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Materials

Posted By Dan Caouette

Lumber | Epoxy Resin | Fiberglass | Carbon Fiber | Kevlar | Coatings | Hardware

Every project, whether it be a kayak, canoe, starts by selecting the best materials. We take the time sorting through stacks of wood, looking for boards with just the right color, grain pattern, and figure. We use the highest quality epoxies, fiberglass, carbon fiber and finishes. All aftermarket hardware is sourced through the biggest names in the industry: Nelo, KajakSport, Stellar Kayaks and Beckson to name a few.


Lumber

Lumber
From our “Environmental Statement”:

Our business is based on one of the most valuable natural resources on our Earth – trees. While trees are the most renewable resource used in manufacturing, huge demands are being placed on our forests. Sound stewardship practices are critical for maintaining healthy forests and the environment in general. That is why it is our intent for all the wood used to be native from North America, from local sources if possible. We are committed to sustainability, both internally and externally. No lumber from virgin old-growth forests are exploited. The forests from which this lumber is cut is FAR more valuable to our environment than any boat we could build.

Currently, every project includes at least one piece of wood personally harvested from the family property. In the next few years to hope to start harvest all of our own lumber from the Sweeney Farm, our Millsfield, NH property that has been in my wife’s family since 1917. Nearly two-thirds of the 300 acres is forested. We are looking to purchase our own bandsaw mill and will air dry all of our wood on site. Modern kiln drying, which greatly speeds up the drying process for commercial lumber operations, is very energy intensive. It’s one small step to protect our environment and use less fossil fuels.

Wood species for every project are chosen based on aesthetics and for their mechanical qualities.


Epoxy

EpoxyEpoxy is used as a structural matrix material which is then reinforced by fiber. Typical fiber reinforcements include glass, carbon, and Kevlar. Polyester resins are typically low strength unless used with a reinforcing material like glass fiber, are relatively brittle unless reinforced, and have low adhesion. Epoxies, by contrast, are inherently strong, somewhat flexible and have excellent adhesion. Because of the better mechanical properties relative to the more common polyester resins, epoxies are used in the manufacture of components where a high strength/weight ratio is required.

We are very proud that 100% of the epoxies we use are bio-derived, sourced entirely through Entropy Resins. They are a leader in environmentally, sustainable epoxy.

entropy_logo-1-1
Super Sap Epoxy 100/1000 System – Industry’s First USDA BioPreferred Certified Epoxy System
No Compromises. Performance, Sustainability, Lower Environmental Impact. Our mission at Entropy Resins is to provide epoxy resin systems for a new generation of products. Products that not only perform, but also take a crucial step towards lowering our impact on the environment.


Fiberglass

Fiberglass
A cloth fabric made of fine fiberglass strands woven at right angles to each other, fiberglass cloth is the most common composite material used in boat building, repairs, and reinforcing of wood. Once applied, it creates a strong, rigid waterproof layer as well as a smooth surface suitable for painting.

To reduce weight and increase strength our Performance and Expedition layups use S-2 glass. S glass (primarily S-2 glass) is generally considered to be about 20% stronger than regular E-glass. S-Glass is 64-66% Silicone Dioxide compare to E-Glass at 52-56%.


Carbon Fiber

carbon-fiber-4x4-fabric
Carbon fiber is a long, thin strand of material composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in microscopic crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber. The crystal alignment makes the fiber incredibly strong for its size. Several thousand carbon fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which is woven into a fabric. The fabric is combined with epoxy and wound or molded into shape to form various composite materials. Carbon fiber-reinforced composite materials are used components where light weight and high strength are needed. The strongest carbon fibers are ten times stronger than steel and eight times that of aluminum, not to mention much lighter than both materials, 5 and 1.5 times, respectively. Additionally, their fatigue properties are superior to all known metallic structures, and they are one of the most corrosion-resistant materials available, when coupled with the proper resins. It’s also just darn pretty!


Kevlar

kevlar_rollDuPont™ Kevlar® aramid fiber is used to make a variety of clothing, accessories, and equipment safe and cut resistant. It’s lightweight and extraordinarily strong, with five times the strength of steel on an equal-weight basis. Best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® brand aramid fiber is also used in the building of kayaks and canoes that are lightweight, strong and impact resistant. Kevlar fabric can be used on its own or in conjunction with other reinforcement fabrics, it provides very high resistance to impact and abrasion, it is much more resilient to fracture separation than other reinforcements.  Great addition for an expedition boat.


Coatings

Coatings
Instead of finishing our boats with traditional “spar” varnishes we finish all of our boats with 3-5 coats of a modern three-component polyurethane. We usually use the DuPont Imron or Chromapremiere lines of finishes. For something truly special we can finish the boat in custom auto paint, House of Kolor. With either system the resulting finish will be clearer, glossier, more scratch resistant and easier to maintain.

For the ultimate in abrasion resistance, consider coating the hull with either our epoxy/graphite or epoxy/silicone systems.


Hardware

All aftermarket hardware is sourced through the biggest names in the industry.
beckson-logokajak-sport-logoNeloStellar

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High performance kayaks, canoes and other small boats. Crafted individually in the USA.