The quality of the finished product that gets to you – whether a custom made Greenland style kayak or a simple norsaq – is dependant upon two things – our knowledge, experience and skills plus the quality of the raw materials that we use. We source all of our raw materials from suppliers that we know we can rely on.
We use a range of different woods, for practical and aesthetic reasons.
Western Red Cedar – A tree of the northern Rocky Mountains and Pacific North-west; its full range extends from Alaska southwards to California, and eastwards along many of the interior ranges of British Columbia, northern Washington, Idaho and Montana to the western slope of the continental divide. It is wonderfully light and straight grained as well as being a durable timber
Ash – European ash is typically straight grained, and this, combined with its toughness and flexibility, makes it one of the world’s most valuable timbers for such uses as sports goods and striking tool handles. It is rather coarse textured, and varies somewhat in weight according to the growth conditions. It is not particularly durable so needs to be well treated and sealed.
Walnut – Walnut was introduced into Britain about the middle of the fifteenth century. Commercial supplies of walnut are produced mainly in France. Turkey, Italy and the former Yugoslavia. It is not the lightest of timbers, is moderately durable and easily worked. It is mainly used to create distinctive laminated strips in paddles.
Cherry – Found throughout Europe including the British Isles. It occurs from Scandinavia and south-west Russia southwards, and is found in western Asia and the mountains of North Africa. It is an excellent timber for creating ‘single species’ touring paddles, good to work with and it finishes well.
We use two different coverings – ‘ballistic nylon’ for our skin on frame kayaks and Natural canvas (Cotton Duck) on our open canoes.
Adhesives and Coatings
When it comes to glue, which we primarily use for laminating our paddles, we need a glue that is waterproof, stable and structurally strong. Ther Resorcinol glue, also known as resorcinol-formaldahyde, is an adhesive combination of resin and hardener that withstands long-term water immersion and has high resistance to ultraviolet light. The adhesive, introduced in 1943, has been popular in aircraft and boat construction.
Until the invention of epoxy resin, resorcinol was one of the most common marine glues. Unlike epoxy, it does not have gap filling properties, requiring joints to be close fitting and clamped under pressure to achieve good results. The glue comes in two parts — a red syrup and a light brown powder that were mixed to form glue. Its use has declined since the 1990s due to the ease of use and versatility of epoxy glues and fillers.
Although the greater ease an versatility of epoxy makes it much more popular, epoxy has poor UV resistance and in most structural uses only a modest heat resistance, making it less than ideal many outdoor uses. Resorcinol remains the most suitable adhesive for exterior and marine use. Unlike epoxy, it is not gap-filling, so requires a higher standard of workmanship and joint fitting
We use Gurit SP 106, which was initially established as a primary epoxy system for the manufacture and repair of wooden boats. With its clear coating finish SP 106 epoxy resin is now used for a wide range of tasks including gluing, coating, laminating and filling boat repairs.
We use no additives when in the few application where we use it as a coating, but add various filers for different applications such as laminating or tipping paddles.
We use woven cloth and fibreglass tape for the construction and sheathing of our kayaks and some paddles. At the moment, we are experimenting with using carbon fibre cloth as a sheathing layer on some bespoke paddles.
Tung Oil is used to coat our paddles – we put at least five layers on each paddle before we send it to you.