Puffin Design Print E-mail

Puffin Design

The Puffin Kayaks represent a new generation in folding boat design and draw on over 30 years of varied experience.

Three basic elements interact to form the Puffin's structure:

    * The skin is the outside cover that "keeps the water out". It is made of woven synthetic fabric coated with polyurethane. A heavy duty fabric forms the boat bottom, and lighter fabric is used for the sides. Stress points are reinforced for years of trouble free use.

    * The frame is made of anodized structural aluminum tubing with a combination of high strength and corrosion resistance.

    * Between skin and frame in the sides are inflatable tubes that act as flotation and give tension to the skin. These relatively large diameter tubes also help stiffen the boat. To tolerate the working pressure, the tubes have a strong fabric outer surface laminated to durable polyurethane film to form two separate air holding cells on each side of the kayak.

Puffins share the excellent seats that were developed for Pakboats touring kayaks (XT and Quest). Each seat is suspended between cross bars in front and back. Over the front cross bar is an inflatable bladder that provides adjustable thigh support. Both seat and back band have a surface of 3-dimensional woven mesh that provides air circulation. The seats are very comfortable!

Puffins have extremely simple frames. There are only three longitudinal rods - two gunwales and a keel, and a number of cross ribs that connect the longitudinal rods. To make this work we had to develop a new way to give the boat longitudinal tension. This was done by placing a "hinge" in the keel. When the keel and stems are installed in the boat, the "hinge" is at an angle. As the cross members are installed, the keel gradually becomes straight and tensions the skin. From 2014 the gunwales are also tensioned to provide additional stiffness to the hull. Side to side tension is produced by inflating the air tubes.

Placing inflatable tubes along the sides in a kayak does more than provide light-weight structure. Puffins have much more built-in flotation than other kayaks. And placing the flotation along the sides makes Puffins incredibly stable after a capsize. Two separate air cells on each side of the hull provide security in case a cell is punctured. Note: Inflatable boats have even more flotation, but their paddling performance is poor, and a similar size inflatable weighs about 50% more than a Puffin.

Puffin decks are attached with a strip of Velcro around the hull just below the gunwales. An aluminum cockpit rim provides support for a spray skirt. The separate deck makes it much easier to pack gear into the kayak. Simply remove the deck, load your gear into the boat, and reinstall the deck. If a piece of gear does not quite fit, let a little air our of the air tubes, stow the gear, and reinflate the tubes. (Make sure no sharp objects touch the inflatable parts.)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 16:35