Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Constructions for Clipper Solo Canoes

During the winter months here at the Clipper Canoe plant we get a little bored and have some free time to experiment with different canoe constructions. With big growth numbers in our solo line of canoes last year it seemed that the Packer and Solitude were good fits to try some new constructions on.
This was perfect timing as we received a request for a custom kevlar Packer with foam core carbon ribs. This is a layup we had never done before in a Packer and we were eager to give it a try.

The Custom Kevlar Packer turned out amazingly well and the wood trim really sets off the honey clear color of the light weight kevlar. What a great looking canoe and weighing in at just over 25lbs we couldn't be happier.

The carbon seat and ribs with the wood trim make for a really sharp looking boat.

The next solo Clipper to get a make over was our most popular solo boat the 15'6 Solitude. The Solitude is hugely popular for open water and light river tripping, so durability is key in this boat. While we wanted to make something sharp looking and functional we knew it was going to be a delicate blend of light weight, durability and a pinch of sexy. We all love the expensive look of carbon fiber but it lacks in some areas in regards to strength and abrasion. So we decided to mix it up a bit and use some super light weight carbon fiber on the side walls and stick with the Kevlar laminate in the hull. The Gel-coat on a Kevlar boat provides a layer for abrasion resistance that's hard to get from any other material. Keeping the Carbon up higher on the sides and out of the high wear spots , and in full view seemed like a good idea.

Our Solitude mold is a three part mold, this is required on boats with lots of tumblehome in order to get the boat out of the mold. That made the job of getting a nice clean line for the transition from carbon to gel coat that much easier. In the end it came out looking as good as we had hoped.

The end weight of just under 40lbs was great as well. It weighs as much as a traditional ultra light layup with the added abrasion resistance of a Gel-coated boat. Sweet combo, the pictures tell the rest.

In the hull of most our Kevlar canoes we use a foam core to give it the stiffness you need to have the best performing canoe possible. We substituted the normal Kevlar core cover for a carbon fiber one, this does two things, brings the weight down and the sexy up.

Our first ever Carbon/Kevlar hybrid Solitude atop its throne in the WCK showroom.

Check back for more new and exciting stuff from the team at Clipper.

Ryan Bayes

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