Duralite for canoe construction?

Duralite has been very successful in kayak construction. It is lighter, stronger and INHO more attractive than polyethylene.

I wonder if it can be used to build canoes? According to some descriptions I’ve read, Duraltie is an Acrylic skin over ABS. Royalex canoes are a Vinyl skin over ABS. Anybody hear of any canoe manufacturer who has tried Duralite?



Already done

– Last Updated: Jul-08-07 8:15 AM EST –

Mad River had a Carbonlite 2000 Slipper canoe in production in de mid 1990's fer a couple years ah' believe. If ah' ain't mistaken Duralite is de same stuff as Carbonlite 2000.


If the acrylic and ABS combo were
stronger and lighter, why has it not appeared in the very competitive whitewater kayak market? I don’t think this combination has been more damage resistant even in the rec and touring kayak market, but it is nice and stiff, and a bit lighter.

Duralite isn’t ABS
Wildy’s “Duralite” is just a slightly different polyethylene. As such, it’s lighter than their standard poly, but also noticeably softer, requiring internal stiffening pillars to help support the deck. Why is it lighter than Gen2 poly boats? Cuz the walls are thinner, hence less material being used.

I think what you’re asking is whether anyone could use straight on ABS plastic to mold canoes (Trylon, TCS, Airalite, etc, are all just in-house names for ABS). Someone no doubt has before, but the material is flexy when spread out over wider platforms (a 36" wide open-top canoe will be more prone to oil canning than a 24" wide tubular kayak shape). With a foam core providing additional stiffness to the ABS, it makes a lot of sense - but that’s exactly what a Royalex canoe is; ABS with foam core inside and vinyl color outside.

But DuraLight is ABS, in part.
See the link below.



– Last Updated: Jul-09-07 9:50 AM EST –

You've gotta love how the paragraph on the page starts with the phrase "We want you be knowledgeable about our kayaks before you buy...." , then continues on by calling ABS plastic "DuraLight", as if that's the real name of the material.

So much for 'truth in advertising' .

yeah, pretty dumb alright
Mobrien, you’re clearly not an expert on this question. You either don’t know what you’re talking about or you don’t undestand the question or you don’t understand the manufacturers comments. Please do some adequate research on the topic before calling manufacturers out on “truth in advertising”. Thermoplastics have been around for years and Wilderness Systems and Enlighted Kayaks are only two of probably a dozen companies using TH. If you’d like a full list just scan the Paddler’s 2007 buyer’s guide.

ABS plastic is what it is. Call it Airlite, TCS, Trylon, DuraLight, etc, etc, etc, it’s the same basic material.

In fact, the basic confusion that exists around the post is that here we have two different manufacturers using very similar in-house names (Duralite vs DuraLight) for two very DIFFERENT materials, each of which are BETTER known by their generic names; polyethylene and ABS.

While most shops and salesmen are informed enough to know what’s really involved in both of these “special” materials, the manufacturers clearly don’t want the public too aware of what it is they’re using. The irony of Enlightened saying that they want to inform the public about what goes into their boats, then using a made-up name for a common material apparently didn’t amuse you as it did me. Oh well, can’t please everyone.