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Thread: Fabric spraydecks & side skirt proposal

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    Default Fabric spraydecks & side skirt proposal

    This is a bit of a continuation of another thread but I have decided to add a fabric spraydeck to my Solway Dory Curlew in conjunction with the addition of a number of 60 litre plastic barrels. The barrels will add buoyancy, provide secure and hopefully dry storage for various items and also create a suitably rounded form for the spray deck to sit over which I hope will help in shedding water.The barrels weigh about 6lbs each so shouldn't add too much extra weight. Studying some of the video footage I and others have taken this past year and the experience of other canoe sailors, it seems clear that the spray deck might not really stop spray thrown up from the bows from entering the canoe as it seems to be thrown well back into the canoe past the mast, a low voltage pump backed up by a 10 litre bucket should take care of that. What I am hoping the spraydeck to prevent, to some extent anyway, is of "green" water entering the boat when the relatively rare, so far, circumstances combine that cause the bow of the canoe to bury itself into a wave and gallons of water enter the canoe in a split second. Iím proposing to attach vinyl D ring patches to the canoe, four per barrel in order to secure it with webbing, similar to a roof rack strap. I was considering trying to make fibreglass attachment points as Solway Dory did when they made the canoe but figured that D patches would be easier to fix in with G-flex or something similar.
    Iím proposing to have a barrel in front of the mast and one behind the rear thwart (the following photos are photoshop mock ups of course and do not show the side buoyancy bags that are fitted at all times when sailing )


    and two behind the seat.




    This set up could then be altered depending on the length of the trip, and likely conditions. Sailing on the Dart estuary, for instance, for a few hours you wouldnít need any extra buoyancy or spray protection so the barrels would not be necessary from that point of view. Venturing out on the coast or on more exposed Estuaries then the forward and aft barrels will provide extra buoyancy and reduce the amount of water in event of a capsize and provide support for a bow spraydeck. Extended coastal trips or less certain conditions might merit the four barrel set up which could be then covered with a full length fabric spraydeck which might include fabric side skirts to help stop water entering over the gunnels when healed over.


    I would be interested to know others thoughts on this proposal and experiences with spraydecks and side skirts. I think some canoe sailors use PVC covered polyester fabric at 560gsm to create fabric decks. Iím also thinking how the deck would attach to the canoe; my Curlew has a useful 25mm under the edge of the gunnels maybe some plastic hook arrangement with shock cord or somesuch?

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    We once made a full fabric foredeck for Oceanic for his Avocet. He used large 60inch bags front and back. The fabric deck had a rope edge sewn around it and this fitted into a track that was bolted through the hull just under the gunwale.. The rope edges fed into the tracks from the front and as it fed back along the canoe it tightened as it came into place, This proved to be quite a waterproof fore deck and Oceanic saild it was almost as seaworthy as a Shearwater. He still had enough room in his canoe to carry a weeks camping gear.
    4 barrels will weigh 24 lbs which will be a considerable extra weight to pull on and of the water, and although you can put gear in them they won't be that accessible under the spray deck unless you have a quick way of opening it up. This is important to quickly remove the gear so that you can get your canoe up the beach and out of any surf. A fully loaded canoe can be difficult to move.
    Most of the water coming into your Curlew in rough water will be over the bow or in the sides. The rear deck wont be doing as much for keeping water out., although it does look good in the pictures.

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    The track that DaveS has described may well be the very same alloy track that is used on caravans to fit there awnings on.

    This can be screwed under the gunwales . but make the stern as the entry point for the canvas.

    The canvas top in part can have fitted a strong plastic zip to gain access to some of the interior storage. Fitted on the centre line.
    A flap can be sewn over the zip one side and velcro to hold it all down. This covers the zip to afford a little water ingress protection.

    The top can be formed to deflect water by using bent braces formed in steel with a fitting plate either end like an angle thus sitting on the gunwales and inside at the same time.

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    Good morning, I also play around with folding boats , go have a look at the packboat site, ther deks on ther kayaks are fasend on around the gunwalls, you might see sume idears worth considering

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    Hi Dave. I suppose air bags fore and aft with the two barrels available to have behind the seat on camping expeditions might be a better choice in terms of weight but I like the idea of having a secure dry place for stuff rather then have it sloshing around in my canoe in a dry bag as it does at the moment and isn't the added weight comparable to a decked Fulmar versus a open Curlew though ? I guess your right about the rear deck , if you've got following seas breaking over your open canoe you probably got bigger problems facing you then a little water in the boat! Although there is a case for it to reduce windage perhaps. What was the reason for bolting the tracks through the hull rather then the gunnels? I like the idea of the zip Sonar and had a look at packboat Mick, interesting materials used

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    a low voltage pump backed up by a 10 litre bucket should take care of that.
    I have been considering using a car windscreen washer pump and tubing, mounted inside a plastic tupperware box together with a 12-volt motorcycle battery to power it. The cost should be under a tenner from any breakers yard including the battery & tubing. I already have a motorcycle battery as it goes. I simple on/off switch and a well positioned suction tube should dispense of a few gallons when bailing becomes too difficult.

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    This can be screwed under the gunwales . but make the stern as the entry point for the canvas.
    The track is ok, but you can not make an all in one cover that fits in this way.
    Last edited by KeithD; 17th-January-2012 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Fix Quotes

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    Hi Dave. I suppose air bags fore and aft with the two barrels available to have behind the seat on camping expeditions might be a better choice in terms of weight but I like the idea of having a secure dry place for stuff rather then have it sloshing around in my canoe in a dry bag as it does at the moment and isn't the added weight comparable to a decked Fulmar versus a open Curlew though ? I guess your right about the rear deck , if you've got following seas breaking over your open canoe you probably got bigger problems facing you then a little water in the boat! Although there is a case for it to reduce windage perhaps. What was the reason for bolting the tracks through the hull rather then the gunnels? I like the idea of the zip Sonar and had a look at packboat Mick, interesting materials used
    Another reason for putting bags in the end of the canoe rather than barrels full of gear is it is best to keep weight out of the ends. If you run into waves, the bow will rise much quicker and clear the wave if it is lighter. I dont think you should be out sailing in breaking seas and i would consider this deck as a solution to having not to bail too often rather than turning your open canoe into something super seaworthy.
    We bolted the caravan awning track through the hull rather than under the gunwale because the deck fed into the track better, If it was under the gunwale it put an extra 90 degrees of twist into the edge of the deck.
    A zip would be a good way of easy access under the rear deck.
    My decked Curlew (Fulmar) weighed 85 lb. Dave P's partially decked version weighed 65lb. If i remember rightly your Curlew was around 80lb. Plus 4 barrels plus cover will put it up to 110lbs (your hull was a slightly heavier layup)

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    I hear what your saying about limiting the seaworthiness expectations of an open canoe.
    I don't know if I could bring myself to drill holes into the hull even if it was under the gunnels.I wonder if there is some other attachment method that would work: elasticated cord instead of a boltrope, with plastic hooks fixed under each gunnel at ,say 12" spacing?
    Anyway I picked up the fabric today ,so I see a lot of sewing in my immediate future...

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    I am not saying that it needs a track, only that it proved strong enough to support the cloth deck that we made if you buried it in a wave. I dont think a bungee will do the job as it will stretch if you get several gallons of water on the deck. If it does stretch then it will let water under the gunwale, or just sag and hold the water. I think Greg made a fabric deck and held it on with a ratchet strap or something similar under the gunwale. With this you would get a lot of tension and not much stretch so it should hold in place.

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    On the comments about pumps, just thought I should say that in my experience a safe bailer works very well when I need it most - close hauled in conditions when spray and waves are breaking into my Shearwater. On the basis of similar thinking, Windorpaddle may be moving away from an electric pump in favour of his recently added self bailer, but he is better able to comment on this. I was slightly concerned about leaks but after a year, I have had no signs. Speaking for myself, I have little interest in an electric pump on the grounds of reliability, faff and weight, but I know kayakers seem to get good results, so electric pumps must have something going for them.

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    With regards to the fabric deck and supporting it with bungee cord, I think it'd possibly collapse under the weight of a lot of water (if a wave hit it), this has been known to happen with sea kayak spray decks (known as imploding) and they're a lot smaller area than what you're proposing. The good news is that Graham D (OCSG member but not SOTP member) has successfully used fabric decks on his canoe "Cochon Vert". He has one for the front and one for the rear, both made from heavy duty vinyl (similar to that used in curtain side truck trailers) supported by rope laced under the gunwales and round eyelets fastened through his hull. Graham's had his boat out in some fairly heavy weather and reckons his decks have saved him more than once. I'm sure you could get in touch with Graham through the OCSG FB page if you had any questions.
    Regarding electric pumps, I've thought long and hard about using one and am currently of the opinion that they're probably not worthwhile. I'm pretty sure a car windscreen pump wouldn't shift enough water to be effective although some of the submersible bilge pumps might be up to the job. As Peregrine says they are commonly used in sea kayaks but the things to remember are that a sea kayak cockpit is a lot smaller volume than a canoe and kayakers would only intend to use them occasionally following a wet re-entry of the kayak (which usually is a last resort following a failed roll). I had toyed with using an SLA battery mounted in a dry box in conjunction with an automatic Rule 500gpa jetski bilge pump. This would eliminate the need for a switch (which is invariably the weak link in electric pump set ups) and would mean the pump would switch itself on and off without input from me leaving me hands free for sailing. It wouldn't be a cheap option though (around £100 for parts IIRC) and still may not be up to the job of emptying a swamped open canoe.

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    Have fitted fabric spray decks to several canoes. I've used the sort of poppers which screw into the gunwale (one end) and attach like eyelets (to the fabric).If you fit them tight they work very well.
    Have also used velcro (stick and stitch), but together with wooden battens with tensioning straps, to give a rounded curved shape to shed water.Not so neat, but used where the guwales are too narrow to take the poppers.

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    Like Isabella, I've used marine-grade poppers/press studs for a spray deck - they work well provided the tension is set up by careful design and construction - I am considering making another spray dodger, for the bow of my latest boat. (Sorry about the big pics)



    Electric pumps are used by some WW canoeists in the US but remember those boats tend to be stuffed with airbags, so the volume of water to be shifted is not so great. I tried a self contained pump/battery/switch unit (Attwood Waterbuster)

    because I already had it from my seakayaking days - it works but the volume shifted is not that huge - I did a trial and it took a couple of minutes to empty a 3 gallon bucket. Still much greater than a windscreen washer pump would be tho. In terms of battery life, a set of 3 D cells should last about 6 hours, but you have to switch it on and off manually.

    It's early days for seeing how my newly fitted self bailer works out, but I see it as a means of passively draining some spray, rather than dealing with a swamped boat. As my boat is open (not decked) the water is not concentrated by a cockpit - so it will not be as deep and easy to deal with by whatever method.

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    I've been pleased with my experimental side decks: providing tension to the unsupported edges through ratchet straps might not be easy to arrange... but the resulting rigidity is outstanding, and I love the fact that I can screw up, and heel well past the rail, without swamping. I also take reassurance from the security of the attachment to the canoe: I'm confident that I'm not going to end up wrapped in a loose deck that's come detached from the canoe.

    My main though was to combine the apparent robustness of this deck down the sides (where the pressure and wear will be greatest):



    With the lightness and convenience of this approach for splash-protection over lashed-in packs and airbags:



    At some point, my experimental deck needs developing. The use of awning track or poppers has come up before, and would seem worth re-visiting
    Last edited by GregandGinaS; 17th-January-2012 at 09:30 AM.

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    The idea of being able to remove/ part open these spraydecks easily to remove gear when portaging is important, but as has been said, the last thing you want is a face full of spraydeck when out in a force 5+, because it has come undone. Nightmare.

    Do you A) fit a spraydeck to prevent the water coming in, in the first place, or B) come up with a pump/ self bailer to take care of the water once it's in? Perhaps a bit of both?

    Would a full spraydeck be the option to go for or could a front end spraydeck be sufficient? If the spraydeck had a raised lip on the trailing edge to push any water to the sides, rather than allow it to pour into the canoe, would that be enough? How much water/ spray tends to land in the rear of the canoe?
    My own experience is that the spray comes over the bow, not really over me at the back, but maybe the winds weren't strong enough!

    Many of the military dinghies had high volume hand pumps in them, which were really good. Excellent if you had a crew to pump the boat dry, but not sure I could use one sailing solo, unless it was mounted to the gunwale or thwart somewhere and could be used with one hand! Actually, that's not a bad idea!! One mounted on each side. Cheap, cheerful and reliable.

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    very useful information, thank you to everyone.
    Here's an initial idea I have to attach a spray deck to my canoe.
    I really like the idea of using a strap and ratchet because of the low intervention needed in making holes in the gunnels, hull etc .
    However I couldn't get a strap to run cleanly around the hull under the gunnel because the lee board mounting block is in the way
    I'm thinking I could place a D-ring/ eye plate screwed firmly into the lee board mounting block on my canoe and mount a similar block on the other gunnel to take a D ring or eye plate. The 25mm strap would then be threaded into a sewn hem at the edges of the deck loop around the eye plate and the be tensioned by an in-line buckle.



    Think this would work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Do you A) fit a spraydeck to prevent the water coming in, in the first place, or B) come up with a pump/ self bailer to take care of the water once it's in? Perhaps a bit of both?
    To me, we're trying to do something about that major canoe design flaw - the big hole in the top that allows near-instantaneous swamping that occurs if you dip a gunwale. Keeping out spray and rain, reducing windage and perhaps providing ourselves with a little protection so that we stay warm are possible further benefits... but not the main job.

    That said, my key design considerations are none of the above: they are {a} performance when a wave breaks onto the deck with great force, and {b} performance during a deep-water self-recovery in adverse conditions - so to my way of thinking, we start not with how we keep the water out... but with what we do in situations where that's the least of our concerns!

    Priority {a}, as already mentioned, is preventing the thing coming loose and (in a worst case scenario) becoming a serious hazard which could easily lead us being entangled, trapped (conceivably underwater), or subject to significant forces... but priority {b} is depends upon the deep-water recovery strategy...

    One option (the one I use) is lashing in enough airbags to ensure the canoe comes up "manageable" if simply righted as one would a decked sailing canoe. Basically, I aim to have the canoe manageable even when swamped... but my tests suggest this means displacing a LOT of water - and making provision for bailing on an industrial scale.

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    Alternatively, buy "Slithy Tove" as advertised here- http://www.ocsg.org.uk/marketplace/ . This is the prototype Shearwater that we made a few years ago. It has a smaller cockpit than usual and has loads of space under the decks for stowage. It even has outriggers (i know you dont like them). A lot more seaworthy than an open canoe with spray deck. If you capsize it it will come up completely dry.

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    It's that difficult third canoe Dave; I wanted to buy Brian's Shearwater but I couldn't get approval from the acquisitions manager

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    I've read this thread with some interest as I have spray come over the sides too. This is the main cause for water getting into my boat, but I just bail it out occasionally.

    The issue of green water coming over the bow was solved (more or less) by my not to pretty plywood thing on the fore deck. It stops most of what hits it and weighs next to nothing.
    The built in buoyancy tanks stop me worrying about the seaworthyness issue, but I bet I have the heaviest sailing canoe on this forum

    Steve


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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    It's that difficult third canoe Dave; I wanted to buy Brian's Shearwater but I couldn't get approval from the acquisitions manager
    That sounds familiar: must have the same instincts as my acquisitions manager

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    These look like an interesting development of fitting popper/studs fittings. they have a ring and hook system to exert leverage and stretch the fabric.
    http://www.contender.co.uk/Products/qsnap.html


    http://www.baselinemarine.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=209&cat=Q-Snap+Cover+fastenings+

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    Very interesting. How easy are they to attach without the tools ?

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    Interesting but look at those prices...
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

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    Good morning, the same company also make perfix fasteners , ther good, Iv yoused them by the 100's on comershal jobs
    http://www.surefas.com/ ther are two diferant tipes of plates for them (the part on the boat ) the one I youse is a screw on tipe , and when ther not in youse ther nice and flush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    That sounds familiar: must have the same instincts as my acquisitions manager
    Arnt all Acquistions Managers the same ? Im under a new crule ruling, two boats out one boat in , thay just dont understand

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    I started spray skirt production today.

    Lessons learnt: Dry eraser type felt pens as used on white boards become super-permanent when used on PVC covered polyester material.
    test a small area on a scrap piece before liberally tracing out cutting marks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    I started spray skirt production today.

    Lessons learnt: Dry eraser type felt pens as used on white boards become super-permanent when used on PVC covered polyester material.
    test a small area on a scrap piece before liberally tracing out cutting marks...
    A cloth with some IPA (isopropylalcohol or propan-2-ol) should remove it.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    Thanks theMark.
    I've just realised I have a bottle of acetone, which is somewhat similar, works a treat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    Thanks theMark.
    I've just realised I have a bottle of acetone, which is somewhat similar, works a treat!
    I would have advised against acetone as it will dissolve some plastics but it sounds like you got away with it.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by theMark View Post
    I would have advised against acetone as it will dissolve some plastics but it sounds like you got away with it.

    Cheers,
    Mark

    Great

    The annoying thing is a soft lead pencil works even better!

    I don't think one application of acetone will damage it though. *hopes*

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    Good morning, I youse a green biro on marking out PVC and on sail cloth it is removed with metho . I found pencil tends to get gruby as you work with the pices on the bench . anuther trick with PVC is to youse a soldering iron (small tip ) to spot weld the seams in place for sowing , its best to test it on sume scraps as not all PVC reacts the same

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick m View Post
    Good morning, I youse a green biro on marking out PVC and on sail cloth it is removed with metho . I found pencil tends to get gruby as you work with the pices on the bench . anuther trick with PVC is to youse a soldering iron (small tip ) to spot weld the seams in place for sowing , its best to test it on sume scraps as not all PVC reacts the same
    Good tip Mick I'll try that.

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    Finished my front spray deck this weekend, the PVC material is a slippery beast under a sewing machine, it has to be hand fed as the machine can't get hold of it. Managed to do a initial figment tonight in the dark by running a couple of roof rackstaps round the canoe. Doesn't look too bad for a Mk1 version anyway, seals nice and tight on the side edges but couldn't get the top "drum" tight which is most likely due to inaccurate measuring, but then there's always MKII!





    The idea is of course, to cut a hole for the mast and then in front of the mast have two wave deflectors running at an angle to the gunnels. the deflectors will be made of the same material possibly with some flexible plastic insert sewn inside to give it some upstand. The mast will support the deflectors which will be either sewn into the main deck or attached by velcro.

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    Looking good Unk. A couple of ideas/suggestions. I was planning to sew in a tube for the deflector bit into which I could slide a length of pool noodle which would be self supporting and simple to do. I also wonder if you could use a length of glassfibre tent pole to add a crown to the deck at the back edge (simply thread it through the hem and locate either end in a hole in the gunwale to induce a curve). That'd be an easy mod to the existing deck and would take out most of the sag. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    Looking good Unk. A couple of ideas/suggestions. I was planning to sew in a tube for the deflector bit into which I could slide a length of pool noodle which would be self supporting and simple to do. I also wonder if you could use a length of glassfibre tent pole to add a crown to the deck at the back edge (simply thread it through the hem and locate either end in a hole in the gunwale to induce a curve). That'd be an easy mod to the existing deck and would take out most of the sag. Just a thought.

    Brilliant ideas!

    Cheers.

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    Just thinking about the pole idea, I wonder if angling the holes in the gunwale would be enough to stop the pole pivoting forwards? Maybe you would have to pull the pole to the rear somehow to keep it upright? (I'm imagining a tunnel tent without the guylines pegged out at the ends and how it would tend to collapse inwards).

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    You could also make a ridge pole. Supported by the front carry handle and mast thwart. This will give it a "V" which will tighten the cloth and help shed the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    You could also make a ridge pole. Supported by the front carry handle and mast thwart. This will give it a "V" which will tighten the cloth and help shed the water.

    There is actually a blue drum under the fabric in those pics which is giving it a water shedding shape, the deck would tighten up if I pulled it back further but there are a couple of issues: I think I may have made the thin end a little too wide and bringing it back any more will start interfering with the jib sheet fairleads and leave a gap past the deck plates.Now I have the shape worked out and a live template making a mk2 wouldn't take very long at all. But I'd best wait till the weekend when I can work it out in daylight!

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    Chris you are a genie and sticking with your idea of the glassfibre tent pole and your concerns about it falling over, if Unk just moved the pole forwards towards the bow 6-inches instead of fitting right at the aft edge, the material aft of the pole secured at the gunwales will give sufficient tension to stop it falling forward. No guylines required or additional supports underneath.

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    I would make mark 2 with a concave, curved rear edge and set the pole forward of the curve, that way the two outside edges could be pulled back and would work as the "guylines". It would also look a bit more elegant than a straight edge (albeit it would be harder to sew). If it were too difficult to sew, the same effect could be achieved by attaching a triangle of fabric to the straight edge at each side.

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    The straight rear edge is to enable a join up with a rear spray deck with side skirts extending to the front spray deck (somehow yet to be figured out)

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    The straight rear edge is to enable a join up with a rear spray deck with side skirts extending to the front spray deck (somehow yet to be figured out)
    Ah so you'll be able to use the side decks to tension the front section then. KISS principle, I like it.

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    I think I've abandoned my fabric spraydeck proposal, or let's say I'm suspending it indefinitely.
    I'm also not going to use the 60l drum as end buoyancy. I still want to improve the buoyancy of my canoe and have have just brought 30 and 48 inch Harmony airbags for stern and bows respectively and now intend to create a removable plywood deck for the bow which hopefully will be easier to attach and more sturdy. Whats the right way to attach the airbags to the hull? I have four vinyl 1" D ring patches , I was intending to use all four as the mount points for each drums, with two each side. What's the best way for fixing airbags?

    Unk

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    We have done it on open canoes with P clips screwed under the gunwales and lacing cris crossing from one gunwale to the other. If you put a D ring on the bottom of the hull at the inside end of the bag you can run the lacing down to it to stop the bag coming out of the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    We have done it on open canoes with P clips screwed under the gunwales and lacing cris crossing from one gunwale to the other. If you put a D ring on the bottom of the hull at the inside end of the bag you can run the lacing down to it to stop the bag coming out of the end.

    Thanks as ever Dave.


    So something like this if I understand you correctly;


  48. #48
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    Exactly

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    I think I've abandoned my fabric spraydeck proposal, or let's say I'm suspending it indefinitely.
    I'm also not going to use the 60l drum as end buoyancy. I still want to improve the buoyancy of my canoe and have have just brought 30 and 48 inch Harmony airbags for stern and bows respectively and now intend to create a removable plywood deck for the bow which hopefully will be easier to attach and more sturdy. Whats the right way to attach the airbags to the hull? I have four vinyl 1" D ring patches , I was intending to use all four as the mount points for each drums, with two each side. What's the best way for fixing airbags?

    Unk
    Shame you've abandoned the original plans - it was looking good.
    I'm on Mark II with my fabric spray deck. It's got bits of sail batten across it, in fabric tubes, with the ends tensioned ( to give a curve) by a strap.
    It needs to come at least as far back as the leeboard ( the leeboard is responsible for throwing quite a bit of water into the boat).
    I started off with velcro fastening ( works fine until water starts sloshing over it, when the fabric goes a bit soft and the velcro comes unhooked) and have now copied Graham Dibsall's idea of running a tight tensioning line round under the gunwale.
    Now I need to do another sea trial.

    You might need a sort of coaming on your ply deck, if you go down that route. If my spray deck were flat, I think much of the water landing on it would run straight into the boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ISABELLA View Post
    Shame you've abandoned the original plans - it was looking good.
    I'm on Mark II with my fabric spray deck. It's got bits of sail batten across it, in fabric tubes, with the ends tensioned ( to give a curve) by a strap.
    It needs to come at least as far back as the leeboard ( the leeboard is responsible for throwing quite a bit of water into the boat).
    I started off with velcro fastening ( works fine until water starts sloshing over it, when the fabric goes a bit soft and the velcro comes unhooked) and have now copied Graham Dibsall's idea of running a tight tensioning line round under the gunwale.
    Now I need to do another sea trial.

    You might need a sort of coaming on your ply deck, if you go down that route. If my spray deck were flat, I think much of the water landing on it would run straight into the boat.
    I tried running a strap all around the underside of the gunnels I even brought a stainless steel ratchet strap
    http://handystraps.co.uk/25mm-Stainl...s-Handles.html
    but the lee board block is a bit of an impediment, the strap either has to be attached to it or divert below it. also I wanted to be able to simple add on the front or rear /side decks easily and threading the webbing through the spraydeck was a right pain: I used double sided sticky tape to hold the webbing loop part in position while I sewed it so trying to thread the webbing was a night mare as the sticky tape inside either combined with the surface resistance and held the webbing fast while I tried to thread it or it stuck the loop part together stopping the webbing from progressing .It took ages to thread, and I would of needed two straps and ratchets, one for each deck and even after all that I still couldn't get the sizing of the deck accurate enough to make the surface of the deck as tight as I wanted. I then ditched the strap idea and brought those lever type pop studs mentioned earlier in the thread, but they aren't quite small enough to fit under the gunnel with out a bit of the hook part sticking out which could be a bit of an issue, plus I would of had to resize the decks to get them to fit. It seemed if I wanted a ridged easy to fit bow deck my original idea of a plywood deck would be the best course.

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    I sympathise - double sided sticky tape can be a nightmare. Cost me £50 to have my machine sorted out after sewing too much coated fabric , and seams held with seam tape !!
    I used 3mm cord to thread through the tape, having worked a bodkin and some very thin strong thread through first as a leader. Couldn't have got tape through.
    Am using small V cleats to hold/tension it, as they don't stick out.
    However - haven't tried it in anger yet.

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