Eddyline/Rockpool Thermoformed

…durability, finish, lovgevity,rigidity, etc etc feedback from owners…Thanks

I would reply, but I just don’t feel
like doing all that typing. Please search the forum under words “thermalformed” “rockpool tcc” and Eddyline plastic" these should yield a bevy of good replies to your question. The only real issue “I” see with thermal formed boats is impact resistance which can be more severe in cold temperatures. The damage is usually very easy to repair, and the impact would damage a composite boat as well, but in a different way. Durability is excellent. I look forward to my next Eddyline produced boat. Bill

Longing for Thermoform
As a former Eddyline Nighthawk owner (presently paddling a HV offering from Wales) I long for more models of UK boats in eddyline’s carbonlite. It looks great, very tough and easy to repair.

Valley is also offering a Carbonlite Avocet that they label VCP.

I traded…
… an Eddyline Fathom LV for a Rockpool Alaw TCC demo last August. I liked the idea that the demo RP came pre-scruffed up so I wouldn’t have to worry about giving it it’s first nicks.

Anyhow I like the material and take only minimal precautions about whacking rocks and such. I kinda treat like a water bottle.

As the poster above mentioned, the TF Avocet is another option. All I know is that the Alaw is great in rough water. I’ve been out in conditions that would have been impossible for me with the Fathom.

Rockpool TCC
I am glad you like the boat. Send a picture and I will post on my website.

Chris Mitchell

Reed/Rockpool North America

I more than like…
the Alaw. Last August I took it out on Lake Erie during a small craft advisory day with winds better than 50 mph. Had no trouble handling or rolling the boat. Only problem was keeping my hat on.

As for pictures, send over an ice breaker and I’ll head out and take a few shots. Otherwise you may have to wait awhile :slight_smile:

I forgot that you guys are being hammered with weather. We have had lots of rain and cold, but so far not much snow.


But … a lot of money for …
… a plastic boat. Almost as much as glass. I’m far from knowledgable on this, but it just seems to me, from a material POV, glass would be easier to repair. And glass, all things equal (ie same exact boat), is stiffer and lighter.

Now, these boats do seem to offer advantages over roto molded plastic boats, such as stiffer and more precise form. But at twice the price.

These Rockpool boats sound impressive … I think if I ever bought one, I’d spring for a few hundred more bucks and get glass.

of carbonlite is not a real advantage in many cases. My Fathom is listed as 50lbs on the site and actually weighs 55lbs. For some 5lbs can be a problem. Perhaps they are weighed without hatch covers but few people paddle without them. Glass is still a good buy.

Price, material
Actually, you would be paying about 30% more for the fiberglass version of the Rockpool Alaw Bach. More if you wanted a more exotic layup or special graphics.

The material is far easier to repair that fiberglass composite. As a matter of fact, a simple crack can be structurally repaired in minutes, without the need to mix resin, wait for it to cure etc…

If you get the chance to view or paddle the Alaw Bach TCC your overview might be different.

Chris Mitchell

Reed/Rockpool North America

apples and oranges
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you haven’t sat in one and test paddled it yet. What you need to do is not compare it to this or that, but to sit in it and test paddle it, and see how you like it. Even though they’re “just made of plastic”, there’s a reason owners are passionate about the workmanship of Eddyline boats. I’ve owned a few (a Merlin, a Nighthawk, etc.), and it’s hard to put your finger on it, but they just do make a really nice boat. First of all, there’s thermoformed and then there’s thermoformed. When I see the Delta boats I just shudder. There’s a reason Rockpool approached Eddyline. Apparently not all plastics are created the same. If I were going to put a two-foot long crack down the bottom of my boat, then sure, I think I’d rather have fiberglass to repair. Other than that, ABS repairs just fine. My 2¢.

Well said. Ditto ^^^^^^

thanks - and a question about repair
The simple repair you described: is that under controlled conditions, or in the field?

I’m intrigued.

How the hell are you?
Long time Chris. Hope you are well.

Perhaps a misunderstanding?
No, I haven’t sat in one or paddled one, but that is irrelevant to the point I am making. It has nothing to do the quality or workmanship, or the boat’s design, handling, etc. Nor did I say, as you quoted, “just made of plastic”. Your implication that I consider plastic boats to be in some way inferior is unfounded. Plastic, to me, is merely another material and, as with any material, has trade offs and advantages.

So let’s stipulate that Rockpool boats are equal in every way to the Valley and P&H. Let’s further stipulate that Eddyline makes the finest plastic boats available.


My point is I would expect to pay roughly 50% of the glass version for plastic. Or about the same ratio as a glass to plastic Capella or Avocet.

Second, the material is different, to my understanding, from roto molded in that the plastic is two sheets with some type of honeycomb in between. Do I have that correct? If so, it seems to me that repair would require some sort of patch kit or materials, and a skill level, at least if not more so than fixing glass or roto mold. I could very easily be wrong here, this is just my take on what little I can recall about Eddyline boats.

And I did mentions stiffness. All plastic boats oilcan to some degree. Just one of those trade offs. Do Eddyline plastic boats not do this as well? I’ll accept your word on that.

So, if a plastic Rockpool is $3,000, and a glass Valley or P&H can be had for for the same price, or maybe a few hundred dollars more, I’d go glass. Now, if that plastic Rockpool was 40 - 50% less, in the same price range as a plastic Avocet or Nordkap, and the Eddyline built boats were superior, then these plastic Alaws might become a real hot item … because they do indeed sound like great boats.

Actually did see one …
… but didn’t have time to paddle one. I have no doubt they are great boats. But a 30% discount to glass, IMHO, is too steep for plastic. Obviously I don’t know your cost structure, royalties to Rockpool, etc.

Purely from a consumer value proposition, your boats are at a significant premium to other fine plastic offerings from the likes of Valley, NDK, and P&H. And those brands are more established, it seems to me, here in the US, and are perceived as the Mercedes and BMW of sea kayaks.

So here you are, launching the Lexus brand, in marketing year 1 or 2, but asking consumers to pay a premium to the luxury leaders. IMHO, you need to be parity or at a value to get traction. To make this work, you need to sell plastic as something more exotic. Fine resin? Tough sell with a performance sea kayak: this is an informed crowd.

There’s no doubt you product is great. I bet if you could get that price down for a few years you’d catch a lot more converts …

Don’t rely on what you recall regarding
Eddyline construction. Do some research before making the erroneous statements that you just made regarding thermoformed kayaks and rotomolded kayaks.

Someone else will point out your incorrect conclusions.

Sorry if I wandered
into strawman argument land. You didn’t say “just plastic”, but I was polemicizing with an imaginary position in my head. Apologies extended. Still, I disagree with you on a couple of points.

First cost.

There’s no reason to suppose that the cost should be half that of a fiberglass boat a priori. Ideally the cost would reflect the cost of manufacturing the boat. And while it’s true that a hand laid up boat is just going to be more labor intensive, it doesn’t follow that the ABS boats aren’t expensive in their own right.

To make the point, let me remind you again: Not all plastic boats are created equally. This time let’s compare “tupperware” kayaks and ABS, such as Eddylines. I’m no expert on this, so take this with a grain of salt, but it is my impression that polyethylene boats come out of the mold in a single piece after “baking”. That is, there is no joining of deck and hull, the only work left to do is maybe shaving off trim and outfitting. Add to that that the technology is pretty wide spread.

An ABS boat, on the other hand, is made by a different technique: Sheets of ABS plastic (essentially the same material as used in snow boards) is heated and then vacuumed into a mold. Then those pieces have to be trimmed. Then the two separate pieces (deck and hull) have to be joined. That’s taking more man hours already, and the technology is more expensive to begin with. So there’s plastic and plastic.

Then add to that that neither Eddyline nor Rockpool is doing this for free. Eddyline has all of the expensive equipment and actually builds the boats, and they’re not doing this for free. But they are Rockpool boats, so of course they get a slice of the pie too. You can’t begrudge them that. Bottom line, it’s unrealistic to expect them to sell for the same price as a polyethylene boat (which probably sells in higher volumes too, another factor in cost).

Then quality.

There’s the value to quality. Let me put it like this: Compare it to fiberglass vs. Greenland paddles. Obviously a Warner paddle is material and labor intensive/expensive. But what if you have an artisan come along who carves the most beautiful, most comfortable paddle you’ve ever seen (I think of Don Beale paddles, for example). Are you going to say they are worth less because the materials cost less? (For the sake of argument, let’s say they take less time to carve too.)

I just don’t know why you would expect to pay 50% less. It seems like you’re pulling a number out of the air.

Now, as to repairability, I’m still waiting to hear falcon’s answer about “structurally repaired in minutes” too. But I can say from experience that you can repair it just like glass on the inside (the structural repair), and with white marine putty on the outside (for aesthetics) sanded away, and it works. You’re good to go. I have owned two boats (bought for cheap) that were damaged by their new owners. The first, a Nighthawk, had a cracked bow (they cranked down on the tie down). The second, an Equinox, had a cracked stern (they dropped it off the back of their car onto cement). In both cases the rep repaired them and sold them for a song. I sold off the Nighthawk, but never had problems with either.

As for stiffness, I think you’re right. But that is true of fiberglass too. Everyone tries to design their boat with a little fold here or a boxy shape there to compensate for the flexing and stress to inherently vulnerable materials. Necky has got their honeycomb stiffeners. I suspect that accounts (as much as aesthetics) for the “school lunch tray” look of Eddyline Fathom decks.

I wouldn’t buy a Rockpool because I don’t have $3,000 and I’m a size 42" waist (I suspect it’s for people thinner than that). But not because I don’t think it’s worth it. It looks like an excellent boat.

What do you think?

Delta makes a nice product
You may not like the design for whatever reason, but I think they make an excellent kayak as well. Eddyline makes nice product for sure.