View topic - Best lightweight hull material

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PostPosted: June 24th, 2013, 6:42 pm 
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Joined: December 21st, 2007, 2:45 am
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Location: Connecticut, USA
love2paddlemore wrote:
I'm thinking of the toughness required for poling, and the example of the Millbrook poling boats, reportedly with 6 layers of S-glass and 5 layers of Kevlar. I was even thinking of the Souhegan as maybe a good all-purpose boat till I first I saw them at the National Poling Championships a month ago: very blunt stems and kind of hard chines.

To make a long story short, it seems that the DY Swift Prospector 16 might be the best choice for me.


L2pm, I'm not a poler but I'm familiar with Millbrook and have paddled the Soughegan and a Novacraft Prospector.

I think you misread the Millbrook lamination schedule. Kaz uses 6 oz S glass cloth and 5 oz Kevlar, not 6 and 5 layers of each. It's probably more like two layers of each with some reinforcements, but you can just call or email Kaz and ask.

http://www.gis.net/~johnkaz1/construc_order.htm

The Souhegan has a lot more initial stability than a Novacraft Prospector, which is wider than a slenderized Swift Prospector. (There are currently at least 31 different "Prospectors" on the market.) The Souhegan also turns more easily, and without heeling, than the Novacraft Prospector because of it's flattish bottom and rocker.

The Souhegan's blunt nose helps it to rise over and shed waves in whitewater. It seems to me like a very stable and maneuveraable poling boat and a satisfactory whitewater paddling boat, but I don't think I'd choose it as a flatwater touring canoe. The correction requires too much attention even for the proficient.

TommyC1 and Steve-in-Idaho, who I believe are members here, pole and paddle Millbrooks along with Prospectors, Explorers and Penobscots among other hulls.

As to what is the "best" lightweight hull material, that requires a definition of "best". I suppose a thin lamination of carbon-only would be the lightest -- sort of like the Hornbeck Blackjack, which also has carbon gunwales and thwarts -- but that uber-light layup may not be "best" for considerations other than weight.


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PostPosted: June 24th, 2013, 9:42 pm 
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Location: Lower Saranac Lake, NY
Swift's Guide Fusion adds S glass outers and another layer of Kev to their std , three layer sidewall Kevler laminate for a five layer hull with lots of partials in the bottom and stems. Yeah, they weigh more.

We've chatted about bringing a 17 Prospector and an Osprey rugged as a pack canoe to future on-water events as Bariatric Boats; tough enough for, say, doubling a realistic load with the accompanying lack of body control endemic to the condition.

Guide Fusion hulls should stand up fine for poling by normal sized individuals with gear.


Last edited by Charlie Wilson on June 25th, 2013, 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2013, 6:47 am 
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Thank you, Charlie, for your very specific answer to my question! Thanks also to Kim and Glenn for your responses, which also gave me things to think about and were very helpful.

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PostPosted: June 25th, 2013, 7:14 am 
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I don't know what to make of the word "bareatic" is this a condition where two are engaged in other activities in a boat (similar to acrobatic) or a play on geriatric where things get heavy and lose control?? :rofl:
Bruce, someday you gotta meet Charlie.


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PostPosted: June 25th, 2013, 9:03 am 
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Location: Lower Saranac Lake, NY
Bariatrics: The branch of medicine that deals with the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. [Am Heritage New World Dict, 5th ed.]

As in many cases we humans are at cross purposes. Lighter, stronger, better is a fine mantra, but in canoes it cannot address the array of humans desiring to paddle. At one end of the spectrum we have Hornbeck, Placid and Swift making ultralight canoes. With equal length and oputfitting all three reach about the same, ~ 20 lb weight for a small pack canoe. [At that level, price is a fair indication of strength.] Fine and dandy, but ultra light has limitations.

The 15 lb Hornbeck, sans some outfitting, or twenty pound Placid Spits or Swift Packs are fine choices for a 160 pounder who will treat them carefully. They will not stand up to a clumsy 320 pounder who tries to hop in, stumbles, falls across both rails and crushes the chine into the lake bottom. Maybe we should cast Ti canoes?

The industry is making 'em lighter and strong, but building for worst case scenarios requires going the other way. Getting folks to identify that they need more robust hulls is another issue.


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