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 Post subject: Deck material
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:31 pm 
Howdy,

If anyone has been following my posts elsewhere you will notice that the Long Haul Mk I is on my short list for a folding kayak to buy. My question is this: what is the practical difference between the cotton canvas deck and the Sea Mark deck? I have to admit some reluctance about the canvas- my primary concerns being dry rot and mildew.

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:12 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Cotton will be cooler in warmer climates as it breathes but will be more subject to rot over time than a Seamark deck. Cotton will absorb some water, making it a bit heavier after the paddle. Cotton decks have a long history of reliable service as this is all Klepper has ever used. A Seamark deck is basically Sunbrella fabric with a vinyl coating on the backside (or maybe Sunbrella already has the vinyl coating?). A Seamark deck will be heavier than a cotton deck and because it doesn't breathe the kayak will take longer to dry out. I think Mark told me that a cotton deck will have more abrasion resistance when new but loses some of that strength over time. I'd be curious as to the longevity of the synthetic decks and how the two layers of material--the synthetic cotton on top and the vinyl below--stay together. The boats that Mark supplied to the US military opted for the synthetic deck. LH will send you swatches of both materials if you give them a call.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:17 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: Southeast Michigan
I've never seen a canvas hull rot, and they shouldn't so long as you never pack a boat wet for an extended period. I think for serious expedition use in open water I'd lean towards the Seamark with an expedition tuckunder spraydeck, and for tropical use I'd defintely favor the canvas with the velcro deck.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:13 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Quote:
I've never seen a canvas hull rot, and they shouldn't so long as you never pack a boat wet for an extended period.


That's a good way of saying it. When I was considering which material to get I believe Mark said that a cotton deck may lose more of its strength over time relative to Seamark. I'm not exactly sure how significant that would be. At that time they were just rolling out Seamark decks and hadn't had much feedback on it from users. I went with the cotton deck and have the velcro tuckunder spray cover. If I were to do it again I'd probably lean towards the Seamark, but would want to know how much heavier it is and how well it could handle extreme heat. The velcro tuckunder is great, tough, and makes entry/exits a snap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:41 am 
I doubt that cotton or canvas is much lighter than Sunbrella fabric. Given that it weighs more when wet (unlike synthetics), - synthetic deck seems to be a better choice in most of uses. Except for, may be, very hot climates.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:26 pm 
Hmm. Thanks. About what I thought.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:13 am 
Ok, being a synthetic is Seamark susceptible to UV damage?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:35 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1689
Location: Southeast Michigan
Seamark is essentially coated Sunbrella, a polyester fabric designed for continuous outdoor exposure. Poly doesn't break down in UV like nylon does.

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Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:10 pm 
arcosome,

I'm no expert on fabrics so I won't comment other than to say what has been expressed in this thread already seems right on from what little I do know or have heard.

That said it may be worth your time to come see us at either the Wooden Boat Festival(http://www.woodenboat.org/festival/) or the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium(http://www.wcsks.org/). These events are held in Port Townsend in September.


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 Post subject: WCSKS
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:28 pm 
As fate would have it I already have my hotel room booked in Fort Townsend, so I'll see you at the symposium. (I live in Tacoma, after all.) Hopefully someone there can convince my wife to loosen the purse strings...


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 Post subject: I checked out both decks
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:06 pm 
I'm posting a little late, and it's a little bit of a repeat of another post I made last week. But here goes...

I was at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium a week ago and checked out the Long Haul demo models. The SeaMark deck seems at least as tough as the canvas. I will admit that it certainly doesn't seem like it would breathe as well as the canvas. One downside to the canvas is that it absorbes water. This is the purported reason that it remains waterproof- the fibers swell and tighten as they absorb water. It also means that the boat is a few pounds heavier when you haul it out of the water than it was when you put it in.

The gentleman running the demos, Pete, considers the cotton deck indispensible for humid areas like the US east coast, but admitted that if he lived in the Puget Sound area he would buy the SeaMark.


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 Post subject: Re: Deck material
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:59 pm 
Acrosome. I may be getting a Long haul in the next few months, and was wondering which deck material you would recommend. I will be using the kayak in Hawaii, Houston, and Alaska for the most part. I will also haul it around the country for other paddle trips, such as Lake Havasu, Costa Rica and possibly Siberia. If you were going to be in various climates, from hot to cold, which would you choose?


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 Post subject: Re: Deck material
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:04 am 
Quote:
I will be using the kayak in Hawaii, Houston, and Alaska for the most part. I will also haul it around the country for other paddle trips, such as Lake Havasu, Costa Rica and possibly Siberia.

With plans like these you're going to need 2 different skins (or 2 boats) - one with a canvas deck and another one - with synthetic. If I were to choose one and only material, it would've been synthetics. It's better to be sweating than shivering. Besides, with a vast expanse of non-breathable synthetic spraydeck on the cockpit the breathability of a canvas deck becomes less important. LH MK1 is a lot of a boat to fly with, btw. 2 big bags + 1 small, 92 lbs total.


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 Post subject: Re: Deck material
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:20 pm 
faltbootemeister
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 6:38 am
Posts: 192
Location: NW Ohio
Alm wrote:
If I were to choose one and only material, it would've been synthetics. It's better to be sweating than shivering.


I disagree - you can always put more on - once you get to skin you're done. I'd choose the cotton over synthetic as I've never felt uncomfortable in any of my folders (cotton) at any time of year here in the midwest. On the other hand my Chesapeake Light craft hardshell can get pretty clammy ... ymmv ....

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Klepper T9 / Heise Skin
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 Post subject: Re: Deck material
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:38 pm 
It's mostly upper body that is sweating, - not legs. Legs are covered with non-breathable sprayskirt anyway (and if they are not, then all the lower body is exposed in long cockits of Klepper/Longhaul Wayland, so the deck material doesn't affect your body). Comparing hardshell sea kayak setup with Klepper/Longhaul cockpit wouldn't be fair, because
1) Hardshell sea kayaks have much smaller cockpit, legs from the knees and below are under the thick plastic, rather than under thin, albeit non-breathable, skirt.
2) In hardhsell the lower body is confined in the limited volume of air between the fore and aft bulkheads, while in a folder there is unrestricted air circulation over the entire hull volume.
3) Cooler water doesn't do much to cool the air trapped in the cockpit of a hardshell, because of the thick plastic hull (or a composite), while in a folder it does. In FC boats I can feel the cooler air flow under the deck, even through the seasock.

One more thing - breathable (canvas) decks stop water from getting inside when wet fibers tighten, but canvas fibers do absorb water and they become wet on the inside, i.e. underneath the deck. So, in heavy weather any cargo touching canvas deck will get wet at the top. (Never at the bottom, because in these boats cargo is separated from bilge water by floor boards).

As I recall now, after a brief (though intensive) relationship with canvas deck of MK1, my gripes with this type of boat were mostly other things, rather than deck material. Main complaints with canvas were - wet cargo at the top, heavier boat when wet (have no idea how much heavier), and long time to dry it out.


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