Hornbeck Carbon vs. Kevlar

Within my desired budget and boat weight for carrying, I am looking at the Kevlar vs. Blackjack models. Purpose: 1/4 to 1 mile portages/carries to remote ponds and lakes. I am not considering PBW due to budget constraints. Ahead of test paddling at Peter’s Adirondack business, I have been getting boat owner input throughout the summer on these boats. It seems about 50/50 - Blackjack owners started out with Kevlar Hornbecks and got tired of maintaining the wood gunnels. Kevlar owners that had Blackjacks commented on some cracking issues on the gunnels.

Any suggestion son evaluating these two choices appreicated, given that weight is only a few pound slighter on the all carbon.

Check out the ADK forum
You’re more likely to get a response to your question from a number of owners of Hornbeck boats on the ADK forum. http://www.adkforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=62 There is a thread there now on the advantages of the 10’ vs the 12’ Hornbeck.

PS: I’m a fellow Long Islander - looking at Pak Canoes but will probably go for the PBW Rapidfire. I hate doing carries/portages with a heavy boat. Another LI’er just bought a Rapidfire and should pick it up in a couple weeks.

Enjoy the Hornbeck if you get it nice boats and should lighten the load on carries.

Hornbeck Carbon vs. Kevlar
My wife and I have been paddling kevlar Hornbecks since 1995, including uncountable portages on more than 20 Boundary Waters canoe camping trips. The boats do require some maintenance, but maintaining the wood is hardly a chore – just a bit of oil once or twice a year and they’ll stay looking good. In my opinion, there’s no real benefit to the carbon rails. And all carbon boats do tend to be stiff and somewhat prone to fracture if stressed too much. If you need to save a few pounds, expect to be easy on your boats and are close to Olmstedville in case you need a repair, the Blackjack may be a good choice. The all kevlar models, on the other hand, tend to be extremely flexible – maybe to a fault. Consider the kevlar/carbon option for the benefits of both kevlar and carbon and enjoy the good look of the wood.

Pete’s BlackJack is a 12 lb tour de force, the ultimate minimalist pack canoe. Every weight increase, whether footpegs, wood trim or Kevlar lamination takes the buyer across the pack spectrum towards more rugged and seakindly hulls that are more comfortable but weight more and are harder to tote.