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Old 08-27-2008   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
truck bed liner on creekboat hull???

Doing my annual "I broke my creekboat and what do I do" planning.

This time of year I get some crazy ideas for an unbreakable creekboat. Anybody ever try to put a truck bed liner type material on the bottom of a creekboat? You would essentially make a thicker hull that could potentially take a beating or even crack without cracking the main kayak hull. The thread about "expedition layup" boats that would be more heavy duty and withstand abuse got me thinking about this.

It got me thinking that there are two issues 1) watertight so you don't sink and 2) structural support and strength so you can take rock hits and abuse. It seems to me that a thin layer of plastic in the current boats doesn't do a good enough job at doing both jobs. I've tried making the boat waterproof with bitchithane, but once the boat starts cracking it seems to keep going regardless of how I drill it out or what I do to try and stop the crack. My next thought was to make a tougher hull.

I spoke with a truck bed liner guy and he told me he never thought of this application, but they do spray ons for motorboat hulls. Weight could be an issue, but they can spray on 1/8th inch think or potentially thinner.


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Old 08-27-2008   #2
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
Shoot find someone with a broken boat( or one of your own) Take it down there and then go take it on the mankiest creeks you know of.
Just think of it like product testing
It would also solve the problem of wondering if it is water tight...
To me it seems like a brilliant idea

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Old 08-27-2008   #3
niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 96
but will it stick

There are probably many others more qualified than myself to respond, but I've alway heard that this stuff won't stick to polypro due to the near constant outgas of this material. I came close to trying this (still might- I have hard plastic tubes that I could use as test patches) but again, as tough as the material is, I don't think it will bond with the material.
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Old 08-27-2008   #4
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 377
I have patched cracked boats a couple of ways, but always on the inside of the hull since rocks will scrape anything off the bottom. After roughing up the plastic, liberally apply Marine Goop about five inches around the crack. Then lay down fiberglass cloth followed by more Goop. The Fiberglass cloth gives the patch strength while remaining flexible. An electrical coating called Scotchcote works well also. I have also glued rubber from cut up heavy duty motorcycle tubes (3/16" thick") over the cracks on the inside. They are way stronger than bituthane and contact cement has better adhesion. If you are worried about appearance you can try plastic welding before patching, but any large crack will reappear. I like the liner idea, but I just do not know how it adheres and if it resists splitting. I second freexbiker's idea.
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Old 08-27-2008   #5
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Nice try. Maybe there is a different primer or prep, that might work, but it doesn't take in the normal fashion. Might be due to off gassing, as said above.

Also the stuff they spray on rafts is slipperier than raft material, but way stickier than kayak. you would not slip over rocks like you're used to.

This may well be an avenue that merits further study, but preliminary field testing was not positive.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 08-27-2008   #6
4CRS, Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 295

So if your hull is stickier it would slow you down on big slides, say like on Yule Ck., if you did not go as fast you would not hit the wall as hard and slowing down the whole run, thereby making the run on Yule like steep class III. Maybe your Rhinoliner hull could be your OBJ/Yule boat, but for creeks with water you could have a boat that has 303 impregnated into the hull to get more speed on Boofs. A Carbon Project for the Glenwood wave, and a "rock boat" for the M-Wave. 2 sledding discs epoxyed together with a cockpit so I can spin on off season shallow waves....Shit, I already have too many boats....
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Old 08-28-2008   #7
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 122
I don't know any specifics about the outgassing or sticky factors, however, I can recomend a fairly inexpensive method to try out your theory. I used some stuff called Herculiner for the tub on my Jeep. It costs like $50/gallon and you kind of just roll it on like paint. It does the job for my Jeep floor. Quadratec used to sell on mail order. Good luck with the experiment.
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Old 08-28-2008   #8
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
I wonder if you roughened up the plastic before application.
Might solve the too smooth problem. DOn't know about the outgassing
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Old 08-28-2008   #9
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 62
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I've used this method as a keel strip on a fiberglass sea kayak and it works great...i got about two seasons out of the strip before it ate through to the fiberglass at the bow...that's the biggest wear spot on an ocean boat. It would seem like a great idea except for the whole adhesion issue...the stickyness factor would also be something to consider. i'm pretty sure each company has their own formula so there might be some out there that aren't quite as sticky.

On a slightly different note, most hardware stores sell "dip-it." it's the same idea except it was designed for re-coating tool handles, maybe play with that on small test spots to see how well it sticks to different boat plastics? I used it as patching for the rhinoliner keel strip and it held up surprisingly well. it is still pretty rubbery and sticky

Good Luck

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Old 08-28-2008   #10
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 212
Seems to me this would drastically affect your boat performance. Even a thin coat would likely add a enough weight to the bottom of the boat to affect the balance and center of gravity. Also, that stuff is pretty rough and I think it would affect how the water moves over the hull. I speculate your boat speed would slow noticably and surfing might get sluggish. Lastly the friction of that material on rocks might have you getting turned over on things you might otherwise glance off. In my mind it seems like a disaster, but I am very curious what the result will be. Just my two cents.

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