Coleman Fuel in Composite Kayaks

Anyone have any advice/observations/experiences carrying Coleman fuel for stoves in a composite kayak’s hold? I’m carrying it in MSR or Sigg aluminum bottles which usually don’t leak, but if it does I don’t want to dissolve a hole in my boat! Will it damage/dissolve the Fglass/kevlar/carbonlite? I guess it could always go in a separate drybag, or double it up in a poly container with a tight lid but that takes up a lot of room.

Not unless you light it.

I would think it’d be more of a problem
in a plastic boat

which Coleman fuel is, is routinely stored in fiberglass tanks. That isn’t a definitive answer since there are a plethora of resins, but at least some of them are indifferent to hydrocarbons. To be sure, ask the manufacturer, of the boat if bought or the resin if built.

Incidentally, Carbonlite 2000 isn’t composite. It’s thermoformed plastic laminate. That’s confusing because similar terms are used by other manufacturers in other industries to refer to carbon fiber composites but Eddyline registered it for their proprietary plastic hull material. It’s probably also impervious to gasoline but if you actually have a carbonlite boat you could ask Eddyline. Realistically, though, as long as you mind the gaskets those MSR/Sigg fuel bottles are trustworthy.

Carbonlite Modulus
Ahh, you bring up a good point about the Eddyline boats, kozmikarl. I think carbonlite is somewhat safe with Coleman fuel, being a polycarbonate material. However, my Nighthawk 17.5 is their Modulus Kevlar/Vectran construction, so the interior is more like composite. And since they don’t make those anymore, I am being a little picky about chemical risks.

ah… a genuine hybrid
Eddyline is probably the only reliable source of information unless someone has a disaster to relate. The other material to wonder about is silicone sealant which is abundant in one of my boats. Again, pretty inert goop but hydrocarbon chemistry is arcane.

One way around the question is to switch fuels. There’s a thread on here about wood-burners. I personally favor iso-butane. My Pocket Rocket is up and running in seconds and often boiling water while the gasoline guys are still pumping, priming and trying to keep their eyebrows. It has temperature/altitude limitations (both of which I’ve exceeded with impunity but they’re worth knowing). Kayaking tends not to lead us into that territory. The point here, though, is that it doesn’t stink, stain, dissolve, poison or render anything flammable if it does leak, which I’ve never known it to do. The only time I’ve had any concern about iso-butane is when the pool of flaming gasoline from someone’s leaky or over-filled stove runs around it. That’s happened often enough that I now stay uphill as well as upwind.

Actually, Carbonlite
is not a polycarbonate. It started out as that, but then they changed it to a layered proprietary plastic formula. They just kept the name, which is a little confusing 'cuz it sounds like it’s polycarbonate.

Modulus & what dissolves ABS
Eddyline’s Modulus is glass/kevlar/whatever fabric sandwiched between layers of clear Carbonlite.

They stopped Modulus kayak production in 2005 because of QC problems, as I recall, with surface irregularities (bumps and hollows) on large expanses such as kayak hulls.

Eddyline’s Swift paddles are Modulus. I guess it’s OK on smaller surface areas.

Any ABS plastic (Carbonlite, Trylon, Aralite) will be dissolved by acetone-related solvents.

Is the fuel Acetone based then ?

– Last Updated: Aug-29-08 10:38 AM EST –

My understanding is it composed of aliphatic hydrocarbons which in solvency terms are very weak.

If you kayak/canoe is unaffected by white spirit then this product will do no harm.

don’t put the fuel in the same
hatch as your oatmeal, or any other odor absorbing food.

testing it

– Last Updated: Aug-29-08 11:09 AM EST –

Yes, that's right, my Swift paddle is modulus graphite as well! I can test it on a small surface like near the edge where there are a few nicks. If it smooths them out, then I have the answer.

However, I also emailed Eddyline to get their response as well.

This may be as good a reason as any to get a new stove. There would be absolutely no worries with l-butane, unless it leaked and somehow got set off. Probably no more worries than overconsumption of Beanee Weenees there!

White gas
won’t hurt composites, but I agree in isolating it. On long journeys I put all my food in my day hatch to isolate it, Fuel went aft with other gear. On long remote hauls liguid fuel is more avialable.

Got the answer from Eddyline. Did I mention that Eddyline’s customer service and their boats are both great! I would also add that in addition to being generally innocuous for the resin composite interior and bulkheads, RTV silicone sealants should also be safe from its attack since they are used in applications with similar fuels and in engines.

Q: Coleman Fuel Concerns?

I have a Nighthawk 17.5 in Modulus. I’d like to know if I have a small accidental leak of Coleman fuel (stored in a Sigg or MSR aluminum bottle) while transporting it in the hold during kayak camping trips would it cause hull damage, or even worse dissolve through it? I really like this boat and since you don’t offer it in Modulus any longer I am a little “picky” with it!


Given that the interior of your kayak is fiberglass (The Resin) the Coleman fuel should do no harm at all. I would however, clean it out with some good soapy water and not leave it in there any longer than necessary.



Tom Derrer

Eddyline Kayaks

360 757-2300