Renovating an old Nordkapp HM^

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nickcrowhurst
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Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:31 pm

Owen and Jim, I'm grateful for those excellent responses, which certainly fill in some gaps in my knowledge. My wariness about races started as a young lad when I read Uffa Fox's "The Crest of the Wave", published in 1939. From page 171, where he describes the result of deliberately entering the Portland Bill race:
"...and so we came to the roaring and steep breaking seas of the Race itself. These seas were really terrifying, for as all who know the Race are aware, they come in at all angles and are steep walls of water which seem intent on crashing down and overwhelming any ship that finds itself among them."
Strong stuff for a ten year old's imagination!

There are twenty three copies at abebooks, starting at £3:
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... e+wave&x=0

I'll try to PM Pelagic to elicit a reply to this thread.
Nick.

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:44 am

Hi Nick,
Interesting and I suspect very worthwhile project, in response to your PM and for what it’s worth here are my thoughts on two of the finest sea-boats ever crafted.............you can see straight away why I try to avoid this vs. that debates!
As Jim correctly points out I have been an avid fan of the HM for many years, it is still in my opinion one of the finest rough water boats ever made, however it takes a fair bit of time to get the best out of it, my own boat "Busby" was made by Frank for an expedition to Cape Horn way back and thus is a proper expedition lay-up (read heavy) this may go some way to explain its longevity, however its certainly not an unusual occurrence for me to see boats that pre-date mine. If they come from the same mould they all have a slight flaw in the bow area. Another common failing is hard spot gel coat cracks developing around the bulkheads (crazing, non fatal) and also under the seat is a noted "hard spot". After a few thousand or so drags up abrasive beaches the fixed skeg can also become a little scimitar shaped. All these wear and tear things I have fixed with glass, resin and car body filler. The first sacrificial keel strip was put on by me in 1985 for a trip to Iceland. I mistakenly used very expensive epoxy resin (I think it was WEST) I don’t remember why but anyway it was less than successful and I finished up replacing it with some monster American resin (good old polyester) on Keflavik airbase, could have been 3M, regardless it was 15 years before I felt it needed replacing, as most people who know me will probably agree I am not too particular about looking after boats and Iceland is incredibly sharp, so call that a good testament. When I did replace it finally I ground through the original gel coat (remember the first time was in a bit of a hurry) and Fozzy (El P) and I hit on the idea of using the gel coat dust as pigment for the strip, works well, -top tip!
Other than hatches at monotonously regular intervals, (read history of Valley product development chapters one through five for the low down on that one) and deck lines elastics etc. That’s really it on the maintenance side. My boat even has an original chimp deck pump that has never had a diaphragm seal or jubilee clip touched and still works perfectly.
So how do they paddle? Well I am obviously biased but to be perfectly honest I think I married these particular boats because the longer I paddle them the more I love them, and more importantly the more I discover, the more I realise that most of their failings are mine.
It needs to be said at this point that this is a little like comparing your first wife with your second, it’s a terrible minefield. There are contributors to this site than seemingly can “review “a boat after a few weeks or even days, I am not one. Neither can I write Guides after paddling past something once, for me the adventure is in the discovery.
Yes, HMs are wobbly, but you learn to love the tippyness because when it cuts up rough, it’s your best friend.
Frank made a mistake with the big skeg on the HM, it goes straight but instead of weather cocking you maybe now "keel-cock", extreme edging can overcome this (or just get a Jubilee) either way it isn’t a big problem, and is infinitely superior to some of the absolute dogs that get sold as sea-kayaks.
Yes the Jubilee is better in most respects, it feels more stable, it’s more manoeuvrable, stunningly so if you are used to an HM! It needs less extreme edge, good if you are a crusty old git like me and it can carry more beer. It also isn’t as big a hassle to get out of in a hurry. I’m thinking surf landings here, not swimming! I do still like the ocean cockpit though; it’s so handy for putting your charts and stuff where you can see them. Of course the price you pay for the manouverability is a retractable skeg, which really is the spawn of the devil....... a decent pair of rigging wire cutters and a length of skeg wire helps if you are forgetful...........and it isn’t needed until a force 5 crosswind anyway, if your edging is good.
The HM for all its rough water ability is still a fairly wet boat to paddle aggressively in rough water. When I was younger I used to think this was fun, still do really! But it has to be said that the Jubilee is less demanding of upper body and stomach muscles. As for paddling in races I suspect Gordons book will give you all the low down you need, there are exceptions to the general rule that sea boats are better on the sea (Bitches for example) but it still holds good in most cases. The Jubilee would be my "weapon of choice" for an angry race. For Penryn Mawr it would probably be a Rockpool Alaw Bach.
However as I prefer to test a boat in many different conditions and as I previously mentioned find that the boats I paddle have an awful lot to teach I will reserve final judgement on the jubilee until around 2030. If it lasts that long, (which it wont).
Why did Valley ever think light boats were a good idea?
Image
Here is a piccy of Busby circa 1984 off the Skerries.
Sorry for the delay in replying but I wish you many good days paddling, there is a lot to be learned from a demanding mistress!
Enjoy the HM.
I did


Phil

PM me if you want the real skinny.

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Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:50 pm

A great response, thank you, Phil, and just what we were looking for. "Fred" gets his new boat in about 6 weeks, so he'll have a good idea of what to expect. I certainly just love the HM's looks and rough water handling. Every time I see the boat I just have to smile. Every time I get it in rough water I have to whoop and holler. As you say, the HM is physically demanding. I'm finding that when repeated sweep strokes are needed, as when edging in cross winds, I tend to get sore shoulder tendons the next few days. A more agile boat would need less effort in these conditions, I suspect.
My next challenge with the boat is to try to get comfortable, and avoid the numb leg/foot/buttock syndrome after an hour or so. I've read the"dead leg" syndrome thread:
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... at&start=0
The thread contains two contrary suggestions, one to lower the front of the seat, and the other to raise it with a roll of Karrimat. MarkR was aiming to find an efficient backband, and I'd like to know the result of that quest. At present I'm just thinking about it, as we've left home and the UK for a winter paddling down south in the USA with our Wilderness Systems Northstar double. (A most excellent boat, BTW) When we get back I'll attack the comfort aspect. I shall take some measurements from my early Capella (square hatches). This is the most comfortable kayak I've paddled, so I should be able to make some rational changes.
Phil, you're so right about the HM being a demanding yet rewarding mistress. I feel I'm only about 5% of the way to being able to handle the boat properly, so there are many years of learning ahead.
Thanks again.
Nick.

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Post by Mark R » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:50 pm

nickcrowhurst wrote:MarkR was aiming to find an efficient backband, and I'd like to know the result of that quest.
Problem solved...I installed a Dagger WW backrest.
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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Sat Nov 18, 2006 6:56 pm

Your welcome Nick,
regarding comfort the two seemingly contrary sugestions actually achieve the same result. For many years I paddled on a rolled up Karrimat. I just realised thats misleading, you actually unroll the karrimat from the back of the seat forwards, this also has the happy result of cushioning your heels. The remainder of the karrimat is rolled behind you when sitting to make a rudimentary backrest (actually very comfortable).
The end result of this is to raise your buttocks and take pressure off your thighs at the forward end of the seat. It also raises your Cof G and makes the boat even more twitchy, which is a real bonus! In fact when I discovered Thermo-rests I just replaced the Karrimat in the seat area glueing it in permanently as I didnt like the handling without it. As a final point resist the temptation to lock your hips in too tightly, Hms have a very upright leg position and your hips need to move in order to "cycle" your legs when paddling.
At the risk of sounding a bit "coachy"
there are a few things you may like to think about when you next paddle the boat;
1, try not to fight the skeg, if you wait until the ends are free before initiating a manouvre (usually when the cockpit is awash in the middle of a wave the ends being stuck out of the front and back) its a hell of a lot faster and requires less effort.
2, the skeg can also act as a rudder when heeled slightly. This works spectacularly well when going backwards or in a situation where water flow is going stern to bow.
3, its easier to kind of flick the bow rather than pull the stern to change direction, its difficult to explain but if you stand in the water next to your boat and alternately pull and push the bow and stern you 'll feel the difference, try to equate this to your paddling style and edge and in a few years you will be an expert! Dont be surprised if you need to do the exact oposite of what seems normal.
4 Listen to the boat , it's the best coach there is, if it doesnt like it you are doing something wrong and it will bite you in the ass.Take your time and be sensitive. It took my mate Geoff a few years before he was remotely happy in a Nordcapp HM but he never was too big on foreplay!
5 keep your hips loose and let the boat respond to the water, again it usually knows best, try to keep your head "quiet " and over your bum, practise trailing supports. If you like taking photographs, practise doing them with one hand with your eyes closed.
Wooping and hollering is totally acceptable except in the surf, where apparently its frowned upon........
Nothing worthwhile ever starts off easy, Although I now prefer my Jubilee, I learned everything I know in my HM. A fantastic boat. I reckon I may be 80% there. I envy you the journey................................
Enjoy the South

Phil

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Post by Geoff Seddon » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:11 pm

I've paddled two HMs. The first, which for the sake of argument we shall call "The B**t**d" had a conventional GRP seat and a bar footrest. The second had a foam seat, which, when I first got into it, was packed up by about 50mm and peg footrests. The difference between the two boats was stunning, which I attribute to the wider leg position in the second boat and the fact that in that one my knees locked onto the central foam bumps, whereas in "The B**t**d" it always felt as if my lifted knee was about to slip past them. I even took the odd picture from that boat, though only when the sea was very flat.
[/img]Image

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:13 am

It was actually called "Dennis"
as in the menace, because it was red and white (dont ask)
the better photographic platform "guffaw" was yellow, thats Keith our pet physio in the photo by the way. I must admit I cant quite place it............
Oh yes I can, its St Brides, approaching the bottom of Ramsey isn't it?

Phil

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:58 am

Right, so as not to be left out in all this taking pictures of or from HM's I have scanned another slide (I am suffering Post Slide Scanning Traumatic Syndrome having completed the mammoth task of scanning my Grand Canyon slides - each extra slide is painful).

It really is bad form I know but at the time I never thought to ask the Lady's name, I believe this view of Staffa was taken from Busby:

Image

I thought she was fairly gentle with me, except on that first day when I tried to load extra beer on deck and she tried to shake it off before I had even got in. This is one of several photos although it did take me until the 3rd date, I mean day, before I tried it. On the 2nd day we had some fun in a tide race, and on the 4th day we had some lovely lumpy seas to play in - the 4th day was a couple of days after the 3rd on account of being storm bound on Staffa in the interim....

Anyway, as you can see, I had stuck my paddle under the forward elastics and was using 2 hands on the camera - it must be an age thing :-)

Jim

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Boys, boys ..

Post by YvonneB » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:23 am

Get you lads talking and it doesnt take long for the old 'boat= woman' metaphor to come out, does it? Demanding mistresses, foreplay, and as for poor old Geoff, I really think he should speak up.

What if we girls start using man= boat metaphors?

"I thought he was nice and reliable until he tried to turn me over in the surf..."

"Of course by the time I'd had my kayak for 6 months he wasnt interested in just playing any more, it was straight into the rough stuff.."

"He goes quite well unless he has too many beers on board ..."


(I'll apologise now, saves time later, v interesting thread really.)

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nickcrowhurst
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Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:09 pm

Bonnie, you're absolutely right, of course. I was an innocent in such matters until I saw that picture of the Hoff in a swimming pool. Sea kayaking will never be the same again.
http://www.kayakunderground.com/gallery ... ya%202.jpg
Nick

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Post by Dave Thomas » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:16 pm

The Hoff on the beach at the end of a day's paddling on a multi-day trip is something else again ....
Dave Thomas

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Post by Mark R » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:18 pm

Dave Thomas wrote:The Hoff on the beach at the end of a day's paddling on a multi-day trip is something else again ....

Whatever works for you...


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No thanks

Post by YvonneB » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:33 pm

Yuk! Give me Tim Curry as Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island any time.......

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:18 am

"I thought he was nice and reliable until he tried to turn me over in the surf..."

"Of course by the time I'd had my kayak for 6 months he wasnt interested in just playing any more, it was straight into the rough stuff.."

"He goes quite well unless he has too many beers on board ..."
LOL! absolutely spot on Bonnie............

Phil

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Geoff Seddon
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Re: No thanks

Post by Geoff Seddon » Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:51 am

Bonnie wrote:Yuk! Give me Tim Curry as Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island any time.......
Wasn't he that ice skating bloke?

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:04 am

No Geoff , that was John Curry, Tim was in Legend and The Rocky Horror show, quite fancy him myself actually........oops..... shouldn't have typed that................mmmmmmmmmmmm..where is the delete key, oh yea thats it
,right next to ENTER

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Renovation project on ebay?

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed May 09, 2007 4:11 pm

There's a kayak on ebay today that looks very much like a Nordkapp HM. Could be a renovation project, if that paint doesn't cover too many nasties:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... :B:SS:UK:1
Is it an HM?
Nick.

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Post by mitchmix99 » Thu May 10, 2007 6:50 am

It does indeed look like a HM. I got the seller to send me a side on shot of the back of the boat. I would say its a HM from that!

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Post by nickcrowhurst » Thu May 10, 2007 7:46 am

mitchmix99 wrote:It does indeed look like a HM. I got the seller to send me a side on shot of the back of the boat. I would say its a HM from that!
Yes, we do have distinctive rear ends :)
Nick.

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Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri May 11, 2007 12:28 pm



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The hunt for a spray-on or brush-on keel strip.

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:40 pm

One of the final tasks in renovating the HM is to consider what to do about a keel strip. The HM was originally fitted with a glass cloth and resin keel strip. This had worn through, and I removed it during the restoration.I hate that grating sound when the hull meets the beach or slipway, however gently it is lowered. It just seems inappropriate to have those two materials in contact, so I've been looking at alternatives. Last winter I was in the USA, standing in the bed of my Dodge Ram truck, and shovelling a ton of chippings out onto my son's driveway. The truck bed has a spray-on bedliner coating by Rhino-lining, a very popular USA product. This is probably a eurathene compound, but it has the appearance of a thick coat of rubber/plastic. It is not affected by chippings or my shovelling, and it occurred to me that it would be ideal as a keel strip material. Just when I was imagining I had had an original thought, Google showed me that, in the USA, P&H have been using a similar bed-liner product, Arma-Coating, for keel strips:

http://www.phpaddlers.com/sea-kayak-tec ... rotection/

The hunt was on for a suitable product that was available in the UK, and Google found Protecta-Kote:

http://www.anti-slip-paint.co.uk/index.php

I invested £25 in the 1 litre black UV resistant product. I masked up the HM, and after the first brush-load, I knew it was not suitable. The rubber granules were spikes and lumps, unlike the Rhino-lining. I immediately wiped off the coating.
The next Google expedition found Speedliner:

http://www.speedlinereuro.com/index.html

This spray-on truck bedliner can have kevlar fibres added for extra abrasion resistance. An enquiry with the company showed that the local dealer was 7 miles away, at a Land Rover dealership. An enquiry there showed that the product will only be available through the agents, sprayed on in their booth, rather than as a can of product. I was shown a specimen of the Speedliner. It was textured, but not excessively so. However. the price would be about £200 plus vat for a 1 square metre keel strip. This is disproportionate for my purpose, and I would not have a can of the product for touching-in minor damage.
So that's where I am at present. I am sure that a suitable product is available in the UK. BTW, there is a company called Armacoatings in the UK, in Manchester. This is not the same company as the USA one. I am currently looking at underseal and stoneguard products for motor vehicles. For example:
http://www.jenolite.com/shopping_cart_a ... erseal.htm
The purpose of this post is to throw the hunt open to the collective wisdom of forum members. Any ideas?
Nick.

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Post by Incayak » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:23 pm

You'll find plenty of useful info here - try Branfibre in Banbury

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 863#113863

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Post by nickcrowhurst » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:10 am

Incayak wrote:You'll find plenty of useful info here - try Branfibre in Banbury

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 863#113863
Thank you for the interest. However, that part of the thread, excellent though it is, describes exactly what I'm trying to avoid. As described above, I'm looking for a resilient coating, not a sacrificial layer of hard resin and cloth.
Nick.

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Post by Incayak » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:31 pm

I suppose that any keelstrip is going to be sacrificed after repeated use.

Ref Branfibre: I'm pretty sure that they can spray the speedliner polymer coating onto a kayak as a keel strip. Worth a call.

http://www.branfibre.co.uk/speedliner.shtml

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Post by spinning-plates » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:51 pm

Hi All
Most intresting thread
I am about to buy a HM from a local Club
Just wondered if there was any quick ways of finding out what age it may be i.e. serial Numbers, Hatch covers ETC ?

Many Thanks
Last edited by spinning-plates on Sun May 11, 2008 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by spinning-plates » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:33 pm

please

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nickcrowhurst
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Post by nickcrowhurst » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:33 pm

You might like to ask the manufacturers. Their website is at http://www.valleyseakayaks.com/ and there is an e-mailing system on the website.
The telephone number is 0115 961 4995. These are busy guys, but they have been very helpful to me. I know of no serial number on the hulls. The only vague and useless information I would offer is that the newer ones have rubber hatches, the older ones, like mine, have screw-on Henderson hatches. There is also, I've read, an imperfection in the mould on the port bow area that can date certain hulls. Mine certainly has a slight imperfection in this area. I don't know how old mine is, perhaps 20 to 25 years, but it is certainly beautifully built , and a credit to Valley.
Nick.

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Post by Ceegee » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:35 pm

I'm no expert, but the serial number in my jubilee looks like year and number, e.g. 94-083. They started out with the Henderson screw-down hatches (and the cast-in type deck recesses), then eventually their own design, first round, eventually oval - why not contact Valley? Useful anyhow if you need to order deck fittings, hatches, rims etc.

http://www.valleyseakayaks.com/

Steve

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:26 am

Steve's absolutely right, the serial number is the only indication. It should be on a makers label glassed in somewhere in the cockpit area. Unfortunately Valley have changed their serial number system, possibly more than once, however I see no reason why they wouldn't have a record of when a particular hull was laid up. Or at least be able to give you a good guesstimate.
The imperfection mentioned by Nick seems to be common to all boats manufactured in the 70s and 80s, it is in the deck moulding so should be seen regardless of the hull form.

Phil

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