neon14 wrote:I have a question. How easily do these boats dent? Like if you stood on the floor would the heal of your food dent it or do yall put extra glass or even wood in the cockpit area? Thanks
With just one layer of 4 oz fiberglass cloth it would dent pretty easy. One layer of 6 oz is much tougher but I use at least 2 layers of 4 oz all over and this even tougher. I use 3 layers in the cockpit and 4-6 layers on the bottom of the ends. The bottom is covered with a couple of layers of Epoxy with Graphite powder. This is nice aesthetically as it is shiny black, but it also provides protection from abrasion. If you look at the bottom of my kayaks they look all scratched up, but run your finger over the scratches and you can barely feel them. The bottom can be sanded lightly and the scratches will disappear. This also exposes the Graphite more and makes the bottom even slicker. I thicken the first layer of Epoxy Graphite with Phenolic Microballoons (dark brown). This fills nicely and gives better coverage. The second layer is plain Epoxy Graphite powder for toughness. This way 2 layers of Epoxy Graphite will be enough.
The ends of my kayaks are wood and the gunnels are covered with 1" corner molding. This provides protection in critical areas, with minimal weight penalty and the wood is nice aesthetically.
A foam kayak built like this would be much tougher than any Polyethylene kayak and a whole lot easier to repair.
I painted one foamy with exterior house paint. I wouldn't do that again. It doesn't wear well.
I painted the last foam kayak with Epoxy and mango yellow pigment. (Everybody knows that yellow kayaks are the fastest.) Pigment color is really good and coverage is adequate in 2 layers. The Epoxy and Pigment can be thickened with glass microballoons to improve coverage without harming the color.
One of my foam kayaks is 14'X28" and weighs 30 lbs with a vendor seat. The other is 15'X28" (plus rudder) and weighs 40 lbs (with a 5 lb error penalty). The only type of home built construction lighter would be Skin on Frame. Although there are some wood boats built here that are pretty spectacular in light weight.
Sheet foam is an excellent material to work with. It will form compound curves to a limited extent, at least much more than plywood. Cuts, shapes and sands like butter. Do need to avoid polyester resins, contact cement and CA glues but it bonds well with Gorilla glue or any sort of Epoxy. Is easily repaired and modified. It is readily available and inexpensive.