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Old 08-15-2008   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
Cracked creek boats can manufactures produce expedition layup?

There has been a lot of discussion on here about cracked creek boats and the frustration it causes. I would imagine that frustration is all around as it can't be economical for the manufacture and shop to deal with broken boats as well. Personally I've seen just about every brand/model of modern creek boats (Blunts and Y's don't count) cracked in the past year or so and I don't think any manufacture is immune to this.

I'm curious if it would be possible for kayak manufacture's to produce "expedition" layup creeks boats? Personally I get tired of getting 40-80 days out of current creek boats compared to 200+ of the old designs (Blunt or Y for example). IMO for the type of kayaking I do, I would gladly pay extra for a heavy duty layup that lasted substantially longer, even if it was 5-10 extra lbs. I guess I'm looking for the durability of say a Blunt in a more updated design.

I'm curious:
-If this is possible from a manufacturing perspective? Would 5-10 extra lbs in plastic greatly improve durability?

-If anyone else besides me is looking for something like this as at least an option?

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Old 08-15-2008   #2
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Posts: 911
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TK... I can only speak for Jackson on this topic. EJ is crazy about cross link plastic (exactly what the Y) was made of. Cross link is 30% more cost to us... and it's tinsel strength is rather impressive (its the only material underground fuel tanks can be made of for example). But that being said, blunt force impact (boat full of water after a swim for instance and slamming into rocks) is going to blow open any boat... period.

We had a rash of bad boats last year that we are warranty'ing with no question. It's unfortunate, but the truth, and we stand by our products.

The issue had more to do with cooking times then anything else. Cross linking is as much as process (exact heat required to get molecuels to actually "cross link") as an actual material difference.
I am by no means an expert... actually far less than that, but I did ask your question at one point internally and it was explained that thickness "may" help a bit, but once you have a certain thickness, adding more isn't a 1 to 1 benefit. Another way to say that twice the thickness is by no means going to last twice as long or twice as strong. It was also explained that potentially to the contrary... if it's too thick, that can become too brittle...

This is a pretty lame description, i am sure some huge brained engineerd buzzard can get much better, but I am not far off.

Bottom line get products from brands that stand behind their warranty. There are a couple out there and some do very well.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 08-15-2008   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Amen! Had a long conversation about this on the way to the river after I got less than 50 river days on my 3rd creeker in a row. What you are asking for is a creekboat that can handle the typical creek bed, ie rocks. Colorado mank is certainly a rough test on creekboats, but I don't think that it is unreasonable to want a creek boat that can stand the test. Prijon / eskimo boats seem to hold up a lot longer, and older models that had different plastic held up well too. The new boats break way too easy.

If prijon would make a decent creeker (hated the hercules / embudo / creeker 225), they would have a best seller. Give me my nomad in prijon plastic and I'm set. I have heard so many people echo the same sentiments... if prijon would just make (nomad / jefe etc) I would love it!

In my mind, manufacturers have sacrificed strength for weight and ease / cost of manufacture. Most manufacturers boats do not have the hull strength to take rock hits and crack quickly. Bummer.

I think its possible from a manufacturing perspective, but I think the key question there is economics.
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Old 08-15-2008   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
Old WS crosslink v. Jackson crosslink

Now I am no chemist, but the Jackson crosslink is not the same stuff that Wavesport used to make boats out of in the good old days. I don't know if it is the chemical composition, or the thickness, or the molding process, but it is not the same. On the other hand, they do seem to have great customer service, so I would but one on that basis if they made a creeker design that I liked. Just saying, how come nobody (except Prijon) can make a creeker that is as durable as the old crosslink Ys.

Rant over.

PS- shame on WS from switching from the best plastic in the industry to the worst.
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Old 08-15-2008   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 84
Thx Marty. Interesting about cooking times and thicknesses. I was not trying to imply that double thickness gave twice the durability.

I was trying to keep this manufacture neutral, as I have seen issues with every brand (Jackson boats from this year included). I think from a boat performance perspective, manufactures are going the right way and give us a lot of options, which is awesome! Durability wise, I'm not sure if I could say that. A warranty and good company only goes so far in a big, remote, canyon.

Maybe durability is cooking related for all brands? I'm far more ignorant on the kayak production process, which is part of why I'm asking this question to try and learn and understand what is/isn't possible. Almost every campfire this year has included this discussion/debate. Could the industry to build a 200 day boat? If you could charge more $$$, add plastic, more durable pillars, different seat, added material, etc, could it be done? If so, what would be the trade off's and would paddlers find it worth while?
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Old 08-15-2008   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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I've never heard of a paddler in Colorado who hasn't had this dream: a modern creek boat design with more durable plastic. I think most people would drop extra $ for such a boat in an instant. I have definitely gravitated towards manufacturers with a reputation for good customer service because of this, but even with a warranty it's a major pain in the ass. You have the issue of dealing with a cracked boat on the run and then you're usually left without a boat for a while (usually during the middle of the season).

From talking with people, the best I can gather as to why this hasn't happened is that there's just not much money to be made from selling creekboats. The result is nobody wants to invest in the technology to build a bomber boat. I'm told that the machinery Prijon uses for their plastic is extremely costly and I guess there are patent issues involved as well. I have no idea what happened to the good old Wavesport crosslink plastic. It does seem to be a problem of economics, not technology.

It would be great to hear from an expert on the subject though.
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Old 08-15-2008   #7
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 254

i hear you KSC, but am not with you 100% - i don't see this as a new "technology problem", or economic induced technology problem, as you describe.

- i mean, my old old rpm seemed like it would never break. granted in my rpm i was learning and did not take the abuse that more technical stuff does. but even still, doesn't seem like the change was technology, or requisite economic input.

they already did make bomber boats out of bomber plastic. they just weren't modern designs. is there something with the new modern designs that made it easier to make with crappier plastic, or are we back to teh conspiracy theory that the manufacturers make crappy boats so they can sell you a new one every season?

anyways, anyone want to share shuttle on bailey for sat.? - 10:30 takeout? steve - 303-913-1350.

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Old 08-15-2008   #8
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 221
does anybody know if there has been any testing to see if additions of somesort of "meshing" or flexable skeleton has been done during the molding process?

they use fiberglass strands in concrete pooring to increase strength and decrease cracking. if there was material out there that is flexible and could with stand the process of baking/ cooling, why not? i dont think it would help at all for the "wearing down" of plastic, but i do think it would help with the strength of it.

it may not solve the problem completly, but if it could increase the amount of days out of a boat with minimal cost and weight added to current designs, it may be worth a try. FYI, i am not an engineer or plastic expert, just a kayaker.
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Old 08-15-2008   #9
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 72
As a chronic boat abuser and breaker who runs broken 'bitched' boats on all roadside runs, and reserves new plastic for times that a breakage would be really inconvenient, I would gladly pay extra for a beefed up hull.

I would be stoked on a boat weighing up to 10 extra pounds. These things paddle better when loaded anyways.

Sadly, I've broken 5 boats in two years and upwards of 12 since '02.

We want tougher plastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 08-15-2008   #10
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 155
Originally Posted by thecraw View Post
TK... I can only speak for Jackson on this topic. EJ is crazy about cross link plastic (exactly what the Y) was made of. Cross link is 30% more cost to us... and it's tinsel strength is rather impressive (its the only material underground fuel tanks can be made of for example).
How come they break like my grandmother's china bein' stepped on by a pissed off ungulate?

Paddle Prijon or Eskimo, or keep the roofing sealant companies in business.

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