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Dragonfly2

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:37 am
by stephenHK
Have a dragonfly2 - used it once
great tracking, great turning - on a sixpence - reasonably speedy.
The outer cover seems a little saggy - we put empty plastic water between the cover and tube to tighten it up
Problem with a drip coming from the stitched mesh pocket in front of rear cockpit - seems not to be sealed properly.
Does anyone else have these problems or have we got a duff boat?

dragonfly2

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:25 pm
by stephenHK
We took the dragonfly out on a flat calm canal yesterday. I'd made splash skirts so we could keep fairly dry in the boat. This our second trip. rear paddler stayed dry. Front paddler got thoroughly soaked - as it water dripping off clothing when emerging from kayak.
The water seemed to be penetrating the outer cover and dripping down the tube. Also the outer cover is not a taut fit, so there are some hollows and there is a small gap where the coaming tube outer cover is velcroed - the first drips were felt through this.
Is this the experience of other dragonfly owners? Any tips for staying dryer? I bring spare clothing, so don't expect not to have some damp patches, but would prefer not to be soaked through!

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:05 pm
by JCOOLEY
First, make sure there is enough air in the kayak. The width at the widest point between the tubes should be no less than 14" and no ore than 17". 15" across is a good measure. Sometimes the cover may sag a little bit. This is usually offset by the paddler pressing their knees into the cover. Paddling with bent legs is what most prefer because it allows you to get behind the paddle stroke better.
The cover is water proof but if it is under inflated, water can possibly come in over the sides. You can spray the cover down with some McNett Thundersheild. This should help protect the kayak more. Water also does splash off the paddles. If the paddle does not have a splash gaurd, it can be a suprising amount that gets into the kayak or on the person paddling.
Another problem could be if the paddler in front is leaning back. This will push down on the space bewteen the paddlers causing it to collect water in that area and possibly get onto the front paddler. These are a few scenarios which could be the cause for water getting into the kayak. You won't stay completely dry for the most part. You should be able to stay fairly dry though.

Jeremy
8)

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:03 pm
by stephenHK
Thanks for replying.
I am only 5' tall - bending my knees only pushes up the splash skirt.
Drips do come off the paddles but they are prevented from landing in the cockpit by the splash skirts which are proofed. The paddle drip lands on the green cover which darkens and if I push my hand between cover and tube it comes out wet. Theyalso land on the splash skirt where they bead and run off. The underside of the splash skirt - proofed nylon - is always dry.When I look under the splash skirt I can see drips coming down the tube from the outer cover. Also drips come from the inner seam of the coaming.
We will try inflating more - but we inflated the tube to very hard.
It seems we have to proof the outer cover - but I thought it would be waterproof, at least for the first trips.

Soaking through

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:43 pm
by PJohanson
It sounds like the deck of your Dragonfly 2 isn't waterproof. That's odd. My Dragonfly hasn't had this soaking through problem yours has, and mine is over a year and a half old. Waves can splash on the deck or drips can fall off my paddle and I stay dry inside. Lots of use, no problems. Somewhere on this site there's a recommendation to use 303 spray waterproofing -- you could try that. Set your dry boat out on the lawn before spraying.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:57 am
by stephenHK
thanks for reply - am reassured that the Dragonfly can have a waterproof deck in the sea as it was bought to take to the Scilly isles for exploring the islands' bays.
I don't understand why ours isn't. It seems to be a laminate with what looks like an impermeable coating on the underside - I would have expected this to be waterproof. Does water bead and run off your deck like it does on my waterproofed spray skirts? The only thing I can think is that the seam is not waterproof.
Does your Dragonfly have a little gap where the velcroed cover meets on the coaming?
Does your cover take up a rounded shape over the inflated tube, or does it sag a little?
Sorry for all the questions - but I'm very fond of the boat although we've just got it and only taken it out twice and would like to get the problems sorted out.

sagging deck

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:49 pm
by PJohanson
My Dragonfly doesn't really have a gap where the two tubes of the coaming are Velcro'd together. I usually puff up the coaming tubes by mouth rather than pump, and they stay full when the orange valve is twisted.
The deck of my Dragonfly does sometimes sag a little into the middle. This is usually when either the flotation chambers are slightly crooked inside the outer hull & deck, or when the flotation chambers are slightly under-inflated. It seems more noticeable on a cold winter's day, when I've left the boat inflated in my porch and the air in the chambers might have gotten cold and shrunk.
I can never wiggle the slightly crooked chamber perfectly straight on purpose, only by accident after several tries. A little sagging does not bug me as long as I am sure it is not getting worse each day and thus a sign of a slow leak. And I am wary of over-inflating the chambers on a scorchingly hot day.
To avoid this sagging, I'm looking for a light piece of flexible wood or plastic lath, about 1 1/2 inches wide and 32 inches long, to put inside the deck and across the tops of the flotation chamber. It will arch over my knees and keep the deck from sagging. It'll have to be very flexible to adapt to the curve it's pinched into! Maybe a piece from a broken venetian blind will be springy enough.

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:30 am
by stephenHK
Hi again,
We may be erring on the side of under inflation as we are concerned not to over-inflate as per instructions - though we don't have to worry about very hot sun!
I had thought the same thing about a former to keep the shape of the hull. I have some stiff plastic canvas - the sort used by children to cross stitch on! - it is 10#. I have fastened two pieces together - reinforced by double thickness over the bowed portion - and softened the bottom by oversewing with thick thread. This works in the front cockpit - but the spread is too wide in the rear and it collapses. Think I will need something springier. The venetian blind slat sounds good - how will you pad the end so it does not dig into the plastic too much?

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:33 am
by stephenHK
I just read your post again and note you said to put the slat over the top of the tube. I found this didn't work as the ends slid round the tube. I put the strip of canvas so the ends were inside the tube, braced against the tube and this was quite robust.

"Arch Support for Sagging Dragonfly Deck"

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:11 am
by Richard
I was wondering if you might try something like this that might work for a flexible, yet firm arch support that you speak about:
Visit your local building supply store and they will probably have aluminium rulers/yard or meter sticks that could be cut to the desired length. Most suppliers have flat aluminium hobby pieces as well. I believe these would be both flexible and strong enough to support the cover.
As for protecting the fabric and "skin" of your kayak, try putting the aluminium arch into a cut off piece of an old bicycle tube and tie it off at both ends. This would provide protection from the ends puncturing the tube as well as having rubberized ends which might reduce or prevent slippage. You might also consider using something like "Scoot Guard" or other similar material on the ends to reduce movement.
Somehow, I think you would need several venetian blind slats to have the strength that would be needed.
I don't have the Dragonfly --- we have the Advanced Frames and even tho there is a very slight sag in the deck near the cockpit, I have never experienced any leakage or significant amounts of water dripping from the deck material where the sag lies. The AF has a zipper down the front deck area and yet water does not seem to penetrate the zipper to any great extent.
Richard