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  Help tracing history of my 1973 kayak
  Posted by: old_user on Nov-02-09 3:38 PM (EST)
   Category: Kayaks 

I have a 1973 sit-in kevlar kayak that I bought a couple of years ago and have patched up. I would really love to trace its history. It looks a lot like the Phoenix Isere, but the deck shape has a lot more detail. http://photos2.meetupstatic.com/photos/member/b/a/6/3/highres_3587715.jpeg
The serial number starts with HPP. Does anyone know what company that is/was or can direct me to someone who might?
Many thanks,
Sophie

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Messages in this Topic

 

  Hyper Craft
  Posted by: mintjulep on Nov-02-09 3:43 PM (EST)
According to the CG database

http://www.uscgboating.org/recalls/mic.aspx

HPP was Hyper Craft.
 
 
  A Kevlar laminate as early as 1973
  Posted by: ezwater on Nov-02-09 4:15 PM (EST)
would be very unusual. Not impossible, just rare. Do you see the characteristic golden color on the inside of the hull? How long is the boat? HIPP made downriver Lettman and Prijon boats at that time, and that length would be about 14' 9". But they also made a 13' fast cruiser.

I note the previous post citing "Hypercraft." But HPP or HiPP were common short hand for the mainly whitewater boat maker I described.
 
 
  It is definitely an unusual kayak!
  Posted by: old_user on Nov-02-09 4:36 PM (EST)
It is 13' 6 (was 13' 9 but I chopped a couple of inches off the back to add a skeg). It has the golden color on the inside and I took it to a guy who specializes in kevlar/fiberglass kayak repair and he said he thought it was kevlar. He also described it as a downriver racer. It weighs 24 lbs, which seems light for a 13'+ fibreglass kayak?
 
 
  It is too short for the downriver racing
  Posted by: ezwater on Nov-02-09 7:01 PM (EST)
class, but back then, they had ways of beating boat inspection. Vladimir Vanha, the crazy genius designer of Noah kayaks, used to bring a 12' 6" Magma to me with little fiberglass extensions tacked on to meet the required race length.

Kevlar was just being tried out in 1973. When you were doing repairs, did you find the outside cloth in the laminate fuzzy, or did it seem to sand smooth like glass? One thing people had to learn at the time was that Kevlar is a great inside cloth, but actually inferior to glass as an outside cloth.
 
 
  Not sure
  Posted by: old_user on Nov-03-09 10:57 AM (EST)
I'm not sure if it was actually designed for racing, or if that was just the style.

When we sanded it it seemed a bit fuzzy. We put a layer of fiberglass cloth over the hull because it definitely was showing its age in a few spots where the hull was extremely flexible. Although it added weight, it is a lot stronger now!
 
 
  Re: USCG database
  Posted by: Jsaults on Nov-04-09 9:00 AM (EST)
I do not know all of the various business twists and turns, but I wonder if "Hyper Craft" was a parent company for High Performance Plastics (HPP?) who built both Prijon and Lettmann designs under license?
HPP morphed into Hyperform in the late 70s.

From the picture it looks like a high volume "touring" design, possibly similar to Phoenix's Appalacian.

Just thinkin'

Jim
 
 
  Very similar to Appalachian
  Posted by: old_user on Nov-10-09 9:23 AM (EST)
My kayak looks very similar to the Appalachian - that's what I thought it was until I saw the serial number. Then I noticed that the deck has much more detail and shape to it than a Phoenix boat. I think it predates them too (just). Does anyone have any ideas about a way to find out details from HiPP? I contacted Lettmann and Prijon and they both said it wasn't theirs. The mystery deepens (or at least doesn't get any shallower!!!)...
 
 
  I believe Les Bechdel once worked for
  Posted by: ezwater on Nov-10-09 10:23 AM (EST)
HiPP. He is out in Idaho, outfitting and leading trips. Maybe you could google him. Another possible resource is to get a copy of Sue Taft's history of ww river running in the US. (I don't recall the title but somebody will.) She spends some time on early manufacturers in the US.
 

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