fiberglass or kevlar for the same price

If you could get a kayak in fiberglass or kevlar for the same price, which would you take? Why?

Paul S.

Are you comparing boats from the same manufacturer? Also question, what proportion of the laminate is Kevlar and how much is glass, polyester, etc. Some manufacturers have been known to put in one layer of Kevlar and call it Kevlar – not good nor fair to the customer. Kevlar is usually worth the extra cost if you are an “active” paddler. If the price of a certain Kevlar boat sounds to good to be true . . . well, you know the rest.


Tempest 170
All kevlar.

Paul S.

Go for Kevlar
Go for the Kevlar. Why? It’s lighter and depending on the layup, usually stronger. Better resale value. Are you buying it from a dealer or private individual?

It’s new.

I’ll take glass over Kevlar any day. Owned tons of boats and ran an outdoor program for ten years. I see Kevlar as a good material, but it is NOT strong in compression, only tension. But, I’m not even going to go there on this site…Most of ya’ll still think it’s bulletproof. The wonders of marketing.

Yea… Buy It
When you’re ready to sell it hold up in resale. :slight_smile:

Patching kevlar is a little harder with the fuzzy wuzzies.


Why ?
Why is the dealer selling a new kevlar boat for the price of 'glass? Was it damaged? Blemished?

I think just trying to unload 2006
models before the 2007 with KS hatch covers come in. It will be hard to move new 2006 after that, and kevlar is slower to move anyway. I haven’t found any new 2006 fiberglass at this point actually. I saw some of those on sale earlier in the fall. There’s probably no inventory left now.

So far I’ve found 2006 kev for about the price of glass at two different shops.

Paul S.

Sing, I didn’t get the meaning of
your first line. I know there’s a smiley but still wondering if there’s a point there I should consider.

“When you’re ready to sell it hold up in resale. :)”

Paul S.

depends on the brand
What salty said, plus what brand is it? Is there a fiberglass layer included? How do you plan on using it?

one concern is gel cracks

– Last Updated: Dec-01-06 9:35 AM EST –

I think gel cracks are a lot more common with kev boats. I inquired about a used kev boat and the owner told me the one thing was that it had a lot of gel cracks. One of the boats I'm interested in is back east, $2600 including insured shipping. I inquired by email and specifically asked about gel cracks. Seller says it's in show room condition and only that it could have scuffs. I take that to mean it does have scuffs. Seller is a white water company and says he received the boat in error. I'm going to call today and ask him to inspect the boat carefully for gel cracks.

To me gel cracks are easy enough to repair. It's just if they're going to keep reoccurring. I understand they’re a non issue on fiberglass boats but somewhat of an issue on kev boats as the kev can absorb some water.

I may only keep the boat until next fall. I’ll either want a different boat by then or I’ll want a T170 with KS hatch covers. I'm only worried about the gel cracks for functionality or aesthetics for resale.

I did see a kev T165 out on the ocean beach this fall. Looked nice at a 1 minute glance. Didn't notice chunks of gel missing :).

Paul S.

Brand and use.
Brand is wilderness systems, tempest 170.

Use is lakes and bays, ocassional flat rivers. Maybe open coast eventually with beach landings.

Not rock gardening.

Paul S.

where back east?
need eyes on it???

i am in RI if it helps…


you’re comparing a '06 KEV - old hatches with a '07 F/G - new hatches - same price?

I’d agree with Salty- go with the f/g, especially considering the hatches. I only have 1 KEV boat and it’s beat-up pretty bad (flex). I got a bunch of F/G that aren’t as badly flexed.


White Mountains of NH
That’s a great offer corgimas, if I decide I want to buy. NH is a little ways from RI though.

Paul S.

Authourity speaks
Flatpick knows a bit about the tempest.

If he says go for glass, go for glass.

Are the new hatches on the market now?

– Last Updated: Dec-01-06 10:40 AM EST –

Can I get the new hatches now? If so, that changes the picture, for this ancious guy.

Actually the 2006 kev would be $2600. I assume no discount on 2007 fiberglass with KS covers at this point, so $3000.

Other factor is sometimes Alder Creek gives a very good trade in if you bought your boat new from them recently. They can always put it in their rental fleet. I'd like to not have to worry about selling the T180 later. I put it up for $2500 for a week on here and on local craigslist and no replies. Undertandable given this time of year and people are looking for deals. It's unique though at 55 lbs. I know if I could have got a slightly used one at $600 off list I would have taken it.

If I could trade it at AC for a 2006 glass plus I pay $300, or a 2007 glass plus I pay $400, I'd do it right now, no hesitation. They don't have any glass though and said won't recieve until about March. I might pay more differential for the 2007, but plus $400 on trade in of T180 would be immediate done deal.

Paul S.

I know. Dang.

– Last Updated: Dec-01-06 11:07 AM EST –

It's just that I'd have to wait till March for the glass. I like glass better too, given the one I have now is great, and theory is that kev is softer. I'm sure it really is. I only say theory because I haven't experienced how much softer.

My glass T180 is 55 lbs which is unique. Glass T170 at 58 lbs would be fine. Actually I'd want to weigh it before I buy as there seems to be variance. I think as long as all the layers of cloth are there and the cloth is fully wetted with resin, lighter is better. Based on my T180 feeling plenty strong at 55 lbs, I'd now reject a boat that is much heavier than spec.

Paul S.

as of AUG all composite boats coming outta the plant have KS hatches.

not sure what’s the best plan.

might be a loooonnnnngggg wait for a '07.