Sub zero temps and composites...

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Cornholio
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Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by Cornholio »

Having brought my kayak home from it's usual indoor storage at work, on 17th Dec when the hols started, it's been left outside and for 3 weeks now it's been buried under snow at the side of the house. Can anyone advise whether I have fatally injured it with the temperatures we've had, somewhere down to -19 last night? I'm going to move it in the morning as the steep pitch of the roof and frozen slabs on it probably won't do it much good when they eventually detatch and land on the deck....!
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hello Cornholio, mine has been out on the car roof since Christmas eve. Been out in it several times since, it's perfectly fine. It's what they are for!

Douglas :o)

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Jim
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by Jim »

Not sure if there is any detriment to composites in good condition, must be possinle to find out the lower temperature range for the matrix without too much trouble - I might have a look later.

Biggest concern would be if you had any damaged areas that had absorbed water - this will have turned to ice weeks ago, and just like in pipes or rock or masonry, the expansion may well split the composite apart.

You should be OK, but just in case the matrix is brittle at low temperatures, handle it carefully!

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andya
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by andya »

It will be fine.

I used to sledge in my Bat Mk5 30+ years ago.

Its been left outside most of the time since, all weathers, upside down.

The kids were sledging in it today ... its simply the best sledge for the soft snow we have, and weights less than 20lbs ... easy to drag back up the hill.

Its was still watertight last time I paddled it 6 months ago ... draw your own conclusions.


PS - Jim probably has a point if water is in the boat, or the boat is porous inside and water gets trapped between the layers. But so long as its upside down and the gelcoat is intact I can't see a problem.

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MikeB
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by MikeB »

andya wrote:But so long as its upside down and the gelcoat is intact I can't see a problem.
I can.

The skeg box will fill with water, freeze and expand, probably destroying it.

I store mine right way up, with a cockpit cover. If you're going to store it upside down (which is good practise) then I'd suggest sealing the skeg box with something. Clingfilm is quite good - or a tape which will come off without leaving a nasty mess (don't use "gaffer tape" !)

Mike.

DominiqueS
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by DominiqueS »

Local experience: at our club in Toronto composite sea kayaks, outriggers, racing kayaks, dinghies etc spend the winter outside on racks or trailers, some with covers and some without. The same at other clubs. Toronto not being that cold for Canada, it freezes/defreezes quite a lot during the whole winter while also going down to -20 or more from time to time for a few days or weeks. I've never heard of a skeg box problem or new cracks having appeared after the winter (it does not mean it never happened, but as people keep doing it like that their experience must have been ok...). People do not seem to make sure that snow does not accumulate on their boats either (a no-no in theory) but big accumulations of heavy wet snow are rare here. Even the outriggers and racing kayaks, which have much lighter hulls and delicate skegs/rudders, seem to be fine.

Bottom line: better to protect for sure, but if you have not, you probably should not worry. If your kayak was buried in the snow, it was protected from any extreme cold but too much heavy snow on top should really be avoided.

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wideblueyonder
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by wideblueyonder »

mine has been out on the car roof since Christmas eve. Been out in it several times since, it's perfectly fine.
Snap - as with Douglas haven't seen any sign of ill effect. I did cause slight indentation where I tied it on too tightly and it stayed on the roof for a long period however!

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Cornholio
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by Cornholio »

Thanks for the replies- it was stored upright and with a neoprene cockpit cover on. Chipped as much ice as I could off of it with no damage but not going to even try the skeg until it's thawed. The closed cell roofbar supports I shaped for the hull are what it was sitting on, and they have stuck to the hull and the (newish, damn!) cockpit cover looks finished, its sunk into the cockpit with a huge block of ice stuck to it, again not removing that either, no point. A lot of the elastics look shot too, maybe they will return to normal once they warm up. Still minus 7 here!! Will ensure its covered in a tarp to stop it happening again, or get my finger out and build some permanent storage for it as I planned!
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

DominiqueS
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by DominiqueS »

You could turn it over, support the ice stuck to the cockpit cover so it does not stretch the cover downward, put a tarp on the hull and let the whole thaw naturally outside. You are right not to want to chip the ice off - it's great to break something. If you want to accelerate the thawing, plunging the boat in a river or sea will make it happen quickly.

tg
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Re: Sub zero temps and composites...

Post by tg »

I'm glad it's not just me!
"I sink therfore I am".

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