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Kayak materials to use as teaching aides? Answered

I teach at a Boy Scout camp in Wisconsin, and one of my main duties is our kayaks.  One requirement involves teaching different materials for kayaks (canoeing has the same requirement) and I was wondering if anyone had an idea on where I could get different material samples/scrap/castoffs to use as a teaching aide. Off the top of my head, the materials are polyethylene, Kevlar, Royalex, carbon fiber, and fiberglass.  Any suggestions?



6 years ago

Talk to the manufacturers, mentioning your teaching application. Id bet that several will send samples.

To find manufactures, go to local stores and ask what brands they have. In USA there are actually few manufacturers. Epic kayaks in charelston sc. Wilderness systems is in south or north carolina. Nigel's kayak brand in washington or oregon. Feathercraft is, i think in virginia. Dagger may be here. Most of the whitewater brands are around new england (jackson, etc.) Dont forget the instructable member guillemot who has been selling designs for many years. Some other ibles members who make their own may have scraps.

In reference to teaching, i would read a bit about different kayak designs (skin on frame, stiched and glue, collapsible, inflatable, rotomolded, fiberglass/composite layups...) and teach based on that point of view. Sure kevlar is used, but what is important is why the boat is using kevlar in its particular case. A 4000$ surf ski with composit lay up is actaully very fragile, in spite of the kevlar. But speed is the key to those boats. On the other hand, rotomolded plastic boats are great for whitewater or weekender sit-on-tops, both which take heavy beatings. Where each material has a place, is what you want to discuss.

Thank you fo your reply. I emailed a local kayak and canoe shop to see if they had any materials from repairs (they do rentals too), and am awaiting that reply. And on our other point, we talk quite a lot about the different designs, and why materials are used, which is actually a different requirement. Thanks for your reply!

Where are you in the world?

Try suppliers Explain what you want and why I have always found them helpful to organizations.

You could contact local suppliers/manufacturers of those materials, explain the situation (emphasise the Boy Scout link), and ask for donations of samples.

Also talk to local boat builders (google is your friend) - they may be able to give you left-over scraps, or point you towards their material suppliers.