How long does a kevlar kayak last

Before the friction of the water wears a hole in it? Does the friction of salt water wear a hole in kevlar more quickly than fresh water? Does water temperature make a difference? I’m thinking of buying a kevlar kayak, but I want to know–realistically-how many miles I can get out of it before I have to replace it. I’d say about 80% of my kayaking is fresh water, 20% saltwater. Typical water temp ranges from 55 to 70 degrees.


Kevlar lifespan…still counting
From experience, I’ve had Kevlar kayaks come through the shop from 15 to 25 years old (we’ve been at this a while) Here’s what we see that wears out after 10+ years:

  • keel sanded through at stern/bow
  • hull worn through from inside by heel of foot/boot
  • rudder pins loose inside end pour.
  • gel coat chalked white/hull deep brown like a nice porter
  • shock cords brittle, if there still
  • galvanic corrosion between stainless/aluminum, such as footrails or some older deck fittings

    Since they still paddle, we fix 'em up and off they go for who knows how many more years. If they’d wear out faster we sure could improve sales…

It’s good to have you on the site!
You make great boats. Thank you for contributing.


the friction of the water?
is it April’s fools day already?

Does the friction of the passing air wear a hole into your car?

Eventually… but the thing will die of other causes way earlier. Same for boats of any kind.

You’re more likely to wear the bow and stern out with landings…

How fast do you go?
It’s really about speed. The heat generated by friction will degrade the resin long before abrasion wears holes completely through.

As long as you stay below roughly 1,375.9846 mph you should be fine.

Mine haven’t lasted all that long…
but I just get tired of them and sell them…

I don’t know
Maybe I should get a GPS so I can figure that out.

Last forever!!!
They are bulletproof after all!

Can you get shot through a kevlar yak?

– Last Updated: Dec-15-06 1:55 AM EST –

You need to slow down !

Jack L

Mine won’t make it too long.
Especially when it gets dropped off the roof of a full size 4 x 4 pickup and then another time gets back into a tree.

But what the heck, I am lusting for a skinnier new one anyway…Are you listening Phil?



Don’t worry
like Salty says,Kevlar is bulletproof.

Go ahead,try it, shoot your boat,don’t be shy.

Hey, PF…
stay away from the salt and your kevlar whatever will be fine. Better yet, buy the kevlar and hang it up in your bus so when folks visit (why, I don’t know…) you in the hovel, they know you live the way you do 'cause you are true die hard boater.

How do you get your bus around the “four continents?” BTW, don’t park your school bus near a school yard lest you be mistaken for a possible pedophile.

Keep on boating, busing, busting, trolling or whatever it is that you do. Have fun. :slight_smile:


Out of a bus under a bridge

My bus and the continents
I didn’t need to take the bus across any oceans. I paddled in the Atlantic Ocean once, and it touches North America, South America, Africa and Europe.

Beach Landings
I estimate that my Kevlar Shearwater is over 20 years old, and it saw some heavy use in its racing days before I got it. Its still fine.

The only problem I have heard is from an outfitter who does extended winter trips in the Sea of Cortez down in Baja. The rough sand has started to wear down the bow, and he applied a strip to it for protection

Stay out of Pennsylvania
The water is pretty hard there, it used to fade all my clothes. I think if you paddle in the “soft-water states” below the Mason-Dixon line, you won’t have any premature wear to deal with.

If you must paddle in PA, your best bet would be to get some Rhino Liner ™ on the hull. You might as well do the deck too, I think it’s good for blocking UV-A, but UV-B may still be a problem.

More details
"I’d say about 80% of my kayaking is fresh water, 20% saltwater. Typical water temp ranges from 55 to 70 degrees." Those are just rampant speculation. If you want good data, we will need more details.

Thanks for posting this, it brightened my day.

and Antartica, too!

I think we’ve been trolled by puddlefish