Valley RM boats

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by AM, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. AM

    AM Paddler

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    I'm looking for feedback from any owners of Valley RM boats. Specifically, I'm looking for information on how the hulls hold up to long term use and how the plastic weld on the bulkheads lasts over the stress of several seasons.

    I talked to Rob Avery a few years ago about the RM line, after he published the first of his Aleutian Islands trip reports in SK. I believe he paddled a Nordkapp RM on those trips. He spoke highly of these boats and I'd like input from others.

    Thanks in advance.

    Andrew
     
  2. tmgr

    tmgr Paddler

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    I have a 2007 Avocet RM, and we also had a Nordkapp until recently. No problems yet, aside from changing out the hatch covers...
     
  3. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    I had the lower portion of the bulkhead weld separating the cockpit from the dayhatch leak on my Nordkapp RM (I tend to drag my boats around over rocks, so there is a lot of stress at this juncture). I was able to fix it with the special polyethylene epoxy. I also had a weird boat with out-of-spec hatch combings but Valley replaced the whole boat. I have a lot of miles in it. I love the boat.
     
  4. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    First - Rob Avery is a good guy, even a friend of mine. That said, he used to be the Valley rep for Western US. So he may not have been unbiased when he answered your questions.

    My girlfriend and I have 2 Valleys - a Aquanaut HV and Gemini. Have not had any troubles with hulls or bulkheads.

    Hatch covers and skegs are a different subject,
     
  5. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Thanks for the feedback, folks. It's good to get some long-term, real-world data on these boats. I believe Valley is the only company that has plastic bulkheads in their RM boats (P&H used to, but switched back to foam because of problems with bond -- or so I heard).

    Philip, was that epoxy repair any more finicky than a repair on fiberglass? And did it last? I accept that bulkheads will sometimes detach (as I've seen on FG boats), and as long as the repair is straightforward and long-lasting it should be no big concern.

    Thanks,
    Andrew
     
  6. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    This is the stuff: Poly-Weld

    It works great on polyethylene. It is about the only product that actually sticks to PE. You have to give the surface of the plastic to be epoxied a quick heating with a propane torch, but then it really bonds well. Just for the heck of it, I pressed a little fiberglass fabric into the epoxy and put a second layer over the top. I would even consider doing it prophylactically in the future on that bulkhead behind the cockpit since it receives so much stress. Only the lower part of the bulkhead needs it.
     
  7. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Nice! I was wondering if you could add a reinforcement to the epoxy. You've entered a strange new world of materials.
     
  8. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Looking at the data sheets from TAP, and the MSDS's of the resin and the hardener, it looks like and sounds like a specialty variant of a bisphenol-A / amine based epoxy. In addition, TAP's links to it date back 5 years or more.

    With that chemistry and those dates, how come this stuff has not simply eclipsed all the other PE "miracle" adhesives?

    Not knocking the product, just wondering. And, I probably will acquire some myself to experiment with. Thanks to Philip and others for bringing it to light.
     
  9. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    I'm not an adhesives guy, so I'm not up on my PE glues. What else is on the market? I got the Poly-Weld a number of years back, and it seemed like at that time it was the only PE epoxy.
     
  10. Yaketyak

    Yaketyak Paddler

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    Not related to the hull plastic which i think is quite good but Valley seats are not constructed very well. I have a 2010 fiberglass Nordkapp lv and the seat didn't stand up very well. It has cheap plastic suspending the seat which eventually broke i contribute the failure to rolling practice. I fortified it with an aluminum angle bracket and have since scraped it all together and made my own micro cell seat.
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Philip, that is my recollection, also. Then I believe others were announced, but paid little attention because I did not have any PE repairs. From your "many miles" comment, I assume your repair has lasted, and in a high stress application.

    Googling on "polyethlene epoxy adhesive" brought up WEST System's G-Flex As well as the TAP adhesive you used. I assume they are basically the same stuff. I did not recognize any other candidates.
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I wrote: Googling on "polyethlene epoxy adhesive" brought up WEST System's G-Flex As well as the TAP adhesive you used. I assume they are basically the same stuff.

    Nope. Just took a close look at the MSDS's. Not the same, although both hardeners have similar ingredients. The resin in G-Flex does not use bisphenol-A diglycidyl ethers. Uses different main ingredient.
     
  14. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    A while back I played around with G-Flex and recall I wasn't impressed. I don't remember the exact project. It also didn't require prepping the PE by 'taking the shine off' with a propane torch, so I wonder if it really does PE well. The Poly-Weld seems to stick and stay stuck.
     
  15. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    Anyone know if Poly-Weld is available in Canada and if so, where? I tried a Google search and nothing came up.
     
  16. Yaketyak

    Yaketyak Paddler

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    I haven't had any luck with G-Flex either, marine epoxy seems better
     
  17. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    I think I bought it directly from TAP (the manufacturer).
     
  18. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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  19. pryaker

    pryaker Paddler

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    I haven't had a chance to use g-flex in any "challenging" repairs but I do keep some around just in case. I'd have to check the written instructions that came in the kit I bought, but I know a number of articles I've read all recommended flaming the surface of PE before bonding. I think Gudgeon has studied the benefits of flaming other plastics and for use with their regular epoxy also.

    It's kinda silly but check out this video http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-torture-demo it humorously shows the strength of g-flex.

    For anyone wanting to learn about using epoxy, West system documentation is great with lots of tips and techniques. I'm on the mailing list for their semi regular (and free) newsletter (epoxyworks?) and it's always got something interesting to learn.

    And if you're unsure of proper technique I'm sure their tech support geeks would love to help.
     
  20. shorline

    shorline New Member

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    I've had luck with Lexal adhesive/sealant gluing in the foam bulkheads on a poly NDK going on 6 years and still holding