A passing thought:

SZihn

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Jul 1, 2021
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Shoshoni Wyoming
Today I found out that polypropylene is made in clear. ( My wife is an engineer at an injection molding factory.)

So my though is some one should make some Kayaks in clear polypro, for instructors, schools and students.

When doing demonstrations or, if a coach is watching a student, it would be wonderful if the paddlers could see from the spray skits down, so the mistakes could be seen and understood better. It would be much easier to correct and far easier for a student to see how it looks when done right, and then could compare what he or she is doing wrong to better understand what needs to be changed.

Maybe there is some reason why such construction is not practical, but so far I don't know what that reason would be.


Any thoughts from your folks?
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kootenays BC
Personally I don't want to know what some people are or aren't wearing down below deck :oops:

On the other hand,
I am thinking of making a clear sof kayak soon.
 

red kite

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Feb 1, 2009
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comox valley
Yes there is one company doing it, (Cristalkayak https://crystalkayak.com/?campaign=2037977496&content=355830682018&keyword=crystal kayak&gclid=CjwKCAjwxo6IBhBKEiwAXSYBs0JAFSqQPnVOrR5OQJEaUYDWZ6_9AI6ZNMmc4c28-XfpZr3OBL3kihoCJ40QAvD_BwE) but not with a closed top kayak made to preform on rough water. I think it would be a good idea for a "real" kayak to be made in clear poly, for the purpose of training as well as regular use
Looks more like a variation of acrylic to me (didn't see a material declaration without digging deeper). More brittle than PE (or PP)... so, personally, I would probably not want to take those in anything than flatwater.

Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean that it makes business sense. So many factors playing into that:
I'm not a chemist, but I'm quite sure that natural polypropylene is not clear, but opaque, so there would be additives needed to make it completely clear.
The machinery used for rotomolded boats are made in is laid out very specifically for polyethylene and would need specific re-tooling for polypropylene (if possible at all), so it's not just flipping a switch and good to go to use a different material.
While some imperfections are visible on a coloured surface, literally anything will be highlighted in a clear surface. I remember when some manufacturers experimented with viewing windows in the bottom of some rec boats, they scratched so easily and looked really bad very fast (on the water the scratches would "disappear" and not influence the viewing experience, but on land it looked bad), and my understanding is that that was the harder acrylic. Just think about the cost for keeping the mold super super super sparkling clean to get a perfect product every single time.
It's also possible that they don't get as many polypro boats out of a mold as with polyethylene, so higher replacement cost.
On the flip side, how much are people willing to pay for a "plastic kayak"?

And that's just on top of my head...

But hey, have a couple millions to burn? It seems that you discovered a market opportunity? ;-)
 

Peter-CKM

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Dec 1, 2011
Messages
634
Location
San Francisco, CA
Delta has a recreational kayak that has an acrylic section between the paddler's legs to allow one to look down.

The issue appears to be that the acrylic scratches very easily. On the Delta, the acrylic section is on their cat version, so is in an area where it isn't likely going to hit the bottom and scratch. But a bat made of clear acrylic would pretty quickly not be as transparent as one may like.
 

SZihn

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Jul 1, 2021
Messages
128
Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
I did contact a few companies and some have already tried it but found the clear ABS has structural issues the colored sheets don't have, so I am not the 1st one to think of this, but it's been tried (Eddyline is one of them) and it didn't work out.

The man at Eddyline thought it was a great idea too, but until there is some new material to use they could not get the ruggedness they needed, so they scrapped the idea.

Some other companies say it's a great idea, but are so backlogged on their production that all kayaks are pre-sold through 2022 and even some into 2023, so they have no time or resources to get into a new idea and do the R&D on it now.

So much for my idea....................... There really IS a reason no one is doing it
 
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