When we were at the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival in Florida last March, we had the pleasure of helping Terry Ross with the Hagerty Youth Judging Program. The program, which is sponsored by the nice folks at Hagerty Marine Insurance, gives the kids the opportunity learn more about the antique & classic boats by following a basic judging format, asking a series of questions about a range of different boats at the shows.
During the youth judging tour of the boats in Florida, one of the kids overheard a boat owner comment about his original “Kapok” seat cushions and later asked me to explain what “Kapok” was as we were walking along the dock. I did my best to explain what “Kapok” material was and provided some of the history of the material, which answered his question generally. But I can admit that my knowledge of “Kapok” is limited, and I would be interested to learn everything I can about the subject, so in the future if a 10 year-old kid asks me the question, I can give him a long, boring, but informative answer.
I know that many of our daily viewers can provide us with an explanation on the history and applications for “Kapok” in antique & classic boating over the years. So we thought it would be fun to ask the question, and encourage our viewers to either provide a comment below, or preferably send us your explaination along with a few photos which we will then add directly to this story as we receive them. Together you can help us build the story today.
– What is Kapok material and Why was it so popular for marine applications back in the day?
– When was it developed for marine applications and what range of years was it used for antique & classic boat cushions?
– Is it still available today for antique boat restoration / preservation applications, and is it still legal to use as a flotation device?
– Why do some upholstery guys prefer not to install the Kapok certification tags in the cushions?
You can e-mail your comments and photos to Woody Boater HQ at Texx@woodyboater.com and I will post it to the story in the order it was received. You can comment anonymous or include your name with your comment which will be posted to the Woody Boater story in your own words, unedited unless you would like help with editing, which I can do if you prefer.
So let’s try to build a live-ish interactive story so by the end of the day, everyone who visits Woody Boater will become instant experts on the subject, and you can impress your family and buddies at the next boat show with your new found knowledge. Or if a 10-year old kid asks you, “What is Kapok” you can impress them too…
Anyone who submits some factiod information, history and/or photos on the “Kapok” subject will receive a special Woody Boater gift for your efforts that will recognize you for your contribution today. The Woody Boater gift (no it’s not a pack of frozen wieners) can be proudly displayed on the wall of your office, in your bathroom, or on the beer fridge in your garage…
The e-mail lines are now open and operators are standing by, waiting for your submissions.
Hi Texx, here is a picture of kapok which was used in pre war chris crafts, among others, as stuffing material for seat cushions, and in seat backs (along with horsehair). – Don Vogt
An update to the “Let’s Talk Kapok” story – Congratulations go out to fellow Woody Boater and All-Around Good Guy Don Vogt for winning the Kapok Challenge with his photo / comments. Nice work Don! – Texx