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Thread: Composite floats

  1. #1

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    Composite floats

    I recently spent an inordinate amount of time rehabilitating a set of Aqua floats for a friend. They turned out well, very tight and he likes them. I知 not rated........yet.......and this was my first encounter with floats. Nothing against Aqua, great customer support and they seem to be well built. However, after dealing with leaking seams and rivets I知 thinking there must be a better way. I知 building an experimental Supercub and the plan is to put it on floats part of the year. There are composite floats out there, Clamar for example. Does anyone here have real world experience with these or any other manufacturers composite float? And would you care to opine on the subject?

    Thanks for any information you may be able to provide.

    Mr. Ed
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  2. #2
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I've played with 3 different friends who 2 have carbon fiber floats and one that I think is fiberglass. Between the Adirondacks and Maine we play where there are a lot of rocks and stony beaches. My EDO 1320s were built in 1946 and still play a hard 100 hrs every year. Those plastic float guys don't like where we go and I don't see them being around after 73 years even if they only play on beach sand.

    Glenn

    PS but they are really slick
    Last edited by cubdriver2; 07-16-2019 at 07:46 PM.
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  3. #3

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    One word AEROCET!! there are pro's and cons for everything, I have Aerocets on my c180 and love them, they easily stand up to commercial work but would i let them grind away on a stony beach, no! easy fix find a small tree or limb to put under the heal. Clammers perform well but i think are built a bit light. My current exp ride is a Glasair sportsman and my only option for a composite amphib was Clamar, nothing against them but i went with Montana 2400A's for the wide flat deck and durability. however if Aerocet would have been an option i would have went that route to have the tightness of a glass float. That being said since you are exp don't over look montana floats, the are awesome performers! I love the the way they handle on the water but like any aluminum float i am sure they will leak in time.
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    Marc
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    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    We had Aerocets on our 185 and they were awesome!! Never seen a metal float that would take the punishment like those did! I think it was money well spent! I'm not sure what the availability of the Montana Floats are, as Keith is somewhere in Thailand from what I've heard, but they're well designed and certainly worth checking out! (they were built just a short ways from me)
    John

  5. #5

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    Rob is hard at it, he is from what i can tell a one man show with Kieth out though. So not sure what the lead time is for a finished set of floats. It would also depend on weather your looking for straight or amphibs.
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  6. #6

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    I bought a set of Mead Amphibs for my EX11 project...they seem more robust than the Clamars....i have Baumann 1500 straights on my Tcraft and those are very well made....im just as shy about running those up on a rocky shore though too....they woud handle it I'm sure, but the aluminum will get scraped and creased if your not careful. Hopefully next summer I will have my 11 fininshed and give you a real world report on the Meads.

  7. #7
    aktango58's Avatar
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    all have pros and cons. Fly Aercett amphibs for work, great floats. Flew lots of different aluminum ones.

    Bottom shape, size and design make a big difference. What ever you choose will have compromise issues. Just life.

    Find one you like and is built for what you do. Light aluminum is less weight, but more prone to leaks. Heavy aluminum dings and gives less useful. All a trade off.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  8. #8

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    Mr.Ed, what type of flying will you be doing most of the time while on floats? mostly at docks or beaching?

  9. #9

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    Had EDO 2000, CAP 2000, Baumann 2100, and then Aerocet 2200's since they were first built for a Cub. The Baumanns were a great little float but the Aerocets are the best in every way that I can think of and for some reason cruise faster on our cub. Half the money for a good set of Edo's so it probably gets down to price.

  10. #10

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    Love my 2200 Clamars (straights). Slippery on the water and big, deep centre compartments. I pump them at the end of float season and take out about one gallon of water - and 90-percent of that is rainwater that comes through the hatch covers.

  11. #11
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    all have pros and cons. Fly Aercett amphibs for work, great floats. Flew lots of different aluminum ones.

    Bottom shape, size and design make a big difference. What ever you choose will have compromise issues. Just life.

    Find one you like and is built for what you do. Light aluminum is less weight, but more prone to leaks. Heavy aluminum dings and gives less useful. All a trade off.
    Quote Originally Posted by peterdillon View Post
    Had EDO 2000, CAP 2000, Baumann 2100, and then Aerocet 2200's since they were first built for a Cub. The Baumanns were a great little float but the Aerocets are the best in every way that I can think of and for some reason cruise faster on our cub. Half the money for a good set of Edo's so it probably gets down to price.
    Just a piece of float history. During the 1920s and 1930s Mr. EDO, Earle Dodge Osborn spent an extensive amount of time, research, engineering and money learning about and coming up with the optimum shape for seaplane floats. Ever since then there have been many others who have tried to "build a better mousetrap". All have claimed that their's are better. In my opinion while some have come close, none of them have been able to match EDO's for overall performance, until now. It is my understanding that Aerocet took a mold from an EDO float in order to duplicate the design in glass. The big improvement over EDO is the lack of rivets producing drag. Those rivets do produce a considerable amount of drag. I flush riveted the bottom of a flying boat once. It made a noticeable difference.
    EDO transitioned from their optimum design in the small floats for production cost reasons when they started building the 1400s as a substitute for the 1320s. The 1320s have always been the more popular of the two. Post WW2 during the light plane boom they developed and produced the 1620/2000 family which became very popular. Had they used the double fluted bottoms on these floats the production costs would have been much higher. Now due to their composite construction methods Aerocet is able to make the smaller floats with the fluted bottoms. It is likely that their costs would be about the same had they copied the 2000s.
    N1PA
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  12. #12

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    Very valid comments. The Cub takeoffs benefit less from that rivet induced drag than the 180 - 185 due to lower lift off speeds but still noticeable. No speed boats were ever built with raised rivets.
    Thanks skywagon8a thanked for this post

  13. #13
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterdillon View Post
    Aerocets are the best in every way that I can think of and for some reason cruise faster on our cub.
    Can you compare the angle to the wing differences between those different floats? Perhaps the Aerocets are mounted a bit flatter? Flatter is better for speed. The larger angle is better for take off.
    N1PA

  14. #14

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    Could be right. With the other combinations slower on floats than the 850 wheels and a borer but not the Aerocets. They have a narrow frontal profile. Some people complain that run a little low in the front in the water when lightly loaded which is true. We always seem to be heavy and the tails have more than ample floatation. Way more than ego's.

  15. #15
    Cranman
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    FWIW The Baumanns had/have double fluted bottoms.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

  16. #16

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    Type of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by cub12 View Post
    Mr.Ed, what type of flying will you be doing most of the time while on floats? mostly at docks or beaching?

    I expect most most of my flying will involve beaching as opposed to docking. Thanks for all your comments. Having zero float experience, any and all real world information is helpful.

    Mr. Ed

  17. #17
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRANMAN View Post
    FWIW The Baumanns had/have double fluted bottoms.
    Yes they have. Those are also a compound shape which requires special tooling and machinery to form the aluminum $$$$$$$$$. A compound shape means that the metal is bent in more than one direction which means stretching of material. This is not a simple process. This is particularly expensive when repairs need doing. The mechanic can't just grab a sheet of aluminum to easily fabricate a patch. If the repair is small he could, but if there is a big hole it's not so easy.
    Also the shape relationship between the two sections is important. To the uninitiated, with a glance from a distance they may all appear to be the same when they are not.
    N1PA

  18. #18
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    JJ Frey told me once that every float maker including EDO has been chasing the performance of EDO 1320s

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  19. #19

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    My Baumann 1500s have the same basic design as 1330 EDO...they just have a little more displacement....Bud Baumann basically copied the 1320...he said the same thing...nobody made a better performing float than the 1320s

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