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Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:15 pm
by JohnnyT
I just acquired an old Klepper kayak and I was able to assemble it! I believe it is the the Klepper Aerius Classic - 2 seater but one mount also 3 seats, grey hull with blue deck. It looks beautiful and reminds me my childhood year traveling with a similar kayak along Danube! The good news is I am not missing any parts. The slightly bad news is I found a few things that need repair for I need some parts and recommendations

The 3 things that I have to repair are:

1. I need two of these tongues/ pins where rib # 4 enters and attaches to the keelboard (bottom frame) ( the two tongues as shown in the picture but for rib #4). Anyone has by chance such hardware?
2. I need also 2 similar pin/tongues that are also attached on the keel board but where the seat slides into so the backside of the seat remains solidly attached to the keel board (as shown in the picture)
3. The wood plate on the front gunwale is broken and the curved metal fitting which enters into the bow is off (but I still have it). So my question to you is:
a. Do you think it is good to try to repair this with replacing another wood plate on the gun wale and to mount the curved metal fitting on it or
b. Rather replace this thin and weak wood plate with a stainless steel or other aluminum or alloy mix 3-4mm thick plate which will not break again. If this is my solution any idea where I can find some light, durable alloy plate 3-4mm thick?

I have two considerations: collector value and strength for my expeditions. From a collector value and resale value I guess the collectors would prefer to be replaced with an wood plate although I have no idea where I can find the same wood plate with same color and strength to replace. But from my practical point of view I think metal plates at the front and back would be better because then I don’t have to worry that my kayak is going to get broken again in the middle of the expedition. I saw the back plate at the back gunwale is also almost broken so that seems to be a weak spot in the kayak as probably the biggest tension and impact goes there and these wood plates are just too weak to handle this impact

I am looking forward to getting your recommendation and if you have any of those parts

Thank you!

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:05 pm
by mje
Long Haul Folding Kayaks is probably your best source.

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:40 am
by gbellware
JohnnyT, welcome. Couple of thoughts on an A2 frame...
There really is no collector value, at least in terms of a price premium, that can be placed on a Klepper. Their value is strictly utilitarian and in the joy they bring the current owner (which can be substantial, btw!).
If you are handy you can repair the pieces you mention. Fittings are available from LongHaul (Mark Ekhart) or through KlepperAmerica. The wood pieces are difficult to replace owing to the fact that the dimensional plywood that Klepper use(d) is tough-to-impossible to source in the U.S. That said, I have some experience fabricating aluminum and I would not suggest using it for frame repairs. There is no need for that, and it is more difficult to work than wood. The design of the Klepper frame is plenty robust and the only failures I have seen are from serious abuse or neglect.
Now, a practical alternative might be to pick up another frame, they can be had either cheap or free on occasion, and salvage either the parts or the pieces you need.
Hope that helps, good luck!


Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:31 pm
by mje
As gbellware says, there is no collector value in modern Kleppers. Long Haul can fabricate ribs, and you can also make them from marine plywood, Baltic Birch plywood, or you even good quality exterior plywood, though that wouldn't be as strong. My choice would be Baltic Birch, which I think is as good or better than most marine plywood and is available almost everywhere.

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:22 am
by JohnnyT
Thanks for the replies. What do you think about fiberglass plates? I found 1/4 inch thick fiberglass plates 2x 3 inches for $6.99 which apparently claim to be very strong. And they will be surely much lighter then metal plates. I wonder if they would break though at sudden vector impact which comes onto the kern

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:44 pm
by mje
My choice would be plywood over fiberglass, as plywood is much easier to work with. I think 1/4” is too thin, and would place too much stress on the longerons and hull rods where they cross the ribs.

If you really want to get labor intensive, fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber cloth over foam would be super light and strong. Like wood, it would float.

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:22 pm
by JohnnyT
What grade of fiberglass mesh should I use to smier with epoxy on top? I see they are selling them in grades from less than 1 oz to event heavily weaven 24 oz mesh. Does it really matter? Or could I go even with the 24 oz mesh if it is cheaper and possibly stronger at the same time?

Regarding supporting with wood - where can I find this hard birch plywood?

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:11 pm
by mje
When I say plywood over fiberglass, I don’t mean putting the two together. I mean I prefer plywood to fiberglass.

Baltic Birch is found at most lumberyards. Marine plywood is commonly available all over the country, and it’s what a Klepper, Nautiraid, and Long Haul use. If you can’t find that, good cabinet grade plywood is acceptable.

The important thing is that you get a plywood made of layers of veneer, and not the cheap types that have a lumber core and lots of voids.

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:23 pm
by mowog
I agree with wood. If wood were invented today it would be a miracle product! I sometime pine for a feathercraft, but fixing wood is easy. If you're in the US I think Longhaul has the pieces you need.

BobSkillman Ellicott City MD 1988 AE2, 1996 AE1 with new Longhaul Hull

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:43 pm
by john allsop
I have just been looking at your photos. The parts you need should be available from a klepper dealer or Long haul, it seems to be assumed you are in the USA. If you want to make parts and they are made of wood then use good quality marine ply you can make simple metal parts but use a good grade of aluminium and at least out door varnish. If you have to buy a minimum amount of wood you might find out ready made parts cost no more. Personally I would buy new ready made parts they will last many years.

Re: Parts and repair suggestions

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:43 am
by davidcuthill
For the plate, you need to do a proper repair, not a kludge!
Drill out the old rivets, and cut a new piece of plywood to fit, and rivet it back.
Glass Fiber and resin are anathema to folding boats.
You'll be much happier with that!