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Thread: Lacing and rope shrinkage

  1. #1

    Default Lacing and rope shrinkage

    This site has a number of good posts on lacing a canoe but i haven't found a post covering this yet.

    I am lacing the full length of my 12' fibreglass canoe with 5mm climbing cord. The process seems strait forward enough however static rope shrinks by about 5% after getting wet and drying out for the first time. If i don't soak my cord first i can see one of two things happening after taking the canoe out for a paddle

    1. The cord shrinks and pulls the lacing nice and tight against the canoe, making it look great
    2. The cord shrinks and rips a number of holes in canoe as the fibreglass as it is unable to flex to accommodate.

    Would be great if someone could offer some advice.

    Jack

  2. #2
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    Hey,

    I've never heard of anybody ever considering this factor, so I don't think you're going to have a problem! Just string it and it'll be fine I'm sure. I'm guessing nobody ever manages to get it so tight that there isn't some slack.

  3. #3
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    If you are that concerned, leave it slack for the first couple of trips. But the lacing seldom gets that wet unless you capsize or its raining.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    How tight you want it depends on how you are planning to configure and use the lacing, ie, re you making loops on the inside, or leaving it tight and treading thin cord or webbing under it?

    You could soak it and let it dry first?

  5. #5
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    If it's not tight it will look crappy.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the advise.

    I think im just going to do it without shrinking the cord first and see what I think.

    I am going to be making loops with pvc tubing, just waiting on the postie and weather now.

    I dont fancy drilling fiberglass in the confines of my garage.

  7. #7
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    The PVC tubing should introduce a significant amount of "give" into the system anyway.
    "I'm not getting in a boat which is DESIGNED to go upside down."

  8. #8
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    Years ago when I was first paddling white water canoe, I stayed overnight at a pub with loads of other canoeists. In the car park were an array of rooftop canoes variously outfitted. I remember even now a canoe with 8-10mm yellow lacing down the sides which had not been pulled taut or had been allowed to go slack. It looked an absolute disgrace. Ever since then I have been advising people that, if they want to do lacing, they should do it neatly. You owe it to yourselves

  9. #9
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    Climbing rope has an amount of elasticity designed in. Nothing worse than having something, or someone, drop off a rock face only to have it stop very suddenly. Things tend to snap or dislodge from belay points etc.

    For this reason I wouldn't consider it for use in lacing your canoe. You probably need about 10 metres of line and should be able to source it for less than 1 per metre. Or, in other words, a "ha'p'orth 'o tar".
    "I'd far rather be happy than right any day"..........Slartibartfast

    http://apachecanoes.com

  10. #10
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    Interesting, all this. I've had a lot of boats (cue chorus of Oh Yes?) Some were already laced, some I have done,, some I've used the holes already drilled by the previous owner, one I laced using p brackets (never again) but what I aim to do basically is to use strong, 4mm nautical thread with the intention of having some plastic loops to hang my collection of bailers, saws, thermoses. lunch boxes, throw bags near both my rear seat position, and my mid seat position. I find I need three or four loops max. For the rest I leave a very small bowline loop on the inside of the boat where the first (or last) cross piece will end, and then go out, along to the next hole, in across the boat out, along, back,. I arrange the pattern to suit, normally diagonals so that I can return crossing the lines already in place, finishing at the loop I've left at the start, through which I tighten the loops. I then place yoga mat under the lacing, and the air bag below it, with the pointed end of the bag secured to the loop of heavy duty rope that forms the end loop. Then I blow up the bag. The afore mentioned chorus will know that at one time I swam quite a lot, and in some quite serious stuff. I now behave more as befits my age, but in any case, nothing ever came loose, nothing was ever lost, and the boat looked neat. Where it not for the photo debacle on here, I might post pictures, but if you really want them, you will need to pm me an email address, and be prepared to wait a bit cos I'm off paddling.

    Impcanoe

  11. #11
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    My first query is what is the rope made from? If it is a natural fibre then it will shrink when wet, however if it is a man made fibre it is highly unlikely to shrink when wet. A simple test to find out if it is natural or man made is to burn the end. Basically if it melts and makes a hard molten blob it is man made, if it burns and goes to ash then it is natural. (I could get more technical about colour of flame and smell, but for that I would need to go digging through the library).
    Sewboat
    aka mrs rimfire

    I can sew anything.

  12. #12

    Default

    Thanks again all.


    Mark, all rope/cord has a % of elasticity. In climbing, ropes are are one of 2 types


    (Semi-)Static – Used for abseiling, setting up anchors, climbing with the anchor point above you and rope access work. Has minimal stretch but still some hence the “Semi-”Static


    Dynamic - Used for climbing when you are setting up your anchor points as you climb up, when you fall you will be falling from above the anchor point so the fall would be of a greater “force” so yes you need the rope to stretch otherwise
    Quote Originally Posted by MultiMark View Post
    stop very suddenly. Things tend to snap or dislodge from belay points etc.

    I cant think of another use for a dynamic rope other than climbing, I still find abseiling on it a bit odd.



    The accessory cord I am using is essentially thin a (Semi-)Static rope
    This one actually http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/mammut-5mm-cord-p181333


    Impcanoe, I am having trouble picturing what you are describing but that might just be the time I am reading this at but my intention for doing this seem to be the same as yours (utility). I will mostly be paddling with a small child, if (and by that I mean when) we take a dip I wont need to worry about my kit floating off down river.


    Sewboat, I believe the cord is Nylon


    I have been waiting for the PVC tubing in the post for what feels like ages and with the great weather we had last week I got fed up of waiting for it.
    I measured out the spacings about a week before and had some time of work so got stuck in drilling. Found that it is best to clamp a block of wood behind the hole so that the drill bit does not “burst out” of the exit hole making a mess of the fibreglass.
    I tried lacing the canoe without the tubing but was in a rush to get on the water and pulled through some of the core taking a mess of one end of the cord.
    By this time I realised that the day was just too nice to be wasting my time of a “temporary” job that I was going to undo as soon as the PVC tubing arrived in the post so I used some thinner cord lashed in my air bag and yoga ball and went for my first paddle in my very own canoe it was great.


    Fast forward almost week and the PVC tube has finally arrived, seems to be the wrong diameter but I will have a proper look tomorrow.


    I have been taking pictures throughout the process and will look at getting them posted up soon

  13. #13
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    Hi Jack, I got my pvc tubing from B+Q in Loughborough.

  14. #14

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    Thanks DC,

    On last Sunday I drove past B&Q at least 3 times with the intention of dropping in but something just kept popping up and it ended up being Thursday before I managed to actually get in there.

    So i have all the kit now just need to get started.

  15. #15
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    I agree with Sewboat - if its synthetic rope - which it is most likely to be if sold as 5mm accessory cord, it just won't shrink.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

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