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Kinks and Disassembly

 
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jvnig026



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 9
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject: Kinks and Disassembly Reply with quote

Hello all,

I have an Advanced Frame Convertible kayak. I just got it a week ago from REI and used it for the first time today. It is my first kayak and I am happy with it. In fact, I am already considering purchasing another kayak from Advanced Elements (the Lagoon1 looks nice for solo trips in tighter spaces). Now, on to my one problem...

I have a rather extreme kink in the main tube opposite the valve and a slight one around the valve itself (it's more like creases here, but I'm still worried because it's so close to the valve itself; it's not taut like it should be). For the life of me, I cannot get the kinks out. The kayak is properly inflated and does not buckle when lifted. It is very firm. I made sure the aluminum frames were properly aligned and secured. So far, I have tried inserting paper between the velcro and inflating the tube. That didn't seem to work. Even when free of the outer cover, the inflated tube was bent. I also tried sitting in the partially inflated kayak and pushing the main tube forward. That didn't work. The next thing I want to try is complete disassembly. Although this is more work than I bargained for when I purchased the kayak (and I thought putting a hardshell on my roof rack would be tedious!), I guess it has to be done. Ultimately, this leads me to my question.

I can't find any documentation on how to separate the fabrics from the valves. Maybe I haven't done proper research. I read through the manual twice and skimmed every post on this forum. I am hesitant to start pulling on anything before I see some kind of demonstration or instruction. I have the spring loaded valves. Can somebody help me?

I am hoping complete disassembly, including removing the main tube from its gray cover, will straighten everything out. I will try to pull excess tube to the front and back before zipping it back up. I can take pictures tomorrow if needed. I can't say anything about adverse effects on performance as this is my first kayak and I have nothing to compare it to. Nevertheless, I am worried about damage should these tubes remain misaligned in the long term. I hope it doesn't come down to contacting REI about their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

I would really appreciate any help.
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Pearly



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 436
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tubes are connected to the outer cover by a large grey octagonal nut on the outside. Remove the nut and the tube can be removed.

Once you take off the nut, separate the outer cover so you have the grey cover and the inner tubes. Unzip the grey cover so you just have the tubes. PARTIALLY inflate the tubes so it forms its shape. You should now see the tubes have no kinks. If this is now ok, let some of the air out and put the grey cover back on - with the tubes partially inflated. This will keep the shape of the kayak and will allow you to position the tubes inside the cover to get rid of the kink. Once you have zipped the cover around the partially inflated tubes, you can inflate the tubes and re-check for kinks. If all ok, let some of the ir out and put the outer cover back on. Re-inflate and check again. You may need to adjust the cover to make sure it lines up ok.

Once you have done it in this manner, you should not have to do it again. Just deflate, fold up and it's ready for the next outing.

I'm at work now, so can't check if Patrick's blog still works, but if it does, he show's the disassembled yak..

Singapore-Fishing-Fanatics_Goto link
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jvnig026



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 9
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pearly,

I can't thank you enough for your help. Those instructions are just what I needed and the pictures from the blog will serve as a good visual aid. I thought the gray plastic piece might have been a nut, but I was afraid to find out. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow. I really hope I can straighten it out.

Thanks again! People like you are one of the reasons I purchased an Advance Elements kayak. I could tell early on from my research that this brand has one of the best, if not THE best, communities around. A lot of information and a lot of support makes for a confident buyer.
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jvnig026



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 9
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got around to trying complete disassembly today since the rain held up. Thanks to Pearly's help, I was able to take the kayak apart and give it a thorough cleaning after two messy outings. The kayak looks great. I can't wait to mess it up again, hopefully tomorrow.

However, I put humpty dumpty back together again and the kinks were still there albeit less pronounced. The realignment definitely helped some, but it still wasn't 100%. I did some brainstorming whilst scanning the kayak up and down for about an hour. Everything looked alright. The stern of the outer cover appeared to be manufactured a little bit uneven, but there's no way it was causing the kinks. After an hour, I finally figured it out. It was completely user error and, as it turns out, I lied in my first post. The kayak was not properly inflated. I'm a bit embarrassed actually, but I was slightly overinflating chamber 1 and as a result slightly underinflating chamber 2. It threw the balance of the two chambers completely off. This was essentially causing the tube to buckle. Like I said, I am quite embarrassed, but I wanted to share my experience anyway just in case it might help others in my position.

Question: what kind of damage could I have caused by overinflating chamber 1? The difference wasn't so drastic, it really wasn't, but I guess I could've stretched the wall between the two chambers. Is there any way to check this? Will it have any effect on the performance or durability of the kayak? Just in case, for future reference, how much does a replacement tube cost (I know I'm jumping way ahead here, but I'm just curious)?
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Pearly



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 436
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may answer again, it is impossible to say what damage has been done. If you fully inflated one tube to the design pressure with no air in the 2nd tube, then it is reasonable to assume that the membrane has been stretched, but to what extent will depend on the individual welds, the temperature of the material and the duration of inflation. If you partially inflated the outer tube and then fully inflated the inner tube to a proportion of say 30/70, then you will have lesser stretching of the dividing membrane.

I know it is too late now, but it always pays to read the manual. Wink

If you now inflate the outer chamber to give the kayak its shape and then inflate the inner chamber to the required pressure, you will still be OK as the tubes will be approximately 50/50, so any distortion of the membrane will be negligible.

Even if you burst through the membrane, you would still be able to use the kayak, but you lose the safety feature of 2 main tubes.

One of my friends fully inflated his kayak using just one tube. Halfway through our journey (after about 3 hours), the membrane burst and he started slowly sinking - because the un-inflated valve was still in the deflate position, so did not hold air. We closed the valve to the inflate position, pumped it up and he continued to use the kayak like that with no further issues.

Hope that gives you some peace of mind?

As for the cost, you may want to contact your supplier for the cost of a replacement, if you don't get an answer here.
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jvnig026



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 9
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your time and patience, Pearly. I was probably inflating to 60/40. Like I said, the difference wasn't so drastic, but it clearly was not balanced. I swear I read the manual before diving in! This was more a failure of the ol' eyeball test than anything else since I don't have a gauge on my pump. Combine that with a little bit of overeagerness to get the thing inflated and, voila, a rookie mistake. I'm not that worried. I'm enjoying the learning experience. For anyone else who doesn't have a gauge, count your pump strokes to give yourself an idea of whether or not things are balanced. That's how I finally figured it out.

Thanks again, Pearly

PS I just ordered a Lagoon 1!
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JCOOLEY
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Feb 2007
Posts: 774
Location: Benicia, CA

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You shouldn't have to worry. There are a lot of people who do not read the manual first and put almost all of the air in Chamber 1 if not all of the air. It may stretch a bit by doing this but if you are only doing it about 70/30 or 60/40 then you should be fine. The membrane has some give. Typically kinks are caused by 1. misalignment or 2. under inflation. If kinks persist, you can try adding a bit more air. Another trick that sometimes works is inflating the floor first. This will keep the tube somewhat pushed out while inflating.
Happy to hear all has worked out well. You can always email info@advancedelements.com too if you have questions.

Jeremy
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jvnig026



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 9
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your response, JCOOLEY. Realignment along with proper inflation has sorted out all the kinks, but I will keep that email address close at hand! The kayak was straight as could be today - absolutely perfect. I'm so impressed with the product. I had a great time out on the water. The weather was perfect and there weren't too many boats out. The Convertible is so roomy; I was able to kick back and just drift along the banks for a while.

Btw, in my 3 outings, I've already had 5 different people come up to me asking about the kayak. People are really interested in it. I hope I was able to convert some of them to Advanced Elements. I made sure to tell them there was no better value.
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