Paddling the world one stroke at a time
Weight is another factor to consider when choosing a kayak. Most people are going to need to put their kayak on a car to get it to the water. If you are going with a friend, lifting is much easier, but if you plan on paddling solo the weight of the boat is going to be important.
The weight of the boat depends on both the size of the boat and what its hull is made of. Modern kayak hulls are typically manufactured from polyethylene plastic, fiberglass or Kevlar; additionally there are some new composite materials that combine the attributes of plastic and fiberglass.
Polyethylene plastic is the least expensive hull material. A plastic boat has two key advantages. It is extreme durable and it requires virtually no maintenance. Its primary disadvantages are that it's heavy and has poor dimensional stability (susceptible to warping and denting). Fiberglass has much greater stability and is far lighter than plastic, but is much less durable, and far more expensive. Kevlar is lighter still and slightly more durable than fiberglass, and still more expensive. Several manufacturers are building boats using heat and vacuum-formed thermoplastic. This material combines the advantages of fiberglass and plastic, but at a cost closer to a plastic boat. Further information about thermoforming can be found at Eddyline kayaks.
Once you have narrowed down the list of possibilities, head for your local kayak shop. Kayak demo days are a perfect way to try out boats and see what feels right for you.
Post Date: 11/6/2011, Article by: Dave Carpenter