Carbonlite 2000 or similar plastics

Eddyline has been using it for a few years now and others are steadily introducing boats into their lineups made out of carbonlite 200 or similar material. First is there a wide range in the quality-durability of the plastics being used by the various manufactures? Second is the jury now in on how much abuse like dragging over rocks, bumping-scraping underwater obstacles etc. it will take compared to a well built fiberglass hull? Are they sensitive to cracking in very cold conditions.

yes to #1
yes there is a BIG difference in what ‘everyone’ who makes poly/carbon boats is using.

#2 and #3 will get alot of ‘opinion’ answers.

IMO- Poly carbon boats are OK for occasional use… NOT heavy duty use. IMO


steve would know…
…but I thought the various materials began life as more or less the same material, but differed because of the thermoforming technique.

I have two different brand hulls (airalite & trylon) & both have cracks after several years of moderate use…not even sure when they happened. That said, I don’t think 'glass is going to be any more durable.

I had a Merlin
and abused the hell out of it. Stood up just fine. Would be on pins and needles about doing the same thing to a glass boat, although I can’t speak to its properties in the cold, don’t know. From what I read here, others haven’t been able to pull it off as well as Eddyline.

material (Carbonlite) is some of the best, they were the first to use this technology and some of their earlier materials are what some of the others are using now. their matrix has evloved a bunch since the early dayz.

but… not as durable as f/g IMO. I have seen too many failures in moderate/heavy conditions.


Not as durable AND…
…much more difficult to repair. If you crack, hole or wear through a 'glass boat, it’s not difficult to replace the damaged material and make the boat good as new. Not so with polycarbonate.

Modulus Construction?

– Last Updated: Jan-10-07 7:57 PM EST –

I see that Eddyline no longer offers their Modulus Layup which was a layer of glass and or kevlar laminated to the interior of their hulls. Did that extra layup actually beef up the hull, just a marketing idea or simply not cost effective for what extra strength you got? What types of failures have shown up in some plastic hulls when subjected to some moderate-heavy situations.

Interesting thread

– Last Updated: Jan-10-07 8:53 PM EST –

Own a modulas layup 2000 with my Falcon, purchased in 2003. Not sure I understood Flatpick's comments. Define heavy seas? What issues were noted? Read your comments as being open ended left for one's imagination. My Falcon represents my first kayak chosen after an extensive testing and looking. Since owning it, I have successfully dropped it cement, dropped and dragged it over rocks and bottomed it out on stream beds and launch from rocky and clam shells laden shore lines. The hull has some nicks and scrapes, but far less and no cracks that likely to be found in a fiber glass or plastic boat. Can't speak for other boats, but one pays for the quality one gets.

Taking this forum discussion forward. Paddler's magazine noted this past July or perhaps June that Epic will now build their kayaks in China. That said, is this the death of quality kayaks made for the next couple of years as other Mfr. copy Epic's lead to stay in the market? Will quality improve? Will prices come down? Cheers, Mark Falcon S18

carbonlite is good stuff
I have an Eddyline Nighthawk and I am pleased with the material. I believe there is a substantial difference in durability of the various thermoform materials and carbonlite is among the toughest.

Thermoformed plastics will dominate the kayak scene in a few years.

It depends
Its my understanding that Eddyline’s carbonlite strarted out as polycabonate but was then changed to a “composite” plastic (Several different layers of different types of plastic). I believe that the polycarbonate was found to be a little more brittle, especially in cold temperatures. But it looks great. It is also my understanding that these plastics have various additives which change their properties. So, depending on which additive you specify, the plastic might be more resistant to UV, more flexible, more abrasion resistant, etc. They are also using various layers of different types of plastic, all with potentially different additives. So, boats from different manufacturers can have very different “plastics”.

Define heavy seas?
surf launch/ landings in 4’ swell.

Rock garden play 3’ swell

7-day expedition load on rocky beach

I have ‘personally’ seen failures in the above 3 conditions. Had to deal with more when i owned my shop. btw- we were Eddyline ‘Dealer of the year’ 2 years in a row.


So have others?
Would it not be fair to also say boats from all manufactures have probable come to grief and needed repairs under similar conditions?

but in side by side comparisons I have seen failure of poly/carbon boats in situations where NO good composite or roto boat failed. PERIOD.

good for ‘most’ folks, not good for the gnar.


"NO good composite…"
Define good. (As a rep, I’m sure you don’t want to go there!) But, my real question is: is my thin-as-egg-shells Chatham “advanced composite” going to bust up on the beach if I become a gnar?

U R Right
I don’t wanna go there.

The ‘my duck is bigger/ better than your duck’ rant does not belong here.



steve (who get to experiment with good/bad composite construction)

I have no insecurities about my ‘duck’

(although, frankly, I’m a little surprised that you knew his nickname!)

Mad River Slipper Carbonlite 2000 Canoe

– Last Updated: Jan-12-07 11:02 AM EST –

Ah's first saw an' paddled a Carbonlite 2000 boat in the late 90's - it waar a Mad River Slipper (if ah' remembers right) canoe. Production didn't last too long an' ah' hear'd about de cold temps problem even back then.

Fat Elmo

Mad River Slipper Carbonlite 2000 canoe.
I have one of those and I did manage to crack the hull last spring when I ran a river at too low of water.

It is important to note that this boat has a very uniquely mounted seat when considering the nature of the crack. It has a tractor seat which has the rear mounted to a thwart and the front is mounted to a reinforced area of the floor like a pedestal, so it’s easier to go from a sitting position to a kneeling position and visa versa because there’s no obstruction along the sides of the seat to impede foot repostioning.

Mine cracked along the side of the reinforced area of the floor when I got stuck on top of a rock and had to scoot over it. It shouldn’t bee too hard to repair securely, but it probably won’t be pretty when I do it.

I won’t use it for rivers anymore, since I now have a royalex Wildfire for that purpose.

Mad River told me a couple years ago that they stopped using Carbonlite 2000 because of not finding a suitable method of repair.

I’ve also been told that this version of Carbonlite 2000 has different characteristics than what is currently used by Eddyline. It is quite scratch resistant, but a little more brittle.

This hull is very nice looking and very stiff, but I don’t consider it appropriate for rock bashing.

I have no idea how it’s durability compares to fiberglass because I haven’t treated any fiberglass canoes the way I’ve treated this Carbonlite 2000 Mad River Slipper.