Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,107 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
creekers

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.

S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
boat quality

Word. I would gladly pay $200, $300, even $400 more to get a boat made like the old days. I've been kayaking for 15 years and the boat quality has gone to hell at all companies. I am not knowlegable enough to know exactly why, but from what I understand bake times are too short and there is less plastic. Even 2-3 lbs can make a difference.

I used to get 300 days plus out of a boat...now it can be as short as 10.

I think all companies should go back to cross link the old way. the way Y's were made 10 years ago. And if you swim your boat should still not break. I dropped a fully loaded Y (1999 model) with 50 days on the river off a 200 ft vertical cliff in New Zealand. No sliding...a dead freefall. The boat directly hit rock at probably damn near terminal velocity. Not only did it not break, the dent popped back out after a day in the sun and you could barely even tell it happend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
844 Posts
So what plastic is my Pyrana Micro bat 230 made out of? I have had the boat for years but sadly have not used it much as having a couple of kids got in the way of my boating.

Before that, I had a Wavesport MicroX I bought new in 95. Never broke it but the only class V I ran back when I had the Micro was Pine Creek, and I actually took my 28 gallon Jib instead! I would never get stuck in any keepers with the Jib so I was comfortable taking it anywhere. Nothing like the feel of being in a bouncing toothpick while stareing at the sky in that boat!

On a side note, I picked up a plastic welder for my motorcycles, but it will come in handy for boat adjustments!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Boat Plastics

Yeah yeah I paddle for Wave Sport, but I'm not going to try to stand up for them or any other company because you guys will just stomp all over me. Here's what I have heard about why no one uses cross link plastic anymore.

Although some people think that crosslink maybe stronger/more durable factories hate dealing with it because moulding it is such a toxic process. I've heard lots about how factory workers are always sick from the fumes and such all the time (not that a factory is sent free with linear plastic) and that working with crosslink raised a lot of health concerns. Also in the event that your boat does break you can't weld it, which can cause a lot of problems on over nighters and when waiting for a warranty boat etc. Crosslink also has a large impact environmentally as it is very difficult to recycle.


As many of you have mentioned Colorado is hard on boats, probably the worst that I've ever seen. My best advice to you would be to take a grinding wheel to all your local runs and make the rocks smooth ;-)

Kelsey Thompson
www.atlantickayaker.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Well, health and environmental concerns are certainly good reasons. WRT to recycling though, I wonder if you consider 10 broken linear plastic boats to 1 cross link, if the environmental/recycling issue is worth it.

On a side note, I don't know what all manufacturers do, but it seems Dagger & LL require you to cut the serial # out of your boat when it is warrantied, thus creating a giant hole in your boat. This seems like a shame as surely many of these hulls could be patched up and one could get some more life out of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
There are definitely better plastics out there.

As far as I know, all the boatmakers use polyethylene (PE). Prijon and Eskimo can use higher density PE in a blow molding process, but it's still PE. Jackson is using crosslink, but it's still PE.

**sidenote: The best layman's description of crosslink vs. conventional PE that I've heard: regular PE at a molecular level is like a plate of spaghetti, where the molecular strings can slide between each other. Crosslinked PE has most of the noodles bonded to their neighbors in a fundamental (and non-recyclable, non-weldable) way. Linking the strands makes the material tougher, which is what you want, but there are costs.

Anyway, there's a lot of other plastics besides PE. At less than a buck a pound for retail HDPE, I can't imagine that hull materials are more than 5-10% of the cost of your boat. There seems to be a lot of room for materials improvement.

I say that while being astounded at the abuse these boats are able to take, despite having destroyed yet another one this summer. I busted a Y back in the day too...
 

·
White R. BC
Joined
·
323 Posts
Ram Caps

I am not much of a creeker but doesn't the bow take a lot of hits? Is that where peoples boats are cracking or is it wear on the bottom. I have only had a creeker crack at near the cockpit combing which was a warrenteed design issue.

The boat makers (or someone who wants to start a small bizness) should make them available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Most of the cracks these guys are having are on the hull closer to the seat. It's the lowest point on the boat and the least likely to give when your ass hits a rock. You can weld a bow crack and have a better chance of more life for the boat since it take less hits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Although some people think that crosslink maybe stronger/more durable factories hate dealing with it because moulding it is such a toxic process. I've heard lots about how factory workers are always sick from the fumes and such all the time (not that a factory is sent free with linear plastic) and that working with crosslink raised a lot of health concerns. Also in the event that your boat does break you can't weld it, which can cause a lot of problems on over nighters and when waiting for a warranty boat etc. Crosslink also has a large impact environmentally as it is very difficult to recycle.
In my mind, this is not a cross link/liner plastic debate as I am seeing both break. Its a old school durability vs modern creek boat durability issue. I would guess (hope) all manufactures have good working environments for their employees and take care of them. I would think they would have EPA and lawsuits if they didn't. But I would echo KSC comments on how environmentally friendly is it for their to be 3 or 4 broken boats whatever they are made of? Guess Will's yard has a kayak fence with 12 boats! Personally I would prefer just one boat that's not broken. Also I would gladly have a 5-10lb heavier boat or loose the ability to weld a kayak than have to worry about them breaking. Warranties and companies who take care of you are great, but I would give that up if I knew I could on average get 200 days out of a boat.

Kelsey, since you have ties to WS, maybe you could convince them to use some of their composite expertise (new carbon playboat) to make a their current creek boat as strong as they used to make Y's or for a really lofty goal, make it as strong as a Blunt! Instead of spending R&D $$$$ on 19lb carbon fiber play boats (which I'm not sure who would actually buy), what about composite or mesh layups like Crane mentioned? Seems like have some sort of meshing or composite weaving would be interesting approach and is applied commonly in other sports. I'm curious if this has been tried in the kayak industry ever on creek boats?

Also, this is not a Colorado issue as I've seen it happen plenty in the north west and BC, Southeast, and Cali. Almost every campfire discussion all over seems to have this same discussion, that's why I posted this thread because I would love to see manufactures give us a option for a "expedition" layup, plastic, quality, whatever that can hold up to 200 days of boating (not 200 days of swimming).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Recycling

Roy was wrong on one point. You are able to recycle both Liner and Crosslink boats. They just might not become another kayak. But, you can recycle both locally in Denver. Confluence has a boat trade in program. Call'em 303-433-3676
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
A different take.... chemistry aside...

How much has the sport of whitewater kayaking (not recreational) grown in the past 15 years? And I am speaking in terms of actual participants not boat sales.

Answer: I think that there are issues inherent to the sport that help the manufacturers stay in business. 1. We now have a quiver of boats for different purposes (play boats, creekers, river runners, etc). 2. The designs keep getting better allowing us to do more, so we replace our obsolite boats. 3. We paddle harder than we did 15 years ago... at least i think so. So we wear out boats a little faster. Think about how much more the impact was displaced over 10 feet versus 7 feet (maybe that point is a wash)....

In the end I bet that the sport/industry as a whole is not growing fast enough to keep manufactures in a super profitable position unless they get our repeat business.

Also what about lexan? that stuff should be cheap pretty soon?
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top