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heneksja

using Maryland flag for skin

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I want to make a SOF kayak--leaning to the firefly design--using one or more Maryland flags for the skin.  If you don't know the crazy MD flag google it.  It is kind of a wild design with history to boot.  I am looking at sites that sell flags and I can't tell much about the material.  You can order in nylon or polyester.  When they offer polyester they might say something like 2-ply polyester.  They sometimes give some stats about how durable it is for outdoor use, but nothing specific like 8 oz.    Anyone know anything about flag material, or can tell me what exactly I should be asking the flag sellers so I can find out whether it is suitable?  My inclination is to go with polyester because I want it to maintain a tight fit and don't like the idea of nylon that would get wrinkly when wet.  

 

Then there is the other question.  Must I buy one big flag or can I stitch a couple together?  The MD flag kind of lends itself to extending--its already a repeating pattern--what's a couple more repeats going to hurt?.  One could take two 5'X8'flags and sew together end to end and get a 5'x16' piece which may not quite be enough, depending on the boat plan--maybe three 4'x6' flags or some combination. But must I have a continuous piece of fabric to do this?  Can stitched pieces be below the water line?  Aesthetically, I wouldn't want to chop off the pattern on the top of the boat.  

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If you just want something to look at and display then I say try it. If you want to use the boat,  keep looking. 

 

Flag material is typically very light weight fabric and no where near as heavy as the lightest fabric I sell.

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There may be legality issues with using an actual flag, as opposed to material with the flag printed on it. Plus, pretty much all flag material would be terrible for boat skin.

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Use polyester skin then paint the deck with the flag pattern. You can modify the pattern to better flow with the shape of the boat. I bet it would look cool.

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There may be legality issues with using an actual flag, as opposed to material with the flag printed on it. Plus, pretty much all flag material would be terrible for boat skin.

It would be unConstitutional to have any laws pertaining to flags.  They are merely pieces of cloth.  The VFW has a book of protocols for the US flag, but they are not laws.  I'm sure people could come up with quite a list of adjectives and adverbs to describe disrespect for a flag, but there is no legal recourse.

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I also think the Maryland flag is cool, and I like the idea of incorporating the flag into your design.  For me, personally, I'd like something a little more muted.  - But hey, it's your boat!  Here's something to think about.   If I remember right, in SOF construction, the skin gets wrapped around the bottom and sewn together in a fat, sturdy seam on top.   So, even if you can find a flag made of the right cloth, the top of the boat would not be the tidy four-quadrant flag in that case, it'd be a seam of odd angles.    It might look good upside down, though.    A paint job might work out better.      Here's a more subtle idea that would need less skill:  a solid paint job in yellow, red or black, with a Maryland flag ribbon glued in & clear-coated (epoxied?) as trim to cover the seam, along the side and/or around the cockpit coaming.

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Thanks everyone.  I don't think the disrespect thing applies to state flags like the US flag.  There are so many things in MD that use that pattern.  We got crabs with MD flags for instance.  But to know the material is too light to use as a skin is what I was trying to find out.  Painting may be the way to go then.  And like bwhip says, I could make it flow better that way anyway.   Just seems like a lot of trouble to paint the boat like that.  But at least the flag isn't that hard to draw.    

 

So what about an extra layer with a paper flags?  On my CLC wooden kayak I did onion skin decals under the epoxy, is there any reason that wouldn't work for SOF.  I am thinking making paper flags and position just the way I want them on top of the skin before the clear finish.  With epoxy, the paper just disappears when applying on top of the onion skin.  It  works better when the pattern is printed on the underside of the paper--the epoxy kind of interacted with the ink when it was face up.  But that is epoxy, not sure it works the same for the SOF finishes.  

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I did the same thing with my Pygmy kayak. I laser-printed the name and hull number on tissue paper then epoxied them onto the boat, before fiberglassing. They wetted out nicely and became see through. You could try it out with some scrap fabric and your choice of finish to see if will work in an SOF application.

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I mis-spoke when I said onion paper, I meant to say rice paper.  But the only reason they say rice paper is that it is supposed to disappear better.  Yeah on the clc boat I put under the fiberglass.  So with SOF, it would just be the fabric, the paper on top and then the finish.  Or would a thin coat of epoxy with the paper work on a SOF?  So no one here has actually done it.  Yes I can try, but how would I know if it was going to hold up or not?  

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No epoxy!

I've done this same thing many times, on paddles and boats, but I think on a fabric skin there would be too much flexing for the paper to stay adhered.

I would use stencils and paint.

Or, stretch a small piece of fabric on a frame, and do a test. I don't think sticking paper on the cloth will work, though.

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So it has been a while since I started this thread.  Life got in the way.  But I got the kayak ready for the water--although haven't launched it yet.  What I ended up doing was getting the fabric I got from Kudzu craft and getting it printed. 

 

One shop said they could do a dye sublimation print on the large fabric.  But after keeping my fabric for a couple of months, he finally said the width wouldn't work on his machine.  He had a machine that has the dye pattern on paper and fabric on separate rollers and then they roll together to print.  The machine was wide enough for the dye paper, but wasn't set up to take up my wide fabric.  

 

Another shop (Ironmark in Annapolis Junction, MD) had a big flatbed inkjet printer.  It could take my fabric--any extra just hung out the side of the machine--but only could print 48" x48" at a time.  But they can move the fabric and print again.  So I had it printed in 5 sections. The first and the last sections of 32"x48" and the middle sections on 48"x48".  It costs $362 to print.  I checked out a sample before hand, and there didn't seem to be a problem with the finish adhering to the printed fabric.  Although time will tell how it holds up. 

 

I used this water based poly acrylic clear marine finish on it called CrabCoat from a little outfit called CrystalLac.  It seemed to go on pretty well--and was very clear.  I had some problems with seams leaking though.  So I had this can of Flexseal--you know that stuff they advertise on TV. I ended up using that on then bow and stern and on the top seam.  The can I got was white.  So you can see from the pictures where I put it.   I discovered after I had already did a coat that I could brush it on the seams and then just wipe it off. It stayed in the crevices but wiped off the flat fabric pretty easily.  The photo of the whole kayak is before I put all the Flexseal on.  The other two photos are of the before and after wipe of the Flexseal.  

 

I will post a launch pic, once I launch it.  

1766430732_IMG_0002(1).thumb.jpg.a439b7feee2e7878582eeeaa50038dc8.jpgIMG_0005.thumb.jpg.f2fd607b117a48c671992c4c840fc0bf.jpgIMG_0005.thumb.jpg.f2fd607b117a48c671992c4c840fc0bf.jpg

 

IMG_0001 (1).jpg

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