How tough is a Duralite hull?

I just picked up a 2006 WS Tsunami 145 Duralite and was wondering how much abuse that thin hull can take.

Am I going to punch a hole through this thing considerably easier than I could on an ordinary plastic boat, or is this stuff pretty tough?

It would be nice if I could find a way to patch a couple of the deeper gouges I found on the side and keel, too. ;-/


plenty tough
actually the resin we used on Duralite is the same resin as we use in WaveSport and dagger whitewater boats. we just used less of it, hence the lite weight.

don’t drag it over rough surfaces and keep from plowing (ploughing?) into barnacle covered pilings and oyster beds.

you’ll be fine.

scratches? nope, no ez fix.


That’s too bad about the pilings.

– Last Updated: Jan-02-09 2:30 PM EST –

Playing amongst barnacle covered pilings makes up 75% of my paddling. =(~

I knew I should have held onto my Roto-Mold Tsunami.


keep in mind he WORKS for WS

It’s a good product.
You will be fine.


– Last Updated: Jan-02-09 7:22 PM EST –

And Flatpick didn't try to hide that, when he said ". . . the resin we use . . ."

Personally, I find all the trade-names a bit irritating, especially as I have two canoes made out of "duralite" from two different Canadian manufacturers. Their "duralite" is nothing like the WS version, I suspect, as it is a sort of FRP cloth. I know there are trade secrets and marketing and such, but as a consumer it can be a bit annoying.

Clipper canoes once impressed my by telling me exactly how their duraflex was made in great detail (I know a bit, but it was over my head).

A caveat: I saw a couple of very new Duralite boats last summer that sat out on roof racks (no saddles, right on the bars) in the sun over a hot weekend; both showed hull and deck indentations as if the Duralite had heated and distorted. One had been tied on deck side up and one deck down; the side toward the cross bars was the one distorted and it had happened at both bars. So, you might keep an eye out for this problem and perhaps avoid extended hot, summertime exposure of your boat.

I’ve paddled both poly & duralite 125
and I like the Duralite better. Last fall I wanted to buy a 145 duralite but WS doesn’t make duralite anymore. The Poly 145 is a good boat, though.

As it turns out I wound up trading my 2006 Tempest 170 for a 2009 model to get the new hatches and the new seat/foot peg configuration. Still, for rocky river camping I’d like to get a 145 Duralite. I missed out on a used on in Greensboro and there’s another one in South Carolina but by the time I drive down there and get it I’d be able to buy a new one.

BTW, does your 145 duralite have a rudder? I’m curious if the extra weight of the rudder is worth it, given the aggressive skegged stem and the overall stability. The 145 turns very well without a rudder so they only time I’d need one would be in following seas or high winds, and it looks to me like that aggressive skegged stem would be plenty of skeg.


– Last Updated: Jan-02-09 10:08 PM EST –

my 145 Duralite came with a rudder from the factory. I had a regular, rudderless, 145 before and agree that the 145 tracks and turns well enough not to need one.

Like you say, in a following sea or high wind, maybe, but otherwise the boat doesn't really benefit from it. Still, it's nice to have if you should need it.

I'm aware of the new hatch covers WS is using for 2009, but what's this new foot-peg system? Is it a "gas pedal" type system?

Also, can anyone tell me why they discontinued the Duralite line?


btw... I have Hully Rollers and Saddles, so (hopefully) my boat won't suffer dents from the rack... I also don't store it up there for long.

Duralite name is used a couple times with completely different materials.

We discontinued because of flexibility issues. The boats were/are a bit more flexy and can be an issue on some boats. many are fine.

Baking a kayak is like baking a cookie. humidity, ambient temp, cool cycle, etc. can all make a little different boat. the range of forgivingness of duralite is quite small. wasn’t worth it.


how do I know if I have a problem boat?

Rippling hull?

If the boat Taco’s it’s bad? =)~

I noticed there’s more foam support inside the cockpit, and I’m a little worried about my next paddle-float re-entery and getting my feet crossed on the way in. ;-/

And what recourse do I have, if any, seeing as how I’m not the original owner/buyer??


I’ve seen the same thing on a non-Duralite WS boat.

have you tried sitting on it?
I was happy with how sturdy my Tsunami 140 DL seems; better than I expected! The extra supports and that stiffening piece along the keel should help prevent oilcanning (which can be a problem on some of the non-Duralite boats too). The hull did not seem overly thin to me.

If you don’t like it
I’ll trade my Looksha IV to ya! Just funnin…

hull and hatches that don’t stay put.

not much recourse on 2nd owner, unless your dealer is willing to look beyond this.


Not likely.

– Last Updated: Jan-03-09 1:20 PM EST –

My dealer's a d*ck.

I have noticed that it's a little harder to seat the hatch lids on my Duralite than it was on my regular 145. I also noticed that the previous owner installed d-rings on either side of each hatch to attach straps to (not a good sign).

Actually, by "a littler harder to seat" I don't mean their too easy, but rather very hard to pop into place. Once they're on they feel pretty good.


Dave, I don't know how you get in and out of that IV... That cockpit is tiny!

your dealer has a dock? or IS a dock?


yeppers that’s the problem. hatches just don’t fit as well as reg roto.


2009 Tempest foot peg config
some d**khead on here said he hear the new footpegs and seat were scooted back 4 inches. Nope! I now have it on good authority the pegs are the same, just moved 1.5 inches, and the seat can be moved as much as 1.5 inches, making the whole thing a little more outfittable for taller and wider guys.

yep…but duckhead
is kinda harsh!

methinks the confusion was that back in the WS dark era (we have had a few QA issues in the distant past) a seat might get mounted in the wrong spot AND a footpeg might get mounted in the wrong spot. Pretty EZ to do. Well if the seat was mounted too far forward and the footpeg mounted too far aft the net result could be as much as 4" lost in available room.

We standardized the mounting now!

The seat will actually move over 2 1/2" BUT compromises layback ROM.


Wow, has it only been 3 months?!
It feels like I’ve owned my 145D a lot longer. ;-/

I sure read a lot of Duralite bashing on this site, but I guess I must have gotten one of the good ones.

At 6’5"/250# it’s also about the only boat that fits me well.

My only “issues” are things I can easily address and am in the process of doing so.

  1. that lousy foam wall that sits between my legs is getting removed and replaced with a single, vertical strut. I’m going to run a strip of stiff plastic along the inside of the deck to spread the load and hinge the strut so it flips up out of the way for easier re-enteries.

    That stupid foam wall just gets in the way too much.

  2. I’m adding bungies/shock cord to the pedals to keep them forward so they don’t keep sliding behind my feet. (thanks to DestertDave for the idea).

  3. I’m adding a thrid bulkhead between the day-hatch and stern-hatch for added rigidity during a “Cowboy” or paddle-float rescue, and because I think that’s something WS should have done in the first place.

  4. I’m thinking about removing the seat back and replacing it with a back band (maybe).

    Granted #'s 2 & 4 really aren’t Duralite “issues”, but they are items I’m addressing, so I thought I’d include them anyway. :wink:

    I’m sure the hull will oilcan a significant amount when the strut is up, but that’s something I think I can live with if it makes getting my long legs back in the boat a little (lot) easier.

    All in all I’m really liking this boat a lot, and its light weight makes shouldering it from my car to the water a breeze. =)~