This is actually related to ocpaddler's post on "Faster Hull sprays/creams" but different enough to warrant starting this separate post.
Some of the innovations and development in design concepts and specialized composites for racing boats/kayaks, rowing shells etc., actually came from racing yachts- i.e. America's cup
One of the things they use for improving hull speed is a special type of epoxy urethane (varnish) called Durepox. Anyone know what finish the current surfskis (Epic, Fenn, Huki) and OC-1 manufacturers are using?
Excerpt of product info:
Durepox is an epoxy urethane with amazing adhesion to carbon fibre, fibreglass and wood, which can be applied without sanding between coats. While developed as a primer, Durepox is used as a topcoat on racing boats as it has excellent water barrier properties and exceptional weather stability. Durepox was tested by the Otago Flume Laboratory and results showed that its satin finish gave a 15% less drag coefficient than a high gloss surface on rowing skulls. On a practical level, painters admire its fast dry properties and sandability after three hours with no shrink back.
Otago Flume Laboratory is located in the South Island of Dunedin New Zealand at the University of Otago, three stories tall, and I believe the only flume lab capable and designed for physiological/biomechanical testing of water based sports motions. Last I heard, OTC at Colorado was dismantling their flume. For those who venture down to Dunedin, you should definitely get in contact with Dave Pease and the guys at the High Performance Centre, they have some really cool biomechanical analysis equipment for analysing paddling technique. The flume is the largest of its kind, built I think in 1998.