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 Post subject: "Greener" Boats......
PostPosted: September 12th, 2005, 10:10 am 
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I know the issue of color has been settled here for awhile now and we all realize that "red" canoes hold an advantage over any other available color ( :wink: ) but I was curious to get feedback from folks about any "closed molding" technologies they may have some input on.

We've started working with a European manufacturer interested in using vacuum infusion for paddlecraft. It's a process I've worked with for a few years and it's ability to yield higher strength using lighter weight laminates seemed to make a lot of sense for canoes and kayaks.

I know there are a couple of companies here in Canada already using infusion but they don't give much detail on their websites. Curious if any of the paddlers here have or have paddled the infused models available.

A real bonus for me is that the process "can be" far friendlier to the fella's (& gals) woring in the shop and also to our environment.

Any thoughts........... ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 9:15 am 
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Doesn't Necky do this now also? I used to have some pictures taken of one of their kayaks being infused. Don't know what I did with them.


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PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 9:46 am 
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Komatiq wrote:
.... I know there are a couple of companies here in Canada already using infusion but they don't give much detail on their websites. Curious if any of the paddlers here have or have paddled the infused models available....


Infusion is just a fancy method of introducing resin in a very controlled environment. It is not all that different from vacuum bagging, but you can control resin/cloth ratios much more precisely with infusion. The better companies get at it the less I think we'll see vacuum bagging. The boats are very light and can be very strong. Nova Craft infuses their blue steel boats and they are bombproof. Pyranha/P&H will be infusing their kayaks and with their techniques they've developed we'll see prepreg go away as it is cost prohibitive and not any better than a well-done infused boat.

And you're right, it does keep the fumes to a minimum, which benefits everyone.

Not a composites expert but I play one on TV, Darren


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 10:28 am 
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Bryan Hansel Wrote:
Quote:
Doesn't Necky do this now also?
I had heard this as well but haven't as yet heard much in the way of consumer response to how they are turning out or what folks think. If you dig up the pic's I'd be interested in seeing them.

RutabagaDarren Wrote:
Quote:
Pyranha/P&H will be infusing their kayaks and with their techniques they've developed we'll see prepreg go away as it is cost prohibitive and not any better than a well-done infused boat.
I was aware of NovaCraft using to the process and hearing P&H would be soon is no surprise since Valley Sea Kayaks is using it already in the UK and so are a step ahead of the game there. Valley re-introduced their surf boats and are doing them as a single piece infused product (no seam).

The progress P&H had made with infuion was mostly due to Peter Orton's input and direction, he was P&H's designer. He and another fellow in the UK recently bought Valley so things in the paddling industry there are getting a bit interesting........ :wink:

There are a number of advantages to infusion over standard bagging but there are a few challenges as well when you work with lighter laminates. Under vac pressure the thin laminates don't offer a lot of resin volume flow so it's a degree of difficulty above the huge stacks used in yacht construction.

It is gaining interest though and the potential to lessen environmental impact is starting to get mentioned more as a benefit. There are still solid waste issues with peel plies and vac bagging material disposal but re-usable bags and inserts will hopefully phase out a lot of that waste.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 10:48 am 
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Location: Madison, WI
Yeah, interesting is exactly what the industry is right now. :)

Pete's departure from P&H to Valley was a bit of a surprise but they're friendly competitors (they were drinking together at the trade show in August -- then again, they're Brits :P ). The other guy at VCP (Jason) is a really good guy, adn the new stateside folks (the Shapiros) are good folks too.

Wenonah/CD reuses their bags quite a bit (5 or 6 times, I think), and the sealing system on their molds is really cool and generates no waste.

Bell is experimenting with infusion...we'll see what they come up with. It's nice to see people playing around with stuff (like P&H using prepreg) even if it doesn't make it to market. Rumor has it that Bell produced a very light little boat with their test run.

Better get back to work...it's almost slow enough for me to start reading the myccr regularly. :-)

Cheers, DB

_________________
Darren Bush
Rutabaga Paddlesports, Madison, WI
www.rutabaga.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 11:21 am 
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RutabagaDarren Interesting times indeed !!

Had a beer and a chat with Peter and his Mrs this past Saturday. They were on a bit of a holiday here on the Island to check out the surf conditions on the West Coast.

They mentioned things with P&H were quite friendly which is great to see really considering they are competitors but the industry has a number of similar rivalries...... some not so pleasant though ! :lol:

I toured CD when they were still here in Canada and know what you mean about the sealing system, inflated tubing, what a neat idea. CD's move to the US has changed some loyalties here in the West but I expect they will do quite well regardless.


All the best,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2005, 11:14 am 
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Location: Grand Marais, MN
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If you dig up the pic's I'd be interested in seeing them.


I looked all over my hard drive and couldn't find them. I think I left them on my old work computer. I left there over a year ago, but ... I'll drop a friend a line and see if my old folder is still on the hard drive.

I've seen the infused Necky boats and they are very light and strong. You can stand on the deck and jump up and down without too much effect. I don't remember the exact weight, but it was very light. I had a Chatham on order, but I left my life in sporting goods before it would have arrived, so I canceled it.

It's been awhile since they started doing this, and now that I recall, I believe that they originally had the kayaks built in one of the major aircraft manufacturers. Maybe Boeing. Who's based in Washington?

Hey, Darren. I think we've crossed paths a few times before. I'd love to get a Bell Magic that is lighter than my 32 pound Charliefuse vacuumed bagged epoxy layup. It would be good to see what they do.

Bryan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2005, 12:21 pm 
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Bryan Thanks for the personal feedback on the Necky's. The Chatham was the only design from them that I had heard mentioned along with infusion but I suspected they would be doing other designs as well.

The posted weights they have seem to indicate a slight weight reduction but it was the strength and flex of the hull & deck that interested me. Your mention of deck deflection under load was helpful (hope you were in sock feet :lol: ).

I expect they are using vinylester which adds a lot to flex and is available in lower viscosities to assist with the process. The lighter lamination stacks make infusion interesting because of the reduced flow so low a volume imparts.

From what I heard they are being done in Anacortes, Wash but the Boeing connection was news to me. I'm looking into that now though and will share what I find if you are interested in hearing more about it.


Thanks again for the feedback.......... :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2005, 2:55 pm 
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It's Stoddard International that is doing the kayaks.

http://stoddardintl.com/

They make parts for Boeing.

You can learn more about the process at Necky. I found a link about the process. Go to the Chatham page and click on the purple "Necky R&D Advanced Composite Construction" logo. Sorry, I can't figure out the direct link.[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2005, 4:17 pm 
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BryanIf we had a "thumb's up" smiley to choose from I'd insert a few here for you.

Interesting read although the link to Stoddard is focused on aircraft parts and I couldn't find mention of kayaks but no matter. I know where they are and will plan a trip down there in the next while if visits are permitted.

Thanks again for the link and input.... :wink:



All the best,


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