Has anyone had any experience with H2O Composites Canoes? How is their build quality and finish?
There has been occasional discussion
of their canoes on myccr.com. I have not seen one, but my impression from those who have is that the layup and quality are very good. I don’t agree with some of their decisions on layup etc., but I don’t agree with Souris River either, and H2O are pleasanter people to talk to.
Can’t make the myccr search function
bring up what I want, but as I recall, one of the H2O people was involved, and the main issue was gelcoating. Some of us preferred canoes devoid of gelcoat (Bell, Bluewater, Souris River) while the H2O person felt that gelcoat was worth a little extra weight for UV protection and for an ablation layer against scraping.
I revisited the H2O site but cannot get an impression of what cloth layers they are using. Bell (and Millbrook, and Placidboatworks) adhere to the practice of using glass or carbon for outside layers, and Kevlar for inside layers. Research done many years ago showed that to be the best layup. But some companies, like Wenonah, use all or nearly all Kevlar and get good results.
The best advice I can give you is to look at some reputable companies, and then select the hull design you want for your planned paddling. If you think that particular H2O will behave the way you want, you will probably be happy with it.
While I consider cloth, resin, and building details quite important, they don’t trump hull design. You could pick an S-glass/Kevlar/epoxy layup that would last forever, but if you don’t like the way the boat behaves, then forever is more than twice too long.