Pennel Orca Boat Material

ArticleJune 20, 2011

Since 1994, NRS has used Pennel’s “Orca” material in manufacturing our Expedition and Otter rafts, River Cat and Kodiak cataraft tubes, and MaverIK inflatable kayaks. Pennel originally used DuPont® Hypalon® as a coating on their Orca material. Because of the Hypalon coating, inflatables built with Orca fabric—including these NRS designs—were commonly referred to as Hypalon boats.

Hypalon is DuPont’s name for the chemical compound chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CP), which the company invented in 1940. In April 2010, DuPont stopped making Hypalon and Pennel needed to find another source of high-quality CP. They did; and extensive testing has shown that the newly sourced CP provides the same superior performance that our customers have come to expect from NRS boats.

Over the years, CP has proved to be an excellent material for making boats. First of all, it’s great at holding air… a most important feature for inflatables! It’s also super abrasion-resistant, UV-resistant and chemical-resistant. Other uses for CP include roofing materials and liners for chemical treatment lagoons—so you know it's tough stuff!

You’ll no longer see the term “DuPont Hypalon” used to describe NRS boats (or any other manufacturer’s boats). Look for “NRS Pennel Orca” instead—along with the uncompromising quality that has made NRS a worldwide leader in inflatable boats.