfold and fold up again later when dry at cold temperatures.

CitizenWolf
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Re: PVC skin durability

Post by CitizenWolf »

Holy heck! They're mighty rips! :shock:

Thanks for the images. Interesting to see.

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