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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I managed to get my hands on an Avon Pro to test for a few days. When I unloaded it from the bed of my pick up, I couldn't help but notice how light it felt compared to my 14' NRS Otter. I inflated both boats, removed the thwarts, then picked them up with the hoist in my shop hanging off a scale. Even though the Avon is 16 feet, and has more seam tape and chafing strips, it weighs the same as my 14' NRS boat.

I don't know what fabric NRS uses, but its way heavier than the original Hypalon that Avon used. I have a hunch NRS is using that same heavy fabric that Riken used that made their boats handle like such pigs.

I think the original Avon fabric was Hypalon coated on both sides, and it seems like I read somewhere that NRS fabric has some kind of neoprene on one side? At any rate, it seems neither NRS or Hyside are using anything that is really even close to original Hypalon in terms of weight? My question is, is there something comparable to the old Avon Hypalon fabric available, like a different spec or grade of the stuff NRS and Hyside use? Any

I'm in the process of designing and building a new custom 16' boat, inspired by the design of the Pro, and if the NRS and Hyside production fabrics are the only things available in rubber, I think it makes more sense to go with plastic. Their fabrics are way too heavy.
 

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I don't think there is anything like the Hypalon Avon used. That being said I'm surprised you would be throwing shade at NRS/Hyside "Hypalon" and then jump strait to plastic in lieu. The NRS Otters use a lighter fabric if that's what you are after. I imagine they'd make an Expedition design with Otter fabric for you too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think there is anything like the Hypalon Avon used. That being said I'm surprised you would be throwing shade at NRS/Hyside "Hypalon" and then jump strait to plastic in lieu. The NRS Otters use a lighter fabric if that's what you are after. I imagine they'd make an Expedition design with Otter fabric for you too.
The Otter fabric is heavier than the Avon fabric. I'm not dissing NRS, I own one of their boats. I'm just saying, what they are using really can't be compared to Hypalon. Its way, way heavier.
 

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Doesn't really have anything to do with new vs old just base fabric and denier. Avon used a nice fabric that had good strength to weight ratio. NRS uses Orcca from France. Other boats used hypolon from DuPont. My Rogue is triple rapped and uses a heavy hypolon. Its 100lb heavier then any 18ft boat built today or back then. The fabric Riken used didn't have anything to do with how they handled ,boat design has more to do with that.
 

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There’s a lot to discuss here. Suffice it to say that the Penel Orca fabric in unrelated to any of the several CSM fabrics used by Riken.

I do not know the weight or base denier of the Avon fabric, but by all accounts it was high quality, and plenty durable, certainly on par with any current proprietary CSM offerings.

I think the weight differences of particular boats boils down to design and where/how much armoring there is.

For me, boat base weight isn’t really a consideration for me. Choosing one Hypalon boat vs another would never come down to a weight difference of even 20lbs. I’d be choosing a boat based on design and features long before weight becomes a factor.
 

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Hyside 16 Pro vs Aire 160DD is a difference of 20# heavier for the Hyside. Doesn’t seem like much for a 16’ boat.

I agree with Roseldo and Bootboy. Is that little bit of extra weight that big of a deal? on my last grand trip I bet I had 1500lbs+ of gear, food, ice, beer, water, firewood and people in my rig, what’s another 20lbs weight spread evenly throughout the rubber

If the issue is the weight you have to drag around when it’s rolled up then lift with your legs I guess.


Also, for what it’s worth, I noticed the Hyside comes with four thwarts and the Aire has none. I assume they include the thwarts in the overall weight? If so there’s the difference
 

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Hypalon was the DuPont trademark for chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) synthetic rubber.

Hypalon was discontinued by DuPont in 2009/10 and is now sold under its slightly different formula and new name "CSM" or Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene Rubber or the remarketed version of the old Hypalon using an additional layer of neoprene (cr) so the new chemical formulation is csm/cr.

As mentioned, NRS now uses Orca fabric coated with chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CP).

Weight and performance differences vary with manufacturer and the base fabric used (denier as well as coating).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hypalon was the DuPont trademark for chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) synthetic rubber.

Hypalon was discontinued by DuPont in 2009/10 and is now sold under its slightly different formula and new name "CSM" or Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene Rubber or the remarketed version of the old Hypalon using an additional layer of neoprene (cr) so the new chemical formulation is csm/cr.

As mentioned, NRS now uses Orca fabric coated with chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CP).

Weight and performance differences vary with manufacturer and the base fabric used (denier as well as coating).
I think the weight of the fabric is important in a couple of ways. I think the heavier fabrics have different characteristics in the way they flex and how pliable they are, and that definitely affects the way the boat handles, and how stiff it is, how much it flexes going through holes and punching waves, etc. While 20 or 40 pounds of difference in the overall boat weight might not be super noticeable, all the other factors I just mentioned are.
 

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There seems to be a tendency to imbue old boat designs, fabrics and coatings with almost mythical properties; but for the latter there has been decades of technological development. So I'd be inclined to give the chemical engineers and raft makers some credit here, because behind the comparable performance aspects we end-users perhaps laud most there are also major considerations/trade-offs in the material sciences regarding durability, degradability, and/or say resistance to UV damage.
 

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There seems to be a tendency to imbue old boat designs, fabrics and coatings with almost mythical properties; but for the latter there has been decades of technological development. So I'd be inclined to give the chemical engineers and raft makers some credit here, because behind the comparable performance aspects we end-users perhaps laud most there are also major considerations/trade-offs in the material sciences regarding durability, degradability, and/or say resistance to UV damage.
I would tend to agree and don't really see the new boat materials as 'hypalon knockoffs' as much as new products developed as technology and health/safety standards have evolved.
 

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There seems to be a tendency to imbue old boat designs, fabrics and coatings with almost mythical properties; but for the latter there has been decades of technological development. So I'd be inclined to give the chemical engineers and raft makers some credit here, because behind the comparable performance aspects we end-users perhaps laud most there are also major considerations/trade-offs in the material sciences regarding durability, degradability, and/or say resistance to UV damage.
I would take an NRS boat any day of the week over a PVC boat (I have both), but there may be more to it than technological development. It might just make better economic sense to make it the way they do now?

I own an Avon from '87 and a hyside from the early 2000s and the hyside has some design improvements but my unqualified opinion is that the Avon material just feels better and more supple despite being 20 years older.

I think the old fabric is better but not because I'm nostalgic about the old fabric... I've only owned these boats recently.

Just my 0.02
 

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Avon developed their process called calendering , where the fabric was sprayed onto both sides with hypalon rubber ; and then run through rollers , so as to force the rubber into and thru their fabric ;creating a composite. Other manufactures would try to use a heavier / tighter weave fabric and just coat both sides ; thinking that it would be stronger. These were prone to having bubbles appear as the boat aged. Also variations of polyester vs nylon threads were also incorporated by other manufactures . stretch vs. stiffness . I don't think that any tried a rip stop material that was popular for a while in outdoor fabrics. I think that Avon style boats are still available through Zodiac , under the name of Mil-Pro , If you are willing to pay and to wait.
 
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