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      Sawyer Canoe "Brittle" after 37 Yrs?     

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jam66
senior member (55)senior membersenior member
 
09/06/2017 12:53PM
Would there be any problem with a Sawyer canoe manufactured in late 80s early 90s in terms of the Lay-up of the Kevlar/GelCoat becoming "Brittle"?
Canoe was stored indoors and appears to of had little if any use. What type of Epoxy would they of used in the build?
 
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sedges
distinguished member (157)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/06/2017 07:07PM
I don't believe Sawyer ever used epoxy resin in their lay-up. Vinylester was the resin of choice for high-end composite canoes at that time. Still is, except for Souris River. It resists water absorption better than polyester resin and is sort of median between polyester and epoxy in structural properties.

I see boats that old and older being used all the time. They may have lost some of their elasticity, but they are not going to shatter.

If the price is right and its a boat you want, go for it.
NotSoFast
distinguished member (133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/07/2017 07:28AM
My 1980 Sawyer Cruiser is a fiberglas layup, not Kevlar. We paddled it for a week in the BWCA a couple years ago when my Kevlar boat was out of commission. It held up just fine.
Banksiana
distinguished member(1424)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/07/2017 10:09AM
I have two canoes from the 80's (one of which is a Sawyer). If it has been kept out of the sun they should be fine.
09/07/2017 09:26PM

quote sedges: "I don't believe Sawyer ever used epoxy resin in their lay-up. Vinylester was the resin of choice for high-end composite canoes at that time. Still is, except for Souris River. It resists water absorption better than polyester resin and is sort of median between polyester and epoxy in structural properties. "

What sedges said!

To the best of my knowledge, Sawyer Canoes of Oscoda, Michigan and Wenonah have primarily only used Vinylester resin, whereas Souris River, Savage River, Placid Boatworks & Swift, just to name a few, use Epoxy based resins.

I own six Sawyer canoes; all of them are from the 1980's when Sawyer was at its peak as far as design and construction. (Two "Goldenglass" hulls and four Expedition Kevlar hulls.) The years range from 1982 to 1989. Most of them have been well used, but they have all been well maintained, (i.e., stored clean, waxed regularly, resting on the gunnels and always stored inside and keep out of the sun). Despite their age, I detect little or no gel-coat or material degradation.

Pictured below are some recent pictures of my 80's era Sawyer Canoes. From left to right; 1985 Expedition Kevlar Cruiser, 1986 & 1989 Expedition Kevlar Summersong & Shockwave and a 1984 "Goldenglass" DY Special.

Given the description of the Sawyer canoe you're considering acquiring, I'd have no qualms buying that canoe if the price is fair.

Hans Solo

yellowcanoe
distinguished member(4945)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/14/2017 07:03PM
Placid does not use epoxy..does use vinylester.I dont recall what Swift uses but its never been epoxy..
I have three Swift Canoes from the late 80s still in fine shape stored indoors.
09/16/2017 02:19PM

quote yellowcanoe: "Placid does not use epoxy..does use vinylester.I dont recall what Swift uses but its never been epoxy..
I have three Swift Canoes from the late 80s still in fine shape stored indoors."


I stated that Swift and Placid Boatworks use Epoxy "based" resins. Per their Website, both Swift and Placid clearly state that they use epoxy vinyl ester resin. That description leads me to believe that their epoxy vinyl ester resin must be some type of a proprietary blend. If in fact they strictly use, or have only used vinyl ester resin in their boat construction, then their laminate descriptions are rather misleading.

Hans Solo
Bearskin Lodge
member (23)member
 
09/17/2017 06:14PM
All Vinylester is "Epoxy Vinylester" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl_ester. It's just a marketing choice to add the epoxy term.
09/17/2017 06:36PM

quote Bearskin Lodge: "All Vinylester is "Epoxy Vinylester" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl_ester. It's just a marketing choice to add the epoxy term. "

Thank you Bearskin Lodge for better defining that terminology. In all my years of selling canoes & kayaks for several canoe and kayak dealerships, epoxy and vinylester were mutually exclusive terms. The canoes and kayaks manufacturers I have dealt with, (i.e., Sawyer, Wenonah, Old Town, Mad River, Curtis, Lotus, etc.), denoted one or the other, although most all of them used vinylester to the best of my memory.

In my opinion, the "Epoxy Vinylester" description seems misleading, although technically not untruthful. To me it's like saying you have a Kevlar canoe when in fact it's actually Kevlar reinforced fiberglass, (i.e. Sawyer's "Goldenglass"). I suppose for marketing purposes "Epoxy Vinylester" sounds more technical.

I can't help but think of George Carlin's mention of oxymoron terms like "Jumbo Shrimp" or "Sweet and Sour" chicken. :-)

Hans Solo
 
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