A friend of mine is currently paddling a p&h capella rm and has taken a keen interest in the new aerolite boats. I have very little knowledge as to these products. Can anyone help out with some of their own expierences with aerolite kayaks?

such as speed, weight, difficulties of repair?

An outfitter in our area just advertised low prices for the aerolite kayaks and he is interested in trying them out. On our message board ppl have some question…I will post a link on our board to here for some of our local kayakers…maybe you guys can help us out?? Thanks.


All I know is that aerolite
does not take impact as well as polyethelene. So for rock gardening it’s poly.

that and higher cost might be…
…the only drawbacks. It is more durable than 'glass, will not “oilcan”, and is more resistant to radiant heat & UV than poly, and it looks great. Biggest advantage is lower weight, although in some models this does not seem to hold true. It may not be worth the extra money to most shoppers yet, but as this type of material becomes more prevalent, I’ll bet the cost will get closer to poly.

A lot of dealers have been reluctant to stock these boats, some simply because it is still considered a “new” material & they are taking a “wait-and-see” approach. But at least one I spoke with said: “I haven’t found anyone who wanted one yet.” I respectfully suggested “Maybe they just don’t know they want one.”

not really
lighter weight,it’s half way to the cost of glass but closer to the weight of poly in the bigger boats,actually weigh a thermoplastic Eclipse or Carolina,don’t go by the published numbers.

There are a few Sonoma13 with split seams,which is a shame because it’s actually a decent hull. The first production Eclipse/Carolina had inadequate seat hangers that would rip out,that was fixed but the dealers are left with the customer service issues for a “NEW”“BETTER”“LIGHTER” kayak that costs close to $2000.

It’s a good material for smaller boats,for regular sea kayaks I’d look at Eddyline because they’ve been making them longer. Especially the Night Hawk16(or is it a Raven?,anyway it’s 16’x22")

For Perception/Dagger it’s a marketing/cost decision since they’re not making composite anymore.

A thermoplastic Avatar16 would make a lot of sense.

Not sure about Airalite

– Last Updated: Mar-20-05 10:22 AM EST –

but I've owned two Eddylines in Carbonlite (I'm told it's similar to Airalite) and they're definitely quite a bit lighter than the comparable sized poly boats I've owned. And I did take my smaller Eddyline on rivers with rocks, etc. and the Carbonlite is very tough, so I have to disagree with Peter's comment about rock-gardening being for poly boats only. There aren't many materials tougher than this stuff. But again, I'm talking about Carbonlite, not Airalite specifically. No need to worry about scratching gel-coat... if you get scratches, they can be easily removed by gently using a steel wool pad or lightly sanding. Here's what Eddyline's website says (and from personal experience, I'd agree):

"Our material looks and performs like fiberglass with clear advantages over other plastics: dimensional stability and increased stiffness, higher heat distortion temperatures, hard glossy "non fuzzing" finishes with excellent abrasion and impact resistance, easy repairability, superior UV resistance and lighter weights. Carbonlite 2000 is extremely tough, but it is also easily repaired in the event of an accident. It has endured the test of time in the hands of many paddlers, liveries and tour operators and is highly suitable for nearly all kayak applications.

Eddyline is committed to manufacturing in an environmentally responsible manner. Carbonlite 2000 is 100% recyclable (as are the bulkheads, cockpit and seat), all scrap plastic is recycled and virtually no waste is generated."

Hope this helps.

I’ve seen the Eddyline
Nighthawk, over the span of at least two years, one of our kayakers here has one. It is a nice looking boat and you’d be hard pressed to see noticeable scratches. I found it seemed to be a little ‘duller’ in appearance than fibreglass. But that was the only noticeable difference. Til I lifted it. Wow. I was surprised. Totally. Still though, I can’t seem to ween myself from 'glass boats. Call it a closed mind I guess…

Check out this perception bulletin

– Last Updated: Mar-20-05 11:45 AM EST –

which forms the basis for what I wrote


Given that I assume that their comparison for glass boat durability are their own boats and not brit boats, you better have some serious skills to take an airalite boat rock gardening; as the perception glass boats are lighter and less stout than the average brit boat. I am not talking about slaloming between rocks in easy water I'm talking about white water kayaking in the sea.

That link was the third hit googling airalite and impact. Remember this is a marketing blurb and they might well be exagerating a bit.

to revive the discussions…
…about whether Carbonlite, Airalite, Trylon, and the various other names each manufacturer chooses for their thermoplastic materials would perhaps be beating a horse that is, at best, on life support. You can do an archives search if interested.

Unless and until refuted, I will continue to believe these all begin life as essentially the same material, and through very similar processes are thermoformed. I think the subtle differences have been greatly exagerated by the marketing guys.

Not so subtle!
My 16.5’ Hurricane Aquasports Tracer weighs 46 lbs. soaking wet. It does not develop wonks or “melt” in the heat. It does not easily pick up scratches and will not “fuzz” over time. It has a glossy finish, red deck over white hull, that has remained glossy and smooth after a year of use. It has sharper lines than a poly boat. Show me a poly boat that has similar characteristics!

how about a …
…blow moulded Prijon. They maintain their physical integrity on all of the above variables you noted. Awesome hulls

How about P&H Capella RM

There’s still the weight factor
The Tracer lists at 8 lbs. lighter than the P&H Capella. What’s the weight on the Prijon?

What other boats do you sell in your shop???

water. . .
I don’t sell a thing and agree with everything you said. I have a Tracer and love it. 46 lbs. at around $1000 . . . can’t be it.

my impression
is that poly can better withstand impact and abrasion than the airalite material. However airalite will be much lighter than the poly.

Prijon’s poly is impressive…
…but try leaving one tightly strapped to a rack for a few days in hot weather…I did & it took a few more days until the dents went away.

I’ve left my thermoplastic boats on my ladder racks for very long periods & never had this happen.