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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:07 pm 
I don't know how this is possible, but here is what I experienced with 2008 nylon skirt, treated with 303 Aerospace Protectant.

In calm weather, when I couldn't sail and had to paddle, as soon as skirt got wet from water dripping off the paddle (it's a GP, no drip-rings) - the inside surface got wet too, and so were my knees under the skirt. Impression was that the fabric could hold only 50% or 60% of water, and the rest was seeping through. There was no waves, no water coming over the top of the skirt funnel.

When I returned home 3 weeks later, I was ready to go to the factory and tell them to take this crap back and give me something better. The problem was - when I tested it in my room, it wasn't leaking.

Same story was with the seasock - water carried in on sandals pooled at the bottom of the sock, plus wetness accumulated when the skirt got wet on the inside, and when I landed and removed the sock after 4-5 hours, the seat and hull bottom were notably wet - enough wetness to get to my drybags outer surfaces 2 feet fore and aft of respective ends of the sock. I tested the sock at home too - there were tiny leaks where my feet were, but nothing more. I would expect minor leaks due to wear on the pedals, but the wetness in the hull showed up in the very first day of expedition.

Same story with hatches - if it was wet outside, the inside of the lid was wet at the end of the day, with foam at the edges literally soaked, and sleeve under the lid was slightly wet too.

Some mystery.

FC is now using a different fabric since 2006 - it has a checkered pattern, with visible threads criss-crossing every 5mm (1/4").

Breathable fabric, and 303 made it leaky (and water barrier was restored when I washed skirt at home later)? Pores opening in hot weather? But it wasn't that hot in Baja in February - on the average 20-25 C (72-82F). Water barrier against fresh water (in my home testing), but not against salt sea water? (this would be against physics laws, and I tested it home with salt water too).


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:48 pm 
could this be condensation? :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:22 pm 
Sweat ? :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:53 pm 
martyn wrote:
could this be condensation? :roll:

Some of this wetness, - yes.

Condensation doesn't explain the wetness at the hull bottom, i.e. between the sock and the hull (and between the sock and the seat). Only seat and hull bottom was wet - inside of the deck was bone dry. I found tiny wear-induced leaks on the sock around my feet, but not on the butt area of the sock.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:41 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1828
Location: Southeast Michigan
I would guess that the 303 acted as a wetting agent, allowing water to pass through the breathable fabric. Regular 303 is designed for rubber, vinyl, fiberglass, hypalon, leather- but not fabric. That's what the label says.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:35 pm 
Might it be from the combination of wetness and contact?

If you just fill the sock with water or pool up water on the sprayskirt, I doubt anything will come through. But if you then put a finger or hand against the skirt or sock, and especially if you leave it there for a minute or so, I'm betting it comes away wet.

If I remembered my high school physics better I could probably tell you exactly how this is related to surface tension (which I think it is), but it may be the same phenomenon as what happens when your sleeping bag lays up against the tent wall in the rain--if you're touching the wall, it gets wet. If you're not, it doesn't.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:36 am 
Doyle wrote:
Might it be from the combination of wetness and contact?

If you just fill the sock with water or pool up water on the sprayskirt, I doubt anything will come through. But if you then put a finger or hand against the skirt or sock, and especially if you leave it there for a minute or so, I'm betting it comes away wet.

Yes, this happens to a regular fabric, but not to vinyl or urethane laminate. Laminated fabric behaves similarly to thin sheet of plastic (this is what laminate layer is - thin plastic film) - it doesn't let any water through, until it's punctured. At least, non-breathable laminate behaves this way. I doubt it's breathable on skirt and sock - too much costs.

Well - I will have to try it on water again, this time without 303 treatment (not with K1, of course - assembling it for less than 7 days trip is too much troublel). Will take my Big Kahuna for an overnight trip on the next long weekend in 3 weeks - holiday of Her Majesty Victoria in Canada - yes, we are a colony :-) ... Big Kahuna's fiberglass cockpit is TAD smaller than the built-in of 2008 K1, so it will be a little loose, - no big deal.


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