Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

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overland
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Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by overland »

I took out my old Klepper Expedition skin yesterday. The hull is cracking and delaminating and is pretty much no good. But the deck, which is red cotton canvas and is, I suppose, 20 or 25 years old, looks in pretty good shape to me. I don't think the boat was used a lot and that the failure of the hull is due to storage issues or maybe the materials used--it's the black Hypalon, not the gray. Anyway, last year I exchanged messages with Mark at Long Haul, and despite what others have said in this forum, he said that he didn't favor putting an old deck on a new hull and that the decks don't last as long as the hulls. But every time I look at that deck, I think why not? It seems a shame not to reuse it. But maybe I'm missing something, some weakness in the fabric that I don't see. So I'm curious what others have found. Do the decks fall apart before the hulls, or visa versa?

martin2007
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Re: Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by martin2007 »

Do you get a new heart or for a few dollars more go the whole shebang and opt for a heart and lung? Tough question. I've owned several folders over the years. In 4 out of 5 boats the canvas decks were in better shape than their hulls during my tenure as their owner. That said, I'd hesitate to have a new custom hull made which was to be reintegrated onto an aging deck. Would the savings made warrant completing only half a renovation? I was paddling my beloved Tyne this afternoon and I was considering the very same question. The 40-year-old blue canvas deck looks great, but the hull is extremely tired. However, because I paddle several other canoes and folding kayaks, I keep putting off skin replacement until I absolutely have to. Alas, I'm of Scottish extraction, with genetic memory of cold east coast granite on both sides. If I keep holding out I might just arrive at the point where I decide to let the boat become a fixture I hang from the ceiling, a reminder of former glories. Old kayak frames could well be converted into fantastic pot hangers and light fixtures. When feeling darker I can't help but think that an old folding kayak would make an economical, culturally interesting, and ecologically-friendly resting place for one's bones. Just some thoughts!

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gbellware
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Re: Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by gbellware »

Overland,

Your thoughts are the same as mine. I thought that Mark was happy to sew a new hull on a good deck...maybe things have changed. The deck on my '60s A2 was in perfect shape while the hull was beginning to show cracks. That said, I can't imagine it is THAT much of a savings to reuse the deck, but Mark would know better, and I would trust his judgement.

g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

overland
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Re: Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by overland »

Actually, sewing the hull to the deck looks simpler to me than sewing up the deck. There's a seam at each end of the hull and then a single seam around the top to attach the deck (done inside out). After that comes the bumpers and (what looks trickier) installing the rudder bracket (sorry, I don't know the proper terms for it). The deck itself seems a little more complicated. That and the rudder bracket. I don't know how one does that.

arcprof
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Re: Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by arcprof »

In my experience the deck does outlast the hull. The cotton canvas can go 50 years but there are other issues with the deck that need attention long before the canvas rots. Most of these can be dealt with once the deck is removed from the old hull but they all take time so if you are getting it done professionally any initial cost saving can evaporate quickly.
Points to examine on your deck are:
Beading that inserts into coaming. Will start to fray and look untidy.
Grommets that fit over Tee pieces. These corrode and reinforcing stitching breaks down.
Stitching of sponson tubes.
Stitching of seams round end of boomerang piece.
State of shock cords on paddle ties.

Generally speaking I would say you need to re-sew every seam in the old deck as the old stitching will be at risk.

You can get attached to your old skin and it is nice to retain some of its original character but most decks will need some work to enable them to last the life of a new hull.
Cheers Jim
Folbot:Super, Sporty, Greenland II, Klepper:1960's AE2, 1970's AE2, 1990's AE2000

mje
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Re: Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by mje »

I suppose it depends on the overall condition. Mark has replaced many rubber hulls with Hypalon (he did a Klepper Master for me) but it may be that if conditions were bad enough for a Hypalon hull to deteriorate, the deck may have suffered damage as well. Of course, I'm speculating here.
Michael Edelman
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overland
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Re: Klepper hull vs deck longevity?

Post by overland »

Probably I should just take the deck off and send it to him.

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