Suggestions for inlay material?

I'm working on building my Shearwater Hybrid and I'm mulling over how to design the deck!  I have been contemplating designing my own inlay pattern.  I had once read this interesting tip, to put two stripes of marine grade reflective tape along the bottom of the boat, so if I flipped, and for some reason couldn't get back in the boat, the reflective tape would help search and rescue find me!  Obviously I don't want to be in that situation, but I like the idea of having reflective material on the boat.  The otherday it occured to me I could fuse safety with art and make the inlay with a reflective material.  My question is what materials can be used for inlay and what epoxy/ fiberglass compatiability issues do I need to be aware of?  One option I was considering was to use reflective spray paint on the wood, cut my design, then fiberglass over it?  I haven't experimented with any test pieces yet but that was the only thing I could thing that might work?  Any suggestions for good reflective materials, reviews of the readily available reflective spray paint seems to be poor, so if anyone knows of a good reflective paint that would be helpful too.  Any other thoughts/ suggestions?



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RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

copper sheets?

RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

Having had air sea rescue experience I can say that reflective material will be of very little help. You need international orange! If you are unable to get back in your boat the sea state is probably going to be such that air rescue will not see anything reflective in daylight and air sea rescue is seldom carried on a night. A strobe lite will be MUCH more visible at night for any sea surface rescue effort. Practice those braces and rolls and and you hopefully wont have to worry about being rescued. SEEYA Jack 

RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

You could always perform an experiment with reflective tape or decals to see if the epoxy adheres properly and doesn't damage the finish. Get a piece of scrap board, lay down some material and try glassing over it. I'd think some sort of reflective tape, cloth, or decal-like material overlay would be simpler than doing an inlay and would look about the same? Assuming a thin enough material.

I did all the deck rigging, hatch tie-downs, bungie cord and safety lines for a 17 LT using relective strap, bungie and rope that I got from a site called 'Reflectively yours". They carry all sorts of other eflective materials that might work.

I'm afraid it would look a little odd to my eyes over a nice stripped deck. Unless the perhaps the deck itself was built from reflective strips:) I'd be interested to see it though....


RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

The only thing reflective markers are used for is for other boats to see you at night so they dont hit you.  When talking to some "Coastie" resquers, they laughed at me when I mentioned that my yaks were of bright colors, or my paddle had reflective paint.  Your best defense is a good offense,.. good paddling sense and skil.

RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

Hmm, personally, I can't see anything wrong with trying to be as visible as possible. This is the one thing about a beautiful wooden boat that does seem sub-optimal to me. If I am in a channel with a bunch of possibly inebriated jet-skis, cigarette boat morons etc. I wouldn't mind having a bright yellow hull one bit. Even if it is a soulless piece of plastic.

At night, of course the proper use of lights is essential for visibility, or for signaling in an emergency. But reflective material stands out rather well when it is illuminated by spotlight by comparison with a dark wooden hull.

Many accidents are the result of a long chain of seemingly unimportant occurances, any number of which taken on another day, at a slightly different angle, a split second earlier or later would never result in tragedy. Sometimes it is just that little last second flicker of awareness that allows someone to react and provides for the miss, where everyone has the chance to think about what could have happened, rather than deal with the consequences when it does happen.

As far as I'm concerned, every little bit helps:)

RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

Many plastic kayaks come with reflective tape on them, used like pinstriping. Rather than try to build the material under epoxy and varnish, I would just tape over the finished boat and not worry about it. Reflective tape is needed for paddling at night to help become visible to other boaters. At the same time stay away from channels day and night. When necessary, you have to cross them but get it overwith and get yourself into a safe area from boaters.

In daytime, the best thing for visibility in a kayak is an orange flag. These can be seen from far away. May be hard to believe but a banana yellow kayak is not easy to see on the waters surface in many conditions. The flag raised a couple/few feet is best.

RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

Thanks for all the suggestions! Hmmm Lots to ponder!  The basic theme I'm going for is to use 2-3 dark cedar strips all along the edge of the deck, then fill the rest of the hull with the lightest cedar.  On the light cedar, perhaps some custom inlay celtic knot designs. I found one webpage advertising silica bead reflective paint, in white/green/gold etc. My initial though had been to use green stain for the celtic knot design, but then was contemplating this reflective paint?  I agree though, it could look really wierd?  As for reflective tape it seems no matter where/how you put it on the beautiful wood it's going to look out of place?  On the other hand, I agree every little bit helps, so in the end perhaps I will still try to integrate some reflective tape?  I like the idea of reflective deck lines, but are they actually very reflective?

I'll post pics when it get's anywhere close to done :)  I'm still glassing the hull, and daydreaming about the deck.




RE: Suggestions for inlay material?

I think the reflective deck rigging is useful. It does not do much in daylight. But when it is hit by any sort of spotlight in the dark, it stands out very well. Especially when compared to having nothing. This is the same sort of material that makes road markers and signs stand out when illuminated by headlights at night.

Using reflective rope for safety lines also allows some hope that the shape of the boat, and the direction of motion can be determined if you are hit by a light.

If you are going to put deck rigging on anyway, I don't see how it can hurt. And it doesn't otherwise interfere or clash with the basic appearance of the boat. 


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Познакомлюсь с щедрым приятелем для серьезных встреч,!!! Интим не предлогать но и не терять надежды ! Убедительная просьба в ранние часы не звонить и не задрачивать по пустикам !!!! телефон найдете тут же

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