Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

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conoroneill
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Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by conoroneill » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:06 pm

A few of us are getting very fed up with the weight of modern whitewater boats. They are so much heavier than they used to be.
I know that a lot of the weight increase is due to the better fit-out; the seat, backrest, footrest, etc.
But much of the increase in weight is also due to thicker plastic too.

There are many people like myself who don't bash against every rock down the river. We don't split a boat each year and then claim on warranty. We would far prefer a lighter boat even at the (low) risk of lower durability.

I definitely realise that boat choice is very subjective. But are there any boat manufacturers who are selling lighter boats?

Thanks - Conor
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Mark Mulrain
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Mark Mulrain » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:57 pm

Pretty sure Pyranha can offer this. Talk to your local dealer perhaps?

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Jakob » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:26 pm

Lettmann offer a "race" version of the manta which they advertise as being lighter due to less plastic.

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by gp.girl » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:42 pm

I can roll :)

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by countvoncount » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:46 pm

Corran Addison (of Soul Waterman) is advocating the same and I think is thinking about offering his boats in lighter plastic (see his quite outspoken FB page for this).

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by conoroneill » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:52 pm

Thanks for the info; I'll do some more digging.
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by clarky999 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:06 pm

Exo also do a race version of the T-Rex. Not cheap though ;)

https://s2s-shop.com/kajakshop/kajaks/w ... -rex-race/

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:22 pm

Yeah, give up plastic boating and start racing. WWR boats are 10kg, slalom are 9kg (minimums for racing, many boats are slightly under before airbags and/or weights added).
You can still bash rocks occasionally (I do it quite a lot) but when you do get a hit that does damage it is pretty easy to fix for yourself.

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by conoroneill » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:03 pm

My old slalom boat (20 years ago) was just 7kg! It was made out of diolen, I think. But I wasn't competitive enough for anybody to care that it was under-weight; I only got into div 3.

My previous whitewater boat was a Dagger Mamba, and it weighed 17kg. My current new-model Mamba is about 23kg.
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by davebrads » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:16 pm

If you are serious about wanting a light weight whitewater boat my sister's selling a couple

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=131915&p=819482&hilit=GIRO#p819482
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=131914&p=819481&hilit=GIRO#p819481

Obviously they are at the playful end of the whitewater boat spectrum, but they are great fun and quite capable of running grade 4 as well as surfing.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by davebrads » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:23 pm

The weight of a plastic boat is always going to be a trade-off with durability. The early plastic boats were very light compared to modern boats, but they didn't keep their shape too well and wore out pretty quickly. I guess that paddlers expect more from their boats these days. Some of the manufacturers have played a bit with alternative materials and manufacturing techniques, but up to now the only answer they have come up with is just to make the plastic thicker.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Strad » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:40 am

davebrads wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:23 pm
I guess that paddlers expect more from their boats these days.
I think paddlers who haven't paddled in glass tend not to be quite as paranoid about rock avoidance, plus people now play the river a little differently (rock spins etc) which will be harder on boats. Expectation I think is set by the change in style.
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
Graham Stradling

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by davebrads » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:27 pm

Strad wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:40 am
davebrads wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:23 pm
I guess that paddlers expect more from their boats these days.
I think paddlers who haven't paddled in glass tend not to be quite as paranoid about rock avoidance, plus people now play the river a little differently (rock spins etc) which will be harder on boats. Expectation I think is set by the change in style.
Absolutely! The definition of a clean run a few years ago was if you didn't hit any rocks, whereas nowadays using rocks to modify a line or achieve a boof is legitimate technique.
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:58 pm

I don't think a fibreglass boat would last 5 minutes with me in it!!!

Don't miss those days at all.....

D
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Jim » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:59 pm

Just comparing the strength (by amount of damage sustained) of single skin diolen or part diolen boats, with foam sandwich carbon/kevlar boats is phenomenol.

Sure I have seen a fair few of the latter pretty badly damaged, club boats mostly, accommodating a wide range of abilities, but rarely seriously. I am currently in the middle of a repair to a club boat, which I can see from the builders label was made in 2008 at a weight of just under 8kg and which has been in our club fleet for the last 5 years where it has been in use almost every week (until I took it aside to repair) because it is one of few that fit adults. It was reported that the boat was leaking, on closer inspection I found a couple of un-repaired splits on the outside, and another on the inside which was not in line with either of the outside ones, suggesting some through offset damage through the core. On removing the seat I also found that the front edge had cut through the inner skin (this happens in time). Having cut away the inner skin where it was separated from the core and chiselled out any loose or water damaged core (in a sort of H shape with the cross bar under the front of the seat and the uprights close to where the foam tapers down to single skin at the bilge), I repaired some splits (in the outer skin from inside, and some adjacent areas) last week and yesterday I filled the voids where I had cut the foam out and replaced the inner skin with a decent overlap all round. Later in the week I will do some external repairs and re-tape the seam and re-fit the seat and it will be watertight and probably won't need any more attention for a year or so, unless it is unlucky enough to have one massive crash before that. I might also flow coat over some external repairs to make it a bit shiny again. I did similar work on another boat, in even worse condition, last winter - for that one the amount of core I removed required me to vac bag some new foam in rather than just filling, and the mess of different repairs on the bottom lead me to re gel/flow coat quite a big area. I checked it over recently, there are some chunks out of the new gel (to be expected, it will never bond very well) but it is still strong and watertight.

I used to have a boat with a diolen deck that would crack every time I bumped the hull on an obstacle (both hull and deck were single skin, hull carbon/kevlar). I solved that by adding a layer of carbon kevlar to the deck around the cockpit, still as a single skin, making it a sandwich would increase the strength even more.

Anyone thinking a modern composite boat is anything like the same as their old fibreglass and polyester boat is way off the mark. Sure these are not boats to deliberately run up onto rocks as much modern creekboating seems to require, but for those of us running rivers and only occasionally bumping, I think you are mad to do that in 30kg of creek boat!

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:45 pm

Jim wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:59 pm
I think you are mad to do that in 30kg of creek boat!
Which one's are 30kg? I'm assuming that's a typo & you meant 20.....

D
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:34 am

Pretty sure my burn is closer to 30kg than 20kg.

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Chalky723 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:22 pm

Jim wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:34 am
Pretty sure my burn is closer to 30kg than 20kg.
Might feel like that, but the empty weight of an XL Burn 3 is 22.3kg..... :-)

Add in all your gear etc & it might get to that weight - but the kit'll weigh the same whichever boat it's in.

D
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by jmmoxon » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:47 am

People are also more regularly paddling technical rivers these days, so they need to be stronger. 20 years ago, we'd see hardly anyone else on the Upper Dart - now you're unlikely to have it to yourselves when it's running.

Mike
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by TonyM » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:02 am

Either way modern boats are pretty close to manual handling limits for men and probably overweight for women however you carry them single handed.
Add in a wet slippery uneven river bank and carrying a boat looks unpleasant.
Maybe the extra weight means they can be dragged more without damage (depending where the plastic is distributed).

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Mark Gawler » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:30 am

jmmoxon wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:47 am
20 years ago, we'd see hardly anyone else on the Upper Dart - now you're unlikely to have it to yourselves when it's running.
I think this was largely down to the highly restrictive access agreement (two groups of max eight paddles a day? and pay for the privilege) that people used to accept.
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:07 pm

Chalky723 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:22 pm
Jim wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:34 am
Pretty sure my burn is closer to 30kg than 20kg.
Might feel like that, but the empty weight of an XL Burn 3 is 22.3kg..... :-)

Add in all your gear etc & it might get to that weight - but the kit'll weigh the same whichever boat it's in.

D
It is not a burn 3

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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:40 pm

Jim wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:07 pm
It is not a burn 3
In that case it'll be lighter!! It certainly won't be 30kg.....

D
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Re: Lighter weight plastic whitewater boats

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:07 pm

Mark Gawler wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:30 am
I think this was largely down to the highly restrictive access agreement (two groups of max eight paddles a day? and pay for the privilege) that people used to accept.
Locals were ignoring the restrictions even back then, there were just a lot less people willing to run it due to it's reputation.

Mike
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