Airilite Toughness

Hi, Hopefully someone with Airilite experience can help me here. About a year ago I purchased a used Perception Carolina 14.5 Airilite. I’ve only paddled it in lakes and South Jersey Rivers (Which are really sandy, and littered with logs and branches). Currently, I’m looking to expand my options to North Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania rivers. However, while scanning them with google earth, most seem to be peppered with rocks and boulders. Typically, I like to plan my river trips with overnight camping so the vessel would be loaded. I’m hoping that someone with experience here can help me curb my reservations about taking this fully loaded vessel into some hazardous territory and expecting it to be OK. I’ve gotten a couple good grooves just from pebbles and tree bark, so I’m really concerned about the potential of a groove that’s just too deep or even a puncture from plowing into jagged stones.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to help.


From Perception’s site: “AiraliteTM is a co-extruded, high-impact acrylic over premium ABS- that will stand up to
any type of water.”

ABS is tough but running into rocks or logs will damage any material if you crash hard enough.

I have two thermoformed ABS kayaks. One has a gouged hull after hitting some rocks, but it’s nothing major.

Carry duct tape in your kit for any emergency field repairs. Or maybe flex tape, which is what Freya Hoffmeister uses on some repairs, according to her trip reports.

As to ABS, it’s easily repaired. Eddyline has posted instructions at their website:

You could also carry a small field repair kit of plastic welder, a small bottle of rubbing alcohol, glass tape, etc. That will give you a Plan A (duct/flex tape) and Plan B (plastic welder).

You might consider contacting local outfitters along your planned route for real time conditions.