When where who?

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sinorthwales
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When where who?

Post by sinorthwales » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:53 pm

Does anybody have any idea...

When, where and who the first person to make glass fibre kayaks was?

When, where and who was the first person to make plastic kayaks?

When where and who was the first person to bring plastic kayaks into the UK?

When where and who was the first person to make throw bags?
Last edited by sinorthwales on Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When where who?

Post by Chris Bolton » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:31 pm

My thoughts, happy to be corrected!

Glassfibre - possibly Alan Byde (Durham??), Frank Goodman (Nottingham), early 1960s? Commercially or as a private experiment?

Plastic - possibly 1977, USA, Perception (Mirage)

UK plastic - possibly 1977+, Ace (Mirage as above)

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Re: When where who?

Post by sinorthwales » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:43 pm

The first plastic boat into the UK was I think the Perception Mirage. I think imported by Jim Hargreaves. I don't have a year though?

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Re: When where who?

Post by Jim » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:09 pm

Someone once told me the Valetta pre-dated the Mirage.

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Re: When where who?

Post by davebrads » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:50 pm

I think the first commercial throw bag was made by Pete "Green Slime" Knowles probably as early as the mid 70s and the same design was sold until quite recently by Suzy's Sweatshop. Before that we used to make our own from 2 litre plastic bottles.

Pete was a legend from the early days of adventure kayaking, I was once told a funny story about him by a non-canoeist from when they did a PGL trip down the Dordoigne when Pete was one of the guides.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: When where who?

Post by sinorthwales » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:24 pm

when where who first WW Rescue Harness on a PFD?

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Re: When where who?

Post by Jim » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:05 pm

sinorthwales wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:24 pm
when where who first WW Rescue Harness on a PFD?
Maybe HF? They were the specialists in serious rescue kit in the 90's and maybe before

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Re: When where who?

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:57 am

Seems perception were the first to rotomould (& probably first in UK), but there were other designs before Mirage:
https://kayakdave.com/2012/10/19/the-ea ... ic-kayaks/

Fibreglass is more difficult to trace as they were initially home builds, but internet suggests late 195Os (however, some of those sources also claim first plastic was 1984!)

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Re: When where who?

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:22 pm

Interesting, Mike. Searching for more about the River Chaser led me to:

https://www.canoekayak.com/whitewater-kayak/innovators/

That dates the River Chaser to 1973, and also quotes a claim for the first fibreglass kayak in 1942. The USA might win that, Europe had other things to think about in 1942.

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Re: When where who?

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Ah, but was it a kayak or a canoe (in 1942)? The first fibreglass boats were only just being made then:
http://www.goodoldboat.com/reader_servi ... rglass.php

You can still buy new Valetas:
http://www.acecanoes.com/

& 1984 was about the time of first plastic sea kayaks.
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Re: When where who?

Post by Dave Manby » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:32 pm

When, where and who was the first person to make plastic kayaks?

1st plastic kayak made by Robin Witter of ACE in 1976 Chester. Graham Mackereth, Robin and Rodney Witter invested in developing the idea. Graham pulled out as it was eating money. The Witters persevered and we had one for the training trip around the Alps before we went to the Dudh Kosi. Shall we say it was not a performance kayak and leave it at that. The 1st production kayak was the River Chaser made in Canada in around 1978/9.
Perception then started producing plastic kayaks their first production boat was the River Runner which predated the Mirage. The Eclipse followed and was the first under 13ft plastic kayak. The dancer even shorter arrived in 1983.
There was a huge "debate" about how safe plastic kayaks were in the early days because of the chance of them wrapping around you if you got pinned. Remember that in the early ones the central pillar tended to fall over and the boats were 4m long


When, where and who the first person to make glass fibre kayaks was?

I went to a slalom at Trevor Rocks in 1967 and there were still PVK kayaks competing amongst the "new fangled" fibreglass boats. In one of the early books there is a great comment by the author about these new fibreglass boats which are a "fad and won't catch on".


When where and who was the first person to bring plastic kayaks into the UK?
Pyranha were the first company to import kayaks before Robin Witter took the franchise off Pyranha as they were ready to make the boats. Pyranha then started making their own designs the Freestyle was their first plastic boat 1983. We had the first boats out of their mold in 1983 for the Coruh River Trips.

When where and who was the first person to make throw bags?
The US had throw bags. Pete Knowles brought the idea over to the UK and sold the production to Suzy Sweatshops. 1979 i think. I remember rappelling on one of his early Polypropylene roped ones when we were portaging on the Iskut in 1979. Sketchy!

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Re: When where who?

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:25 pm

Hollowform river chasers were being used in 1974, seems they didn't have pillars (moulds later sold to Perception):
http://worldkayakblogs.com/billsblog/20 ... ayboating/
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Re: When where who?

Post by Robert Craig » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:03 pm

As to when GRP kayaks were first made, I made a GRP kayak in 1968, by taking a mould from an existing GRP boat. Presumably the existing bioat was pre-1968. I don't remember GRP being a novelty for kayaks then. [Though the GRP boat replaced a lath-and-canvas kayak which I wrote off on the Aberdeen Dee.]

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Re: When where who?

Post by Dave Manby » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:28 am


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Re: When where who?

Post by Dave Manby » Wed May 01, 2019 10:58 am

John MacLeod posted this on the UK Canoe Slalom Results page on Facebook: " Maurice made possibly the earliest fibreglass boat in UK called 'Maid of St.Helens' laid up over a skin/lath kayak. 20kg at least 💪 maybe 1961 - always contributing to the next way forward."

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Re: When where who?

Post by jmmoxon » Wed May 01, 2019 1:45 pm

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