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PostPosted: July 12th, 2009, 12:33 pm 

Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1822
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
I’m getting ready to add minicell knee “bumpers” to two more of our boats. I have knee bumpers installed in most of our larger tripping solos, but we did a trip with the Mad River Freedom Solo and the Mohawk Odyssey recently and the edge of my knees surely missed the comfort of a little padding inboard of the inwale.

The cross section of the Freedom Solo is especially evil; there is a protruding half-round lip along the top of the inwale that serves no purpose except to press against the ligaments in the soft area between my kneecap and legbone, which would make an excellent enhanced interrogation technique.

Same thing on our Vermont-era Explorer, although the protrusion is more sharpish squareish than half round.

Mohawks at least have a flat-sided inwale edge with slightly radiused corners. Same for Old Town and Wenonah vinyl gunwales, though with slight differences in the sharpness of the inwale edges.

Latter iterations of some Dagger canoes had an almost oval shape, with the machine screws dropped inside the inwale channel and the access holes atop the inwale covered with plastic caps. It was a nice, clean looking vinyl gunwale and surprisingly knee comfortable. (Although the caps popped off if not glued in place, and it was awkward to deal with if moving seats or thwarts).

Esquif may have the most knee comfortable vinyl inwales; the top and bottom corners of the inwale are both softly rounded. I don’t recall the specifics of the inwale edge shape on other manufacturer’s vinyl gunwales, but it seems odd that they are all so slightly different, and that most are so ergonomically inelegant.

Is there one manufacturing plant somewhere in China extruding molded vinyl gunwales per each manufacturer’s spec?

PostPosted: July 12th, 2009, 5:48 pm 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1878
Thanks for the idea Mike.
Time to make two for my Shearwater.

To the Silent Places

PostPosted: July 12th, 2009, 10:39 pm 
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Joined: February 19th, 2004, 9:53 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Atlanta
Having been corrupted by whitewater kayaking, I'd like to fabricate some thigh hooks to increase control when I paddle my Mad River Guide in a seated position. Making them out of minicell with just enough fiberglass backing for stiffness seems the best option.

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