Category: Ask Nelo

The best boat surface?

Saturday, 14-Feb-09 00:29:40 UTC
The best boat surface?

We have been asked a million times about the best solution for a boat surface in order to maximize the performance. Well this is a hard question and probably any answer can be questioned again and again, so we will try to give an insight into the mainstream opinions and experts.

Da Vinci himself made studies on the flow of water around surfaces, so this is far from being a new subject.  The question is can the surface itself affect the drag and flow of water, and if yes in what sense.

The important factor to keep in mind is that the flow and glide comes from a thin layer of liquid adhered to the surface in contact with the outer layers of water, and not from the surface itself. Although the flow of those layers is more effective if the surface does not create turbulence, how can that be assured? By having an even and clean surface, turbulence can be avoided or at least delayed.

That is exactly what we do at Nelo, we use CNC machining, and Epoxy molding to warranty linear and symmetric lines, and at the same time we use sanding and fine cutting compound to even the surfaces and to clean them.

The question rises about Teflon or Silicone based gel coats used in sailing, taking into account that most of these products are applied to keep the surfaces clean and even for longer periods, during the immersion of the hulls, something that does not happen in kayaking and not to reduce the drag itself, their use does not make sense in kayaking, as there are other disadvantages related to durability and sun exposure.

According to the ICF rules no products can be applied after in order to increase performance, so all those other post production layers are also out of the question.

Resuming what you should do is keep your boat as clean as possible, if required used a cutting compound with a “buffer” to make it 100% clean!!!