Iki Wa’a – three years on

Iki Wa’a and I have had some great mini adventures over the last 3 years

He is a 12’ x 30” open canoe which was built lightly and cheaply and without some of extra work and expense of similar craft.

I thought therefore it would be worth reporting how he has survived three years of abuse.

A bit about the build

  • 4mm quality 3 ply ply (Robbins Elite BS1088)
  • Canoe has fore and aft and side to side symmetry with ply internal and external ply butt joints all in line at the centre line
  • Chines internal fillet and covered with 50mm glass tape, peel ply used
  • No external tape on chines, keel coat with 25mm Kevlar tape. Outside chine area coated with epoxy to seal edges and minimal filling.
  • Inside bottom where the panel is wide coated with 200g carbon, I had some lying about.
  • So no epoxy encapsulation painted the big shed primer and gloss couple of coats of each.

As a shell Iki Wa’a weighs in at 13kg.

The abuse, Iki Wa’a has been down mild rapids, bounced off rocks and down weirs. I have thrown him about a fair bit with the focus on use rather than care. He has also be converted to two variants of sailing canoe and further stressed as this development progressed. He is kept inside a garage.

So how has Iki Wa’a survived three years. A few scratches and dings on the bottom but very superficial and not through the first laminate of the plywood. The bow keel area did wear the Kevlar a bit (running up beach and portage dragging) and a 3mm stainless rod has been epoxied in. I have touched the outside a couple of times and he looks as good as new, which was a working finish.

No structural issues or anything worry about the long term durability of the canoe

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