Carbonlite Boats Experience?

I’ve been paddling my old glass kayak for over 20 years (Necky Looksha IV HV) and want to add a lighter and shorter boat to my personal fleet. My question is… are the new Carbonlite boats strong enough to handle rocky launches and landings that we experience here in Washington State and British Columbia? My old glass boat is holding up just fine, but I’m considering a shorter and lighter (Eddyline Sitka XT) as a day/weekend camper.

I’ve ploughed through a lot of outdated online shaggy dog stories and opinions, but can’t find any reviews of substance that are relative to my 2024 question. I’m looking for anyone that’s actually had experience with a Carbonlite boat in the barnacle encrusted rocky shorelines of the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks in advance.

I added an Eddyline Raven a few years ago as my glass boat was more than I needed and it kept getting heavier each year. The Raven was used so I wasn’t worried about scratches … it came with plenty of them already added for my convenience. I’ve not found Carbonlite to be overly fragile, but (full disclosure) nothing is tougher than poly on rocks so I’ve kept my Old Town Cayuga 146.
If I were in the market for an Eddyline, I’d look at used (pre-2023) only until we get some reliable reports on the quality now that they have moved.


Thanks for the response. I’m looking at a new boat, as I’ve recently started work at a well known PNW outdoor store with an exceptional return policy. It’s looking like I’ll be the crash test dummy with Eddyline’s post 2023 offerings.

Looking forward to your first test report!

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From what I’ve read, carbonlite is similar in durability or slightly stronger than fiberglass, although can become brittle and susceptible to cracking when cold. It’s also a bit lighter. A carbonlite hull is also a bit more resistant to scratching than gelcoat.

However, while fiberglass is relatively easy to repair, even with considerable damage, carbonlite can be very difficult to repair. Like rotomolded polyethylene, very little sticks to the plastics used in carbonlite boats. While rotomolded boats are almost indestructible, but heavy, carbonlite and other throformed boats are stiffer and a bit brittle.

Due to the different methods used in the manufacture of thermoformed boats, you’re best off in contact the manufacturer regarding repair. Eddyline does make a repair kit for carbonlite boats, but it’s only recommended for simple cracks of 4"or less and not for holes.

All that being said, if you have been using a fiberglass boat for over 20 years, a caronliite boat will probably work just fine in all but very cold conditions.

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Very cold? I have read this in the past, but how cold is “very cold”?

Knowing that fresh water freezes at 32F and living in a place where our lakes freeze over thick and solid every winter I wonder how cold the temp is when it becomes a problem. Salt water turns solid a bit colder but the oceans don’t freeze over simply because of their thermo-mass.

I have an Eddyline Fathom kayak and I was thinking about how cold it would have to get to become brittle. The lakes don’t actually freeze over until the temps drop into the low teens and stay there for some time, OR until it gets to the low single digits or sub zero. (some years it get VERY sub zero) Then the lakes will freeze over in 1-3 days depending on if that cold is accompanied by wind too.
But the issue has not come up for me (yet) because I am far from oceans. Here if the temps are much below 45F I don’t think I’d be going out much anyway and because I can’t justify or afford a dry suit I don’t go out when the water gets much lower then about 52F because it’s simply too dangerous to not dress for emersion and from the time it’s OK to the time it’s dangerous is usually only 2 weeks or so here. In 3 weeks the lakes are solid so how much colder it can get is 100% irrelevant after that.

Anyway… all that said, how cold does the air have to get before Carbonlite gets brittle? If the hull below the water line was 50F the only parts you’d have to worry about would be above the water line.
So can anyone place a number on that temp where I’d need to worry about it?

That’s a question for another thread. I’m looking for real life experience with Eddyline plastic boats in the PNW and not a theoretical discussion about air and water temps. Stick to the original question, please.

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I have been using an EL Sitka LT for a couple of years in the PNW. Zero issues with durability. I did get one deep scratch from a shore landing in the San Juans, might fill it in with some Devcon Plastic weld as recommended by EL.


On this forum?
:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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Indeed. Pretty much any forum. I hope this thread doesn’t devolve into a group of old farts having a heated discussion about things that nobody cares about. BTW, I’m an old fart, too.

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I’ve just gone by reports by others regarding thermoform boats. There is no magic number. Like almost all plastics they become more brittle with a decrease in temperature, some more than others. The colder, the more brittle. I’ve never heard of a problem with polyethylene rotomolded boats. They seem to remain flexible to very low temperatures.

With thermoform boats there have been reports of the hull cracking when dropped in a parking lot, off a car, or hitting a rock at temperatures near or below freezing. Someone told me that their hull cracked when they were getting into their boat an placed all their weight on one foot.

It will be interesting to see how thermoform boats perform over time as well. Plastics form by polymerization, and that continues over time, albeit very slowly. Older boats will probably become more brittle, but whether this become an issue in practical terms is not clear.

Had their 12 ft SOT. Appeared to be thin and very fragile, afraid to drop it or bang it. Sold it after 2 months

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What Was The ORIGINAL question???

Edit Was pun on statement above.

OP ask “My question is… are the new Carbonlite boats strong enough to handle rocky launches and landings that we experience here in Washington State and British Columbia?”