Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just in time for the building season - New Skins!

Jeff's Greenland Style Kayak by Black Dog Kayaks skinned in Ballistic Nylon with
optional Black Dog Kayaks Deck Rigging Kit

Builders have voiced concerns with the vinyl coated polyester skin, suggesting that it's too difficult for a beginning builder to work with and get a wrinkle free finish. Well, we listened to you, and have changed our kayak skin over to 850 denier ballistic nylon coated with a two part urethane. The new fabric is an old favorite with traditional builders and has been proven over time to be very durable and easy to use. Our ballistic nylon is fully heat shrinkable, can be dyed in the color of your choice using an acid dye, or left white for a translucent finish after coating with urethane.

Jeff's Albatross 14 (tan) skinned with PVC and his Black Dog Greenland Style Kayak (blue) skinned with Ballistic Nylon

No sewing is required. The skin is draped over the kayak hull, stretched, and stapled at the sheer line. The frame is then turned over and the skin is applied to the deck using the same method. This is followed by heat shrinking using an iron or a heat gun. The two part urethane is then mixed and applied to the skin and left to cure. The urethane seals any holes left by staples and provides a watertight seal and bond between the deck and the hull.