Transparent boats

Inland paddling
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Andy jacko
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Transparent boats

Post by Andy jacko »

Why can we not get transparent boats made from transparent plastic?
Is there some chemical reason why the plastic can't be made transparent?

I can see several advantages:
-You would be able to see where you have packed things.
-It would look cool!

I can also see some problems:
-Harder to see the boat in whitewater if its floating away.
-The plastic might be made weaker.

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Rockrat
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Post by Rockrat »

Not so sure about why we can't get them. Perhaps it like why there is trouble getting black boats. There's so much pigment in the plastic to colour it, it isn't that strong. However Pyranha have developed a new method i think to product black Seven-O's. This is why the old white dancers use to hole through quite quickly.

There's sometimes a picture in Canoe Focus or CKUK of a transparent boat by the sea. Perhaps try contacting some manufacturers for their opinions.
Iain Robinson
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God
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Post by God »

However it would be rather more of a problem if you forgot your shorts.

Giggle.

Jak

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waverley610
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oh but you can..

Post by waverley610 »

Nepali kayak; transparant and folds into a backpack for a mere £ 2,700.00

http://www.clearbluehawaii.com/products ... apali.html

Jon Wood
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Post by Jon Wood »

clear blue hawaii make two transparent boats, one a folding kayak, the other a rigid canoe. They may look nice fresh out of the packaging and in a Hawaii photoshoot, but I doubt they will look like that after a season in the UK. And I don't suppose these designs have the 'cool' effect you are looking for. There is also a list of 'do nots' to protect your precious craft- basically don't let it touch anything other than water (that's no seal launches!), don't drip sunscreen on it (not always a problem in the UK), don't leave in the sun.
The boats also have specific cleaning instructions (yeh, right).

The canoe model uses polycarbonate (i.e its a floating riot shield); it would be interesting to see how it performs down a rapid!

Jon

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Daffers
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Post by Daffers »

Looking at the boat - it does look quite cool, but if sunnier climates you'd get nice sunburn if you weren't careful I'd guess!
JP Lives Forever

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Rockrat
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Post by Rockrat »

It'd be like paddling a greenhouse in the summer!!!
Iain Robinson
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DannyT
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Post by DannyT »

Aye, but it would be amazing!

I'd have one.

Pete
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Re: Transparent boats

Post by Pete »

Andy jacko wrote:Wacko Jacko- By the way I'm no relation of Andy Jackson the Scottish paddler, Andrew Jackson who runs Kaykojacko, Eric Jackson, Michael Jackson or Janet Jackson.
Any relation to Cowley from the Professionals AKA Gordon Jackson?

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Jim
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Re: Transparent boats

Post by Jim »

The basic flatwater spec. white translucent boats are about as close as you are likely to get to transparent in polyethylene. The main problem with these boats is that the plastic contains no UV inhibitors so they get brittle if left out in the sun (or after a few years of normal outdoor use), much sooner than coloured boats which have UV inhibitors in the pigment. Coloured boats do go the same way in the end.

I suspect it's not possible to make clear polyethylene in the sort of grade required for boats (price might be an issue?), plastics that are available in clear include ABS (perspex I think is ABS), Polycarbonate and Lexan. The manufacturing processes for these plastics are different to those used for kayaks so it would require a technology change for the factories.

Anyway, I'm not really sure I want people to see what I'm up to inside my boat :D

JIM
Andy jacko wrote:Why can we not get transparent boats made from transparent plastic?
Is there some chemical reason why the plastic can't be made transparent?

I can see several advantages:
-You would be able to see where you have packed things.
-It would look cool!

I can also see some problems:
-Harder to see the boat in whitewater if its floating away.
-The plastic might be made weaker.

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James T
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Scratches

Post by James T »

With the amount of scratches boats pick up it wouldn't stay transparent for very long.

I stayed at a hotel in the Cook Islands which had a clear plastic canoe you could take out to view the coral reefs. Despite only being used on flat (lagoon) water, storing it on a sandy beach had already begun to take its toll.

JT
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Richard Moss
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Transparent boats and plastic degradation

Post by Richard Moss »

The old translucent dancers and mirages etc. probably became brittle because of a lack of pigment. The more transparent the plastic, the greater the pentration of ultraviolet rays. The formulators of polyethylene resins actually add carbon black to improve resistance to ultraviolet light induced degradation. They can also add antioxidant packages which effectively delay (but can't totally prevent) the onset of degradation.

I would imagine that the reason it is difficult to obtain black boats is due to lack of customer demand (I wouldn't want one).

The compromise for the various additive packages is that additives that increase durability come at a cost, which will figure in the retail price; their presence in greater quantities may have adverse effects either on the manufacturing/moulding process or the physical properties of the finished product.

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mharrall
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Post by mharrall »

Why cant they used transparent aluminum like they do in startrek?

Martin

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SteveJ
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Transparent Aluminum

Post by SteveJ »

Why cant they used transparent aluminum like they do in startrek?
Because they haven't invented it yet. It all a case of understanding the dynamics of the material.

On a more realistic note perspex would be hopeless. If you scratch perspex and then give it a minor tap it breaks. That's how you cut it. So any run down a WW River with a perspex kayak you would end up with two boats for the price of one and probably nice big slinters in your nether regions.

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maryinoxford
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Post by maryinoxford »

I read a discussion about transparent boats on a folding kayak forum. One contributor from Florida commented, "If there's an alligator beneath me, I'd rather not know about it."
Mary

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