cedar canoe vs fibreglass

-- Last Updated: Aug-01-14 12:10 PM EST --

I'm considering buying a canoe. I've always rented the fibreglass Prospector style canoes about 16ft long for wilderness trips and small rapids (but most of the time I just portage these)...there are however a lot of rocks in the lakes round here that get scraped occasionally.
Are there any downsides to cedar canoes in terms of strength? I presume that they are a lot lighter.
I've also seent his compay that sells them:

They do kits so I guess I could make one but I'm not sure how long that would take.

Wood canoes are much stronger than people think they are. Just ask Cliff Jacobsen. I have paddled a cedar and canvas OT Guide 18 for a lot of years. It is a tank but has a lot of life in it. A cedar stripper is a great choice for rivers that do not have difficult rapids.

I built a sea kayak from Pygmy Boats in Port Townsend, WA. It was a stitch and glue boat made with epoxy and African mahogany. It took around 80 hours for a decked boat. I liked the boat but eventually sold it for $500 more than the cost of the kit. I am a canoe man.

How about confining this to the forum
topic, namely wilderness tripping? We have Q&A and Discussion forums that are better for your purposes, and will get better answers.

nearly the same thing
Both cedar canoes and fiberglass canoes are fiberglass resin over fiber - wood “fiber” in the case of a cedar canoe, and fiberglass cloth in the case of a fiberglass canoe.

Cedar is pretty - very pretty, IMO.

Weights will be similar (ie heavy), and almost the same strength, with the fiberglass being a little stronger than wood.

The big difference is repair-ability. Both are nearly equal in repairing, but if you punch a hole in fiberglass, even a home-repair DIY guy can fix it to look new. If you punch a hole in a cedar canoe, it will almost surely show the scar after repair.

For stillwater canoeing, cedar is fine, if it fits your budget. If you plan to run whitewater, I would go with fiberglass or better yet, some of the newer plastics.