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Velcro, glue, etc for modifying my Khats

I have a problem that perhaps some of you folks can help me with.

I own a Feathercraft Khatsalano. I love this boat and really enjoy paddling
it. Unfortunately, its got one little problem that I've been unable to solve.
In very rough water, the coaming separates from the boat which causes all sorts
of water to leak in. This makes the boat unsuitable for protracted paddling
in the surf.

In case you've never had a close look at one of these gems, let me describe
how the coaming is connected to the boat. The coaming is made of figerglass. It
has a groove that runs on the inside perimeter of the coaming. The boats skin
is elnogated around the coaming opening and has a rubber bead inside the
hapalon. So to attach the coaming, you bring the skin up through the coaming,
fold it over and squeeze the rubber bead into the slot.

The fit is tight making it really hard to get the bead to fit all the way around
the coaming. Sometimes, I can't get it to fit in at all at the very back. This
is OK in gentle water, but in the rough stuff, this is a problem.

Even when I get the bead to run around the entire coaming, I've had it pull
out of the slot in rough conditions. Since its held there by friction with the
bead, all you need is enough force to overwhelm that friction, and the coaming
starts to separate and the water comes pooring in. This happens at the very
front or in other cases, at the back. The sides seem to hold without any
problem.

This is a serious problem for me. I have a couple rough-water races I want to
use this boat in --- and without this fix, I'm not sure I can do so.

So here's what I want to do. I want to use hard core velcro to fasten the
coaming to the boat. I would use a combination of glue for the skin and rivets
on the coaming to fasten the straps. The result would be a coaming that would
have a hard connection to the boat and the rubber bead would be needed to
just keep a water tight connection. Since the straps would be holding the
coaming on, the forces on the bead would be lestened and the chances of it
detaching would be decreased.

So here comes the questions:

1. have any of you other folding boat users had this problem? If so

how did you correct it?

2. Do you know where I can buy wide (2 inch), heavy duty velcro.

3. Would I be better off going with some sort of buckle rather than

velcro?

4. What sort of glue should I use to fasten the straps to the boat. They

need to fasten to the underside of the deck which is made of Polytech.

By the way, the people at Feathercraft have been great. They told me that
no one else has reported this problem to them.. They sent me a new, slightly
smaller coaming just to see if that fixed the problem. It helped, but it
wasn't enough.

--Tim

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Velcro, glue, etc for modifying my Khats
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Re: Velcro, glue, etc for modifying my Khats