View Full Version : Intersting Rubber Sailboat...

10-22-2002, 01:04 PM
Hello, I just ran across an intersting little sailboat. It's about 15ft long. It looks like it is portable, as in you can take off the rubber exterior and then disassemble the wooden stucture. From what I saw it has a wooden mast and rudder. I belive the manufacture was Kendrell or Kendral. The model seemed to be a Passat. It looked to be about 20 to 30 years old. If anyone has any information about a boat like this please pass it along. I was thinking of purchasing it, but am a little intimidated by the 'rubber' hull, as it my need some serious work. All the wood looked in good to fair conditon. TIA!


Ian McColgin
10-22-2002, 01:55 PM
I don't know that boat but Tinker makes a truely great tender - sails, rows and has arrangement for inflatable life raft canopey. The best I've every used.

Scott Rosen
10-22-2002, 02:26 PM
Ian, do you mean "Trinka"?

Ian McColgin
10-22-2002, 04:01 PM
Nope. I think I've seen a fiberglass thing called Trinka

The Tinker can now be found in this country. The top model, the star traveler or somesuch name really will sail.

We need someone from the right hand side - made by Henshaw or Bradshaw or something. I had mine for about 5 years before it was stolen. Plan to get another.

When I got mine about 15 years ago they were not marketing in this country and it was a wrestling match liberating it from customs at Logan. Got it back to Hyannis about noon on a brisk early March day.

"I'm not taking a new boat out on a day like this. But let's get it out the box and pump it up."

"Hmm - I wonder how the sailing rig goes together."

"I'm not going anywhere. Just across to Fish Hills and back." Since I planned to beach the boat to show her off the Mr. Kelly, I put my foulweather pants into my boots - keep 'em clean.

In the event, Mr Kelly was not home and I sailed out to the Bishop. The breeze picked up from the north as I decided to head home.

She heeled nicely and I was enjoying her as you'd enjoy a monohull. But an inflatable is really a catamaran at heart, especially in what might be called the transition from heeling moment to dumping moment.

I oozed over the pontoon onto the centerboard but panicked as it all bent so much - 1/4" ply board mounted in rubber . . .

So I plopped into the water softly enough to keep my pipe dry, swam around quickly to the masthead to keep her from turteling totally, got hold of the sheet so the boat would not escape me. After a few moments my body was like a sea anchor and I had the boat to leeward of me. At that point I just got the mast up enough to get air under the sail, which righted the boat.

She scooted off until I had the sheet.

Remember the pants tucked into the boots. There's a reason sea dog types don't do that. When I went to haul myself into the Tink, all that water held in my pants was way too heavey. Up to this point my upper chest and arms and head were dry. The hardest moment of my life was getting wet enough to reach down and pull the pants out of the boots.

Came home with seaweed still at the mast head. I still have a nice picture of me with ice in my beard.

Out lots of times after. She rowed just fine. She sailed well. Very easy to board from the water over the bow.

I never got the inflated canopy but it looks real sharp.


John of Phoenix
10-22-2002, 04:29 PM
Nifty little boat. Even has jib. :cool:


More info (http://www.tinker.co.uk/html/funsail_specification.htm)

10-23-2002, 08:01 AM
I found out what it is... It's not a Trinka. It's a Klepper Passat. A wooden boat, of sorts... Here is a link if you intersted:
Klepper Passat Link (http://home.t-online.de/home/derpoly/klepper_passat.html#oben)
BTW, the site is in German.

Thanks for you help,

Todd Bradshaw
10-23-2002, 10:39 AM
Kleppers are generally extremely well built and unless really abused, or left out to rot in the sun and weather they'll last a long time. Things to check:

Check the frames for any cracks, etc. They hardly ever break during assembly or in use, but occasionally get stepped on when not in the boat. Same thing with the stringers.

Check the hinges where the sections fold and the small (usually aluminum) clips that snap the frames into position on the keel board. This boat probably uses a lot of the same hardware as the more common models, so replacements are not all that hard to find.

There will be two long inflatable "sausages", maybe 5" in diameter and almost as long as the hull. Back when I sold Kleppers, they were heavy orange vinyl, but they could be something different. These fit between the frame and the skin in the area where the skin's hull and deck meet on the sides of the boat. Inflating them locks them into position, creating flotation and tightening up the skin, which without them would be loose and baggy, so they are pretty important. Small leaks in the sausages can be patched with a vinyl repair kit or if they're in bad shape, they can be replaced.

I can't remember off the top of my head whether the rubber bottom section of the skin is coated with neoprene or Hypalon, but in either case, it can be patched or reinforced with chafe strips just as you would a rubber raft. It's mostly a matter of cleaning the area using something like toluene, roughing up the surface with sandpaper and sticking a patch on with a contact cement made for that particular formula of fabric. Places like Northwest River Supplies sell a variety of repair fabrics and glues for that type of work. It's stinky, but generally not difficult.

If the outside of the skin looks pretty grim, you can even get brush-on paints formulated for inflatables (like Gaco-Flex) that will clean it up, block U.V. and help cure minor porousity. Bad news for the rubber skin would be big areas with flaking coating, peeling or some other serious damage like U.V. problems or torn-out seams that were hard to access for repair. These might take a lot of work and money to fix. Small scuffs, abrasions or worn spots aren't hard or expensive to repair. There are also some products like 303 or Armorall that will do a pretty decent job of removing chalking on the surface and helping protect it.

I believe the deck skin is cotton canvas, rather than a synthetic. Patches could be either sewn or glued on. Sewing is probably stronger, but it can be a real bear to wrestle something that big under the arm of a sewing machine, so glueing may be a better option.

All in all, if the thing is in any kind of decent shape and the price attractive, it might be worth snapping up and kind of fun to put back into good condition. Once you start messing with a Klepper, the engineering that makes the whole thing pack up into a few bags is damned clever.

10-23-2002, 10:46 AM
And, while on the topic of life rafts which one can use to actually affect rescue, by sailing somewhere, what is heard about Steve Callahan's efforts? My understanding is that he has designed, and is building, a folding fiberglass lifeboat for offshore cruisers. Somewhere on the coast of Maine.

Ian McColgin
10-23-2002, 12:54 PM
I've only seen pix of Steve's unit. If the Tinker is still made, I think it superior but that's a little unfair without side by side tests.

The Tinker guys took their boat out in some astountingly hellashious weather where they learned that if the boat did flip, the inflated canopy gave so much bouyancy that they could self right from inside just by rolling around, a bit like a gerbil in a cage.

They also finally figured out that if the rigged the sea anchor such that she rode beam to the sea, it did not flip.

Great boat.

10-24-2002, 08:14 AM
Thanks Todd, great info! I just finished breaking the boat down. Pretty cool, no tools! I found some problem areas, but all in all it doesn't look to bad for it's age. Thanks again!


10-24-2002, 09:07 AM
Here's some info. on the Tinker. Looks pretty good to me!