modern equivalent to doped canvas?

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Dav3xor

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Joined
Jul 31, 2020
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6
I've built a few SOF kayaks, I used 8oz polyester from the kudzu craft guy -- it shrinks better than nylon and is lighter than canvas. Aircraft fabric works but its pretty thin, might be a little fragile if you drag it across rocks.
 

Riggerrob

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Sep 9, 2014
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1,879
Location
Canada
Caution:
Most of the fabric currently sold as "ballistic cloth" has diverged from the original Military Specification for the ballistic nylon that was used in flack vest.
MIL SPEC C-12369, Ballistic nylon cloth weights 13.5 to 15 ounces per square yard. It is woven 2 by 2 of 1000 denier thread. Modern bullet-proof vests are made of Kevlar or Spectra (polyethaline) supplemented by ceramic plates.
15 ounces is way too heavy for kayaks.

I would use a 400 denier Dacron. Why Dacron? Because it is easier to heat-shrink and lasts far longer in sun-light.

Orotex 600 fabric weighs 3 ounces per square yard and Orotex 6000 weighs 4 ounces per square yard. That roughly equals 300 denier and 400 denier fabric.
 
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Aesquire

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Jul 28, 2014
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2,676
Location
Rochester, NY, USA
Second the nomination for Dacron ( polyester ) and suggest the newer less hazardous solvents/coatings.

Polyester has replaced cotton etc canvas in aviation for a reason. Lighter stronger and less dead from poisoning builders.

I haven't used the New coatings, so don't have a brand name suggestion, but uncertified Dacron in the "ultralight" versions from aircraft supply houses is the cheaper, Functional recommendation. Fabric store polyester has generally been pre-shrunk at the factory and won't work as well. If it all.
 

Pilot-34

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Apr 7, 2020
Messages
874
Oh I do like the idea of a glass bottom boat!
I built an Aerolite single paddle canoe from Platt Monfort's plans nearly 30 years ago, and used the lightest un-certified Dacron from Aircraft Spruce to cover it, glued on with Stitts products, and heat shrunk it per the PolyFiber instructions. I filled the weave with marine spar varnish. In the water, it was transparent enough to see the bottom whizz by.
 

Michael Silvius

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Jan 26, 2020
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90
Location
Maine USA
FWIW. The earliest pioneer of skin-on-frame kayaks to use synthetic fabrics for his kayaks was Geroge Dyson.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71hPuRppnXL.jpg

All the fabrics he sourced were "greige" state fabrics nylon and polyester used in paper mills as giant filters. Greige means that that they are pulled off the production line before the finish process that shrinks them. He bought them in bulk and price was very reasonable. In the kayak building community he became the retail source for the products. His lightest fabric were on the order of 8 oz/yd and went as high as 30 oz/yd. All too heavy for aircraft use. More details on the materials and the distinction between polyester and nylon handling here:
 
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