Fiberglass - When building our fiberglass kayak we use
a stitched bi-axial reinforcement instead of the more common and
less expensive woven roving reinforcement. There are two main
differences between the two which are very important. First is that
woven roving is made by weaving thick bundles of fiberglass.
Although this is very strong it creates a very thick material with
lots of air spaces that must be filled with resin.
reinforcement takes flat bundles of fiberglass and lays them down
flat in one direction and then lays the second layer flat in the
other direction and then stitches them together. This allows for a
much lower profile than a woven fabric and requires much less resin
resulting in a higher strength to weight ratio. It would certainly be
cheaper to use woven roving, but we don't feel it is as strong.
Kevlar - Kevlar is a very popular
reinforcement for kayak building because of its terrific strength to weight
advantage. It is 30% stronger and 30% lighter than fiberglass, but the material
is about 5 times as expensive as fiberglass as well.
Our approach when making
Kevlar kayaks is not to simply pursue weight savings. With our Kevlar kayaks you
will get a lighter kayak than our fiberglass builds, but you will also get a
much stronger kayak as well. Your Kevlar kayak will be stronger, lighter and
longer lasting in addition to having a higher resale value. When you compare our
Kevlar upgrade price to that of other kayak builders you will quickly realize
that this is by far the best value for your money if the extra dollars are within
Kevlar/Carbon - This construction combines the best features
of Kevlar and carbon fiber. Kevlar is very strong, light and
unmatched in impact resistance and its ability to withstand flex.
Carbon on the other hand is very stiff and even lighter than Kevlar
but it is somewhat brittle when compared to Kevlar.
With this build
we place Kevlar reinforcement on the outer layer of the hull and
then back that up with carbon. The result is a kayak that is very
tough and light without the "floppy" feeling of many
lightweight kayaks. The inside of the kayak will have that sexy
carbon black look and you will appreciate the lightweight and the
peace of mind knowing the Kevlar is there for added protection.
Carbon - If light weight is your primary goal and takes
precedence over all others than this is the way to go. There is no
lighter build than carbon, however, it will not deliver the rugged
durability of Kevlar. Carbon is very light and very stiff but it
will fail more easily under impact. If you want to have the lightest
possible boat for use in fairly benign flat water conditions than
this is a good choice for you.