The '93 Boat
We saw this boat for sale, and since we found out a bit of the history surrounding it, we couldn't resist buying it and doing a bit of renovation. The boat was designed and built by Peter Orton of Great Britain, who paddled it to victory in the 1993 world rodeo championships on the Ocoee, Tenessee (it was still called rodeo back in those days!). Steve Block, again from the UK also competed on the Ocoee in a version of this boat. Both these boats were sold in the US shortly after the championships. In 1999 this one was bought from Back Country Ski and Sport in Blacksburg, VA by a paddler who subsequently sold it to us.
The boat was designed for the '93 worlds and the design was based on a Slalom C1 of the day, built up along the seam line to give it more volume, the rocker increased and shortened primarily (but not exclusively) by taking length out of the ends. This boat bears the P&H logo, which is where Peter Orton was working when did the design work. P&H was a British manufacturer, and made mainly slalom boats and sea kayaks (and the Gorilla Grip brand of paddles). The first C1 that we owned was a chopped slalom boat-possibly a prototype for this boat, formerly owned by Steve Block. Back in the UK we have another boat from the same mold, maybe made by the squirt boat and sea kayak maker Valley. We are unaware of any more of these boats in existence.
Thanks to Peter Orton and Valley kayaks for helping us with the history of the boat.
So, during the fall of 2011, we got it into the workshop and had a look at what needed to be done. Structurally it was in fairly good shape for an 18 year old boat, with only a slight fold near the tail and some worn seams. The surface was fairly badly degraded from UV damage though, and the internal fittings were a bit on the basic side. The painted P&H logo was also in need of some attention.
The first thing that we tackled was the fittings. We took an angle grinder to the cockpit rim, and took out all the foam, straps, and ground back to the kevlar fabric. A new stiffer cockpit rim was then added using hoespipe as a former. To make sure that the hull would be rigid enough without the foam saddle, we installed a stiffener rib along the centreline, and extra layers in the interior of the chines to better absorb any knocks. The existing ethofoam foam pillars were shaped and the ends covered to make rigid pillars.
A small repair was needed on the stern, and we replaced the seamtape on the ends. The existing surface finish was badly flaking where it had been exposed to sunlight, so it all got sanded off and the boat re-coated with a UV-stable epoxy (West System with 207 hardener). After re-doing the P&H logo, the boat was starting to look a lot better...
Finally, we installed a rigid seat, foam and straps, and here it is; the finished renovation job!