Taken from the recent article “Fishing For Opinions” (http://www.paddling.net/guidelines/showArticle.html?451)

Rotomolded plastic, that’s the stuff dreams are made of, or at least that’s what most kayaks are made of. It gets the job done at an affordable price. But, there are some lighter alternatives, provided you’re willing to write a heavier check. Are you willing to pay more (maybe a lot more) for a lighter and more durable kayak/canoe?

the Phoenix series by Hurricane is bombproof when it comes to saltwater fishing over rocks and oysters. You can’t gouge that stuff. The light weight was a definite plus.

However, I think the ability to outfit and how “fishable” a kayak determines whether I’m going to use it or not. I worked with Hurricane for about 2 years with the Phoenix series and also with Liquidlogic on the Manta Ray series. There is a reason the Manta Ray sells much better and it’s because of the outfitting options. I’m currently using a Trident 13 by OK and love it. Rod Pod, Sonar Shield, Transducer compatible scupper, and easy to stand in for sight fishing.

More durable - yes
Lighter - no.

  • Big D

some are some aren’t …

– Last Updated: Sep-23-09 2:53 PM EST –

...... as evidenced by the the vast number of options available in canoes and kayaks today , and the ever increasing lighter weight boats ... but my guess is the lions share of the market will always go to those who either can't or prefer not to pay outrageous dollars for lightweight boats and frills .

I wouldn't mind driving a high end Mecedes , but why should I when my pickup does everything I "need" it to do ??

There always has been and always will be the line between what is required funtionally , and glitter for vainity ... functionality is a prerequisite , glitter and gold is not required , but if you want it be prepared to fork over the bucks to vanity with little reward of functionality passed that line .

There is also a line between poor quality junk and good quality funtionality which is exploited everywhere you look now a days . No one wants to pay for junk quality products , but many throw their dollars into it every day only to be poorly disappointed .

I would pay
for a lighter weight boat. Presently own a 29lb canoe made of carbon/kevlar it is extremely durable and a pleasure to shoulder carry. Putting it on and off the roof of the car is effortless.

Would I ever buy another heavy plastic kayak or canoe? Absolutely NOT! Prefer to buy a lightweight used if I can’t afford new.

I think that manufacturers should at least try to offer kayaks/canoes in the 40 ish lb range. Even lighter is better.

I am 60 years old with a bad back. Price is not that big an issue but weight is. I would love a pedal kayak to fish from (like a Hobie) but at their current weight they would cripple me to put it on top of my car. I would buy a light weight version of the same boat.


lighter if I can find them used.
I almost never buy new boats. I think I might buy my fifth new boat this winter or spring. But, I try to find lighter ones when I can. It’s all relative but my Tarpon 160 is lighter than my Old Town Canoe was and my CD Solstice in kevlar is a lot lighter than my plastic WS Cape Hatteras.

As far as more durable the Kevlar gelcoat combination shows scratches a lot but I guess the next owner can fix them if they want to. The plastic boats just collect millions of scratches and keep on going.

I think the new thermoform boats might be the best of both worlds.

Hobie inflatible kayaks
Hobie makes an inflatible version of their successful Hobie Mirage System kayaks. If weight is an issue, look at the inflatibles.

I just sold an inflatable kayak last year, after using it only twice. Too subject to wind, and the tracking was horrible. I’m sticking with a hardshell or folding kayak from now on.