-- Last Updated: Dec-29-09 3:58 PM EST --

With Eddyline now building some boats for Rockpool, my question is how will the Carbonlite Rockpool boats handle rocky coastlines, surf and occasional hits compared to their glass layed-up composite models?

Carbonlite is ABS? But that’s not the
issue. I would expect Carbonlite to do a little better than most composites in hard use, HOWEVER, composites are more repairable.

It has also to do with the sturdiness of the composite layup. Typical S-glass/Kevlar layups used for whitewater kayaks and canoes will somewhat outperform single layer Carbonlite.

Rockpool designs
The British Rockpool designs are suppose to be well suited for rough water so I thought it was interesting that they elected to have Eddyline produce them over here in Carbonlite rather then have them produced in in a US based composite shop or an Asian composite shop or in a rotomold poly shop like P&H or Valley’s three layer poly boats. Is this an example of new plastics and new building processes coming of age as a way to produce a tough cost effective boat?

It indicates that they think Carbonlite
is tough enough for the rough use their boats are designed for.

But it doesn’t indicate that Carbonlite is adequate for whitewater boating. If that were the case, we would have seen a bunch of Carbonlite whitewater boats available over the past ten years. Haven’t seen 'em.

Interesting conversation, but not quite accurate regarding Carbonlite material and Rockpool TCC.

First of all: You are right in that the material contains ABS, but to say it is just ABS is to say that fiberglass resin is all the same. ABS is included for its unique properties (durability, impact resistance etc…). Also include in the sheet material is Acrylic with its unique properties (stiffness, resistance to temperature deformation etc…)To prove this to yourself it might help to visit a building supply store for a simple observation. Pick up a piece of ABS drain pipe and compare it to Carbonlite. Even a casual glance should tell you that the materials are not the same.

Regarding the the issue of domestic construction; We have contracted with a local composite shop and love the results. The problem is that with high end layups and the cost of American Labor the boats have no room for a dealer margin. Going to Asia was never a consideration for many reasons including, environment, product consistency and the issue of exporting jobs.

Why not Carbonlite whitewater boats? The issue here is that polyethylene costs so little and speed is rarely an issue on the river. Do you see many serious slalom boats made of polyethylene?

I regularly paddle on the Washington and Oregon Pacific Coast in surf, rock gardens and have been very pleased with Carbonlite in the Rockpool ALAW BACH TCC. Do I think it is indestructible? No, I don’t, but with no gelcoat to repair and the simplicity of Carbonlite repair, I am convinced that we have made the right decision to use Carbonlite and Eddyline to build this outstanding Rockpool boat. As a matter of fact we have a container full of these going back to Europe in January.

Happy paddling to all of you.

Chris Mitchell

Reed/Rockpool North America

Smack Test
Not sure whose thermoformed plastic boat this is, but it is getting smacked.



– Last Updated: Dec-30-09 10:23 AM EST –

The Rockpool boats will they have Thermoformed or something else for their bulkheads?

look forward to seeing the results

If Carbonlite were sufficiently durable
for whitewater, it would have been widely adopted long ago because it is significantly lighter than polyethelene. The somewhat higher cost would not have been an issue. The weightiness of polyethelene boats is widely despised, and most are not stiff enough for good paddling.

Having an S-glass out/carbon inside slalom c-1, I frankly doubt that making the same boat out of Carbonlite would provide as stiff a boat…though maybe it would be a bit more durable.

Of course another reason that slalom boats are composite is that no one design could be sold in the numbers to justify making a Carbonlite mold.

I would like to see more Carbonlite boats in whitewater settings, if their toughness can be bumped upward just a little more.

Impressive, but hammer blows do not
much resemble the serious punishment occuring in whitewater. It’s more like having someone back a car into the hull, displacing it way inward.

The question is not what Carbonlite can withstand, but what sort of failures occured that led boatbuilders to decide not to make whitewater boats out of the stuff.

When and where
I am curious as to where one can read about the Tiderace Carbonlite boats As someone who thought very highly of my Carbonlight Nighthawk, but who likes the idea of a nice low volume boat such as the Xcite S this is interesting if not exciting news.

I think there is some merit to you statements about what the actual impact force will be like in a watery environment. Yes I’m impressed by the hammer demonstration, but the forces that can do damage to a hull might not be applied in a way where the whole length of the hull can flex to help absorb some impacts as one sees in the video. Still there are probably many composite boats that might not have faired well with that same hammer test.

Yes, I’m sure my composite boats would
all have taken some surface damage. But they would not have broken through.

I hope to see more trials of Carbonlite boats. Maybe we’ve missed something.

The Graduate
Ah that classic line from that old Dustin Hoffman movie “Plastics!”

When Eddyline first started building polycarbonate boats they had a layer of Kevlar or Kevlar-Graphite bonded to the interior of the hulls. Not sure why they abandoned that lay-up, but it seems like it might have been the best of all worlds.

Several sources…



Eel is interested in the low volume Tiderace boat, but it is Rockpool that is doing their hulls in Carbonlite with Eddyline.

Me stupid

– Last Updated: Dec-30-09 7:54 PM EST –


You are right. I got the names/boats confused.
Sigh. Still, a neat boat I have heard and maybe decently low in volume. Needs a look and some seat time.

Poly boat cracks sometimes start on
the inside because a small inside scratch propagates. Putting Kevlar inside would prevent that on Carbonlite. But it might only be worth it for whitewater or other uses where the hull is often pushed way inward.

Called Modulus construction
stopped because of different thermal expansion rates between the materials.

I’m sure experts like g2d can elaborate…

NOT the best of both worlds.

If they are going to produce this model in Carbonlite it suppose to be low volume??