Re: [baidarka] Kayak Covering

Subject: Re: [baidarka] Kayak Covering
From: Peter Chopelas (
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 22:11:49 EDT

Bruce asks:

> I have found a source of a Fucia colored 12 oz nylon. It has a very thin
> urethane (sp?) backing. I can get it for $5.75 a yard. The role is 60
> inches wide. Is this material suitable for covering my kayak?

You might make it work okay, but there are a number of problems you will be
fighting. finished fabric will not cover compound curves very eaisily
compared to raw unfinished goods (along with the dye, they are heat sealed
ususally and then treated and coated, making it less flexiable), and it will
not take paint or sealant as well, which could lead to peeling or flaking.

Best to use the raw fabric available from Dyson, it is only $6/yard x 66 in
wide (he sells it by the foot, $2/ft). It is more flexable and will take
either paint or hypalon well. It is also nice work with because of these
features. Also being white you have more options on color since you can
pigment the sealant to any color you want. BTW, one option no noted in the
other posting that I have found works pretty well is to lightly dampen the
fabric as you are putting on the hull. Moisture in a mist spray bottle
causes the nylon fiber to relax in length, slightly enlarging the fabric as
you stitch or fasten the fabric over the frame pulling it as tight as
possible (keep it damp with spray mist every few four or five times an
hour). You let it dry out overnight after you are done (I use a few low
power heat lamps on it, at a distance), it will be nice and tight, usually
wrinkle free, in the morning ready to seal. I have also found that the
relaxing and shrinking of the nylon skin when using it in the water is not
as noticable when you do this.

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