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Help with covering a 1970 super.

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:56 pm
by oldnoah
A friend of mine’s father bought this kayak as a kit in 1970. He built the frame, but never covered it. I inherited it a couple of years ago when he died. I have all the vinyl, fittings, instructions and so forth, but the glue for the covering had long since dried up. It's not a folding kayak, so the covering is supposed to be tacked to the frame and then glued together to seal the seams. The lower covering is supposed to be installed in two layers: The vinyl is only one sided, with a canvas on the opposite side. Looks like cotton. So the first layer goes on inside out, and the second layer is supposed to be laminated with the two cotton sides glued together, to make a waterproof inside and outside.

I joined the Folbot forum a year or so ago and was discussing with some of the people there how to cover it. A couple of people there suggested I ditch the vinyl covering and use something more modern. I had been planning on using the original vinyl, which is still in good condition. Well, I tried to stretch on the inside lower cover, but no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the wrinkles out, and I just can't imagine trying to laminate the outer cover on without multiplying the wrinkles. I also don't know what kind of glue to use.

When I went back to the Folbot forum, it had disappeared. I don't remember what kind of covering they suggested I use, only that it was waterproof on both sides, so I wouldn't have to glue two layers together.

Does anyone here have any idea what material they were talking about? I posted in the introductions section of this forum, and got an answer that I should use a nylon canvas with a urethane sealant. That would be very different from the original Folbot material. At this point I'm gathering ideas, but I'd like to have this kayak in the water by the end of this summer, so any suggestions are welcome.

Re: Help with covering a 1970 super.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 12:01 pm
Nylon canvas and urethane sealant describes the fabric that is currently used to cover skin-on-frame kayaks. Take a look at The Skin Boat Store, And a little different twist at

Tom Yost recommended PVC hull fabric materials almost exclusively: ...

Re: Help with covering a 1970 super.

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:33 pm
by MalcolmT
Dear Old Noah,
having built two skin on frame kayaks in a very antiquated style it seems to me that it would be simpler to take the Percy Blandford method and use 15oz cotton canvas and then paint it. some folk use ballistic nylon and varnish it or paint it which would be lighter. I don't know if canvas can stretch more than nylon but i got most of the puckers out of mine bu tacking around the gunwales with steel tacks and then went round again with copper tacks putting a little more tension on. This is quite hard on the hand but worthwhile. There are instructions online elsewhere for the process of stretching and tacking the canvas taken from Percy Blandford's 'Canoes And Canoeing' the chapter details the covering of the Kittiwake two person canoe. Alternatively there are quite a lot of videos on youtube on skin on frame covering.