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Ballistic Nylon covering?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Dave Wermuth, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Hello from the kingdom of derelict canoe whisperings in Lovely Lapeer. I built a form from lines taken off a Penn Yan Guide 18'er sometime around 2000. And I made one canoe. Ferdy and I used it in Quetico a few times. I still had a derelict PY Guide 18' canoe with not much potential until one day, again, years ago, Denis Kallery called me up and asked if I could come up with a short cross section of a canoe that he could use at shows. We figured that a section out of the middle of the Penn Yan would fit the bill and so that's what we did. I then stood up the two ends in a corner of the barn. Then one March at the Quiet water symposium in East Lansing Gil Cramer had a display canoe he made by shortening his own derelict canoe and at some point I got to wondering what if? So I put the two ends of the old derelict together to make a solo canoe of 14 1/2' x about 32" and it worked quite well. Time marched on and I didn't have any more canoes for other people to restore so I got to thinking about the 18' form and decided to shorten it. I took 42" out of the middle and about an inch and a half from the stem forms. I am at the point of fairing the planking prior to taking it off the form. Having said all that, here's the question:

    Has anyone ever tried ballistic nylon instead of canvas or dacron? I have a roll of 1650 d and I'm wondering if it's worth multiplying the experiment with the nylon. The goal is durability, rot resistance and Light weight.
  2. OP
    Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    a couple pics..

    Attached Files:

  3. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Ballistic nylon gets discussed now and then. I am aware of a few folks in Maine and Vermont who are fooling around with it. With a epoxy filler it seems like it would be far from ideal but I've never seen the finished result or a boat that was done that way after it's been used for a while.
    Here's some related discussion:Replacing Canvas With Ballistic Nylon? | WCHA Forums
  4. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

  5. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I suppose that I should have been more specific.
    The folks I am aware of have been applying ballistic nylon to what would otherwise be wood and canvas canoes in lieu of canvas.
    An issue that they have encountered is that the epoxy paint penetrates the nylon fabric and attaches the nylon to the cedar planking.
    To overcome that they have experimented with waxing (?) the hull before "nyloning".
    I was not particularly interested in learning any more about it so I did not pursue the details of how they were preparing the hull to stop the adhesion problem.
    They lost me at nylon and epoxy.
    I could pursue it further if someone wants to give it a go.
  6. OP
    Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I won't be trying epoxy. I would use my regular latex filler and Kirby primer etc....Or maybe I should save the good paint for a sure thing =-]
  7. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Myself and others have "filled" canvas canoes using epoxy and fairing filler. That works just fine, though you don't really save any weight.
    People have tried using ballistic nylon for canoes rather than SoF boats.
    I have heard that hair spray works as a "release agent" ie. prevents the epoxy from adhering to the planking.
    Beyond filler, the question for me is how do you stretch it on so that it's tight enough?
    Isn't it pretty dimensionally stable/stiff?
  8. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Dave, you shouldn't be paying attention to heretics like Gil Cramer. For ballistic cloth, you might check with Ron Sell. I can't remember for sure what his business is called. I think it's something like Umadilla Boatworks?? He was in Ann Arbor . I believe that he has used ballistic nylon.
  9. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Ron Sell, Unadilla Boatworks, ph. 734-433-1651
    Located in Dexter, MI, just NW of Ann Arbor.

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