View topic - How reliable is a light composite boat, without whitewater?

It is currently November 29th, 2020, 9:48 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: October 12th, 2020, 1:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Toronto
I paddle Royalex and now Tformex canoes. I do not own any kevlar boats or composite. I want to add a lightweight boat to my boats. Mainly for portage ease and responsiveness on the water.

I intend to not use this composite boat for white water, and to not drop it on portages etc, or abuse it on rocks etc. But I want to do everything else I do with my Royalex boats: Paddle big water, fully loaded, sometimes lightly loaded, in huge waves. Repeatedly. Touring down/up long creeks, over beaver dams, deep rivers etc. Small lakes + the great lakes, off-route ponds (bushwhacking to them). It'll be a prospector. Pretty sure it will.

I want to go truly light. 40lbs or less (compared to my 60-85lbs boats). My question is, will this canoe handle my use? Rough on the water, but no white water? No rock abuse. Fully loaded, slamming through and up/down big waves, etc. Being dragged over beaver dams (not rocks). Long trips. Not remote trips. This will be a solo boat, 16' or so. I'm just concerned that these ultralight boats may not handle that?

If I am advised to get an 'in between' boat (somewhere between royalex and ultralite) then I'm not interested. The purpose of this boat is to have absolute total contrast to my heavy boats. One that's so nice and light and sensitive on the water. A kite. I just need to know that it will hold up through everything described. Do you think it will? Any suggestions?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 12th, 2020, 9:56 am 
Offline

Joined: August 26th, 2008, 8:48 pm
Posts: 63
Modern composites are extremely durable, even the ultra light ones, so yes they will do everything you described. Plastic is dead in my eyes, even in expedition boats.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 12th, 2020, 11:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 21st, 2004, 7:58 pm
Posts: 521
My Swift Kipawa (kevlar -- 42 lbs.) is still going strong after 20+ years. Been over more than a few beaver dams.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 12th, 2020, 1:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Toronto
Thanks very much Molly and Peter, That's what i was really hoping to hear.

Now, it's between Novacraft and Souris River prospector.
Swift is over budget if I recall correctly. Trailhead pros are a bit heavier than super light.

By the way, in case anyone wants to know,
Souris River prospector 16' is in fact the Trailhead's mold/version of the prospector.
While the Souris River prospector 17' is the Souris River mold/version of the prospector.
(true as of Oct 2020).

I wonder who makes Trailhead's kevlar boats. I know Esquif makes their Tformex boats.
(using Trailhead mold/version of the prospector).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 13th, 2020, 7:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 8th, 2017, 9:14 am
Posts: 910
In 2019 Swift was making Trailhead's Kevlar boats - not sure if that is still true this year but I think it is.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 13th, 2020, 10:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 9062
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I have over a dozen boats all composite or wood.

They are all over five years old and actually some are designed for river running ( whitewater). My oldest is a 1991 Wenonah which is still being used on big water. Like Lake Superior.

My 23 lb RapidFire and 38 lb Nomad are both composite and handle gravel and oyster bars ( razor sharp you realize when you step on one barefoot). Well

I do prefer gel coat over skin coat for abrasion resistance . Like when I stumbled and dropped my 31 lb Hemlock Peregrine on the portage by Paradise Lagoon in Temagami.. It went down rocks about 30 feet.

I have an older SR Wilderness. The build is not as beefy as I would like. Things could have changed in 13 years. Its not so much the material but the layup schedule. Composite canoes are made of multiple layers of fabric and some are full coverage, footballs less( bottom) and partials at areas that take more stress.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 14th, 2020, 9:43 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Toronto
Prospector16 wrote:
In 2019 Swift was making Trailhead's Kevlar boats - not sure if that is still true this year but I think it is.


I think you're right. I'll know soon as I just found out that Trailhead has some ultralite boats which I need to consider as well.

@littleredcanoe
thank you for your info. If the boat holds up for 5-10 years,
given crashing up/down big waves repeatedly, being dragged over beaver-dams, and accidental bottom scrapes (hidden rocks + landings), all assuming a usage of 30+ days per year,

No white water + No dance parties on the overturned hull,

then I am happy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 15th, 2020, 2:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 7th, 2012, 1:10 pm
Posts: 67
This is a great question. I own a kevlar boat with gelcoat. We never drag it on the rocks and always load in the water. It is stored out of the sun. Even so, it is mightily scratched up. but none of the scratches has gone through the gelcoat. We paddle about 1,000 km/year on open water. I often wonder how a kevlar boat with only a clear coat would stand up. The advantage of those boats is that they are at least 8 lbs lighter.

_________________
 


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 15th, 2020, 7:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: November 7th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Posts: 315
Ask yourself this:

How many threads have you seen questioning the durability of composite canoes?

How many threads have you seen with someone complaining about their composite canoe failing?

It's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.

Alan


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 15th, 2020, 8:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1136
Location: Burns Lake, BC
I'll second what Alan has said.

Our fleet is down to 4 boats and they're all ultralights.
We have never done anything different with our boats and all we have are scratches to show for it.
We've pounded the bow in waves and even submarined it many times with the skirt on. Just ask my wife. (my bow wave deflector)

One thing we are concerned about with our ultralights is wind.
Though being wilderness trippers we've learned to tie our boats up regardless.
We'll even bring the boat in the trees (and still tie them up) to avoid the big winds.

Our 16' Clipper Prospector is my version of what you're looking for. 48lbs of pure joy.
Though Clippers are notoriously heavy when comparing apples to apples, they are built very solid and are local for us.
An ultralight 16' Swift Prospector would be the dream for us but that's just by the numbers as I've never seen one here in the West.

Souris River's epoxy is something that would make me seriously look at their boats.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 16th, 2020, 6:56 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 3rd, 2017, 1:48 pm
Posts: 54
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
Swift has a good reputation for standing behind their product here as well.

One of my tripping buddies bought a new 16' Swift Prospector but was very unhappy with how it handled in the wind. He took it back after a few trips and explained his problems to them and they exchanged him to a 16' Keewaydin without any hassle.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 17th, 2020, 10:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Toronto
jefffski wrote:
This is a great question. I own a kevlar boat with gelcoat. We never drag it on the rocks and always load in the water. It is stored out of the sun. Even so, it is mightily scratched up. but none of the scratches has gone through the gelcoat. We paddle about 1,000 km/year on open water. I often wonder how a kevlar boat with only a clear coat would stand up. The advantage of those boats is that they are at least 8 lbs lighter.


thanks jeff,
you said you wonder how clear coat would stand up. but shouldn't it stand up the same as gelcoat? isn't clearcoat just gelcoat but clear?

thanks alan,
i haven't seen many but i couldn't go off that as i arrived just recently.

thanks canoehead.
lol bow wave deflector. submarined lol. that's exactly what i was looking for. how long did you stay down there?
good point on wind. thanks,
swift boats are really stunning boats. man o man o woman. im in a jam over that. same price for what i want & 10lbs less (than light). My heart is with Nova.

thanks petit,
ive heard of a lot of cases people returning prospectors. regardless manufacturer. just that rounded bottom + rocker, it seems.

so,

99% sure im going with Blue Steel (Nova Craft). 3lbs more than aramid lite. Stronger, still much lighter than my current boats, and so beautiful.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 17th, 2020, 11:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 30th, 2020, 11:42 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Toronto
One says
"You know me, we're family, trust, I'm so strong and light, and beautiful"

One says
"I'm same price, 10 lbs lighter, and you can hang me off your christmas tree, because I'm the most stunning thing you'll ever see in a canoe".

Image
Image

I think the only way to solve this problem is to get a coleman.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 18th, 2020, 5:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 16th, 2019, 1:47 pm
Posts: 110
Our club has several Kevlar canoes that have seen decades of use and abuse. The Clipper Kevlar Prospector has been wrapped, split gunnel to gunnel, repaired, and still keeps going strong. Personally I'm impressed with ecoPoxy Duralite, my regular ride is built of it. Bob Hellman claims it can absorb an eight inch deflection on impact and pop out. I believe it. I took the seats out and that got it's weight down into Kevlar territory.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: October 18th, 2020, 5:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: February 28th, 2018, 10:54 am
Posts: 90
Location: SW Quebec
I picked up my Nova Craft Cronje in Aramid Lite this year. It is a little tender and it will dump you if you try (we did), but nowhere the twitchiness of the 16'4" H2O Prospector we had rented the year prior.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group