|Pakboats Materials and Components|
Quite a few materials and components go into making the Pakboats, and we try hard to find just the right material for each application.
You might expect us to look for the stiffest aluminum material we could afford - and you would be wrong. There is no material that is stiff enough to resist damage if a canoe is pinned on a river, so we look for aluminum that will effectively resist taking permanent bends in normal use. But we want the material to bend before it breaks. And we want it to be pliable enough to straighten so parts can be repaired on the riverbank after a mishap. We think the aluminum material we are using has the right balance of stiffness and pliability.
If you will use your Pakboat in salt water, you want the boat frame to have good corrosion resistance. The aluminum alloy we use does, and in addition we are having all aluminum parts anodized. That keeps the frame looking nice, and it is more pleasant to work with it. It also helps prevent "frozen" connections in the longitudinal rods.
It will be no surprise that the bottom is exposed to a lot more abrasion than the sides. This means that we can use lighter materialfor the sides. The bottom needs abrasion resistant stuff. The abrasion resistance is in the coating, and the tear strength and tensile strength are in the woven fabirc. Besides keeping the fabric waterproof, the coating is there to protect the woven substrate so your boat will not fall apart. There is very little abrasion on the inside, so the inside coating is thin, and the outside coating is much thicker.
PakCanoes are exposed to a lot more abrasion than the kayaks, and that is why we cover the bottoms with a closed cell foam pad between skin and frame. The foam eliminates pressure points and adds an amazing amount to the abrasion resistance. To avoid adding too much to the packed size, we use a 1/4 inch thick medium density closed cell polyethylene foam material.
The keel strip is there to increase abrasion resistance. Abrasion is concentrated where the fabric rests against the aluminum frame, and these areas are reinforced with wear strips. The bottom fabric itself is very tough and only needs reinforcement along the keel. The best keel strip material is PVC film without woven fabric reinforcement.
We use medium weight polyester material with a woven diamond shaped rip-stop pattern and polyurethane coating. This stuff is dimensionally stable so the deck will always have the same fit. It is also attractive looking and very strong. We use the same material in PakCanoe spray covers.
The inflatable parts are welded in a simple and efficient welding process. The catch is that the welded seams need to be very strong, so we need the right fabric. We use a medium weight nylon fabric laminated to a sturdy, but light polyurethane film. This way we get very strong and light inflatable parts. This is a big part of the reason Puffins are so much lighter than similar size inflatables.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:35|