Re: 3 MM hull?

Posted by Kyle T on Mar 2, 2005

Please remember these will be Florida boats optimized for one race. There is no rough bay to play in and no rock gardens to crash into. None of the racers have experience in that kind of stuff and would be terrified to take a kayak out in any kind of rough water. The intended use of the boats is for a 300-mile race through protected waters, rivers and swamps. There is always a possibility of holing a boat on a submerged limb or scraping on oysters (the very thought of that makes you cringe doesnít it?). The same things that could happen to any boat in the race. In my experience with these kinds of races the kayaks always get more damage during the multiple miles of portage than when being paddled.

BTW- My 17LT came in at 41 LBS as my first build. I'm shooting for just under 50 LBS for these tandems which should be easily attainable even after adding strategic supports or extra glass. I will not even be installing hatches because they add weight and storage space will not be required. I'm planning on 4-panel hulls with a 23-inch beam so the panels will not be overly wide.

My 20' strip built tandem fully outfitted is under 48 LBS. It uses 3/16 thick strips that got sanded down much thinner. There is no way that 1/8 plywood is not stronger than those strip panels. The seams will be no more nor no less likely to incur damage than a boat built with 4mm panels. Iím most concerned with the possibility of flex in the bottom panels that might slow them down. Fortunately, that area can be readdressed after testing the boats. If we feel that they are flexing significantly under our feet and seats we will add an additional layer of something.

I am one of those people that duly note the risks then determine if those risks are acceptable (or not) and if acceptable (to me) I proceed at full speed ahead. Even though there are few 3mm S&G kayaks it seems that there have been enough built with no issues that I am quite at ease with the prospect of building my own. In my mind the safety aspect of using the 3mm panels is not in question.

Thanks to everyone that had input. Iíll let you know how itís going when I get further along into the project.

Kyle T

In Response to: 3 MM hull? by Kyle T on Feb 28, 2005