Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder if ?      
       

Stan is one of those "there has to be a better way !!" people.

That's why he was the first in South Africa to vacuum bag a kayak many years back. He achieved a unbelievable finished weight of 6.2kg for a K1 using Kevlar and Airex core along with a epoxy resin. This boat ended third at world marathon championships.

Today he has turned to vacuumed resin infusion. He started with complex shapes for a challenge and now is doing the much simpler ICF kayak shape. At this stage on a white-water boat were coming in at a 100gram difference in hulls out the mould which is the key to great boats.

He is developing a similar system for kayak paddles to ensure optimal quality.

His "fetish" for machinery has resulted in a kayak workshop with the following:

1.82" Colchester lathe

2.Myford ML7 lathe.

3.Delta Lathe

4.Milling machine.

5.Deckel engraver

6.Metal bender.

7.DoAll band saw.

8.3 ton press

9.Tool and cutter grinder.

10. 2 x 60 l/minute Welsch vacuum pumps

     2 x 160 l/minute Welsch vacuum pumps

11. Sand blasting set up. 

12. Plasma cutter.

All of the above allows us to do most machinery things in-house. 

We invested in a large walk in oven to cure our paddles in with a programmable heat thermostat to ensure proper cure and post cure which is essential in producing parts made using epoxy.In fact all our small parts go into this oven regardless of which resin was used as the benefits are huge.

We at this stage are in the process of designing and building a similar oven to take up to a K2 kayak as we believe so strongly in heated cures.

 

Just "quickly sucking some resin in" ala resin infusion, note the laminate is dry at this stage , with vacuume bagging the laminate would  already have resin in it. Having done both I would say under most circumstances infusion is the better of the two, but there are exceptions.

The man shown here was Laurence, sadly he passed away, a man with the utmost pride in building boats and paddles, each time we tried something new he would arrive at - 05h00 to get it out of the mould like a child at Christmas opening a present,smiling , smiling ! 

How I miss him.

 

Why Vectran for kayaks?

Quite a few who dont know how to cut vectran call it JUNK !

For some strange reason its those are who have not been able to successfully cut it in cloth form, to say the least it is frustratingly DIFFICULT.

Working with it is difficult as you have a small window of oportunity to trim it as it cures in the mould, miss that period and you can’t trim it.

But what you get in a kayak laminate is well worth all the hassles.

Vectran, these fibers are noted for superior properties in comparison to Kevlar namely:

Vectran is a polyester based liquid crystal fiber manufactured by Hoechst. The molecular chains of the polymeric crystal liquid as the polyester present a natural propensity for the molecular alignment. Although the Vectran presents a modulus very similar to the Kevlar is thanks to this alignment that Vectran presents better flex and abrasion resistance.

It has a:

1. Higher modulus;

2. Higher strain;

3. High abrasion resistance;

4. High dimensional stability;

5. High cut resistance;

6. High adheasion qualities;

Naturally we offer both to allow you to choose what you prefer.