Kevlar Canoe

I recently ran into the WEE-Lasse by Wenonah and was very impressed with this boat. What I need to ask is besides the higher price tag would this be a good general canoe for fishing and paddling. Does the Kevlar hold up or should I be looking for a boat in royalex? The weight sounds great but what about strength?

Composites vs RX

– Last Updated: Oct-01-09 6:30 PM EST –

Royalex is a sandwich of vinyl and ABS plastic around a foam core. It will not conform to tight shapes, tends to be soft and so "oil-cans", losing efficiency and stability. It can, on the other hand be wrapped around items like rocks, trees and bridge abutments, unwrapped, kicked back into shape and reused. There is a reason ABS is suggested to entry level paddlers who have yet to acquire the skills to not run into those items. ABS hulls are somewhat slow and heavy but rugged.

Composite hulls are almost always hybrids of glass / Kevlar or carbon / Kevlar. The composites can be shaped to fine entry lines, abrupt shoulders, and will hold shape, resisting oil canning. Further, they weight somewhere between 2/3 and 1/2 the weight of an ABS hull.

On the other hand, portaging an ABS hull always provides a superior workout.

Wenonah's Wee Lassie is a moderately priced and fairly rugged pack canoe, where the paddler sits low and uses a kayak paddle.

GRE, Hemlock, Hornbeck and Savage make smaller, lighter, more fragile, pack canoes; minimal outfitting contributing to price and weight.

Bell makes a pack canoe hull of commensurate seaworthyness and ruggedness as the Wenonah, both have complete outfitting: a real seat, backband and footpegs, and Bell, Vt Canoe and Placid make more rugged hulls, again with complete outfitting.

One should check them all out; more than one will probably fill your needs.

ABS is often chosen over composite on the basis of price. RX canoes can cost well less than half the price of a top end composite hull. [The comparison between the ABS OT Pack, ~$900 and the Pb SpitFire, ~$2900, is useless; too many differences in design, construction and outfitting.]

Either way, get foot pegs in your pack canoe; they give that solid bone to boat contact that improves drive and stability.

if your location
is aptly named, you could be less “skillful” with royalex.

Granite Falls, Gawd, I love it!

Are any pack canoes made
in Rx at all?

OLd Town Pack?
Isn’t it royalex?

I dont count the Pack as a
pack canoe. forgot about that. I have only paddled one with the standard seat.

Its a little deep to sit on the bottom but not impossible to make your own seat.

and as we age we may need more elevation.

Pack is 33 lbs.

Dagger Tupelo
Dagger made the Tupelo for a few years. It was smallish ~10.5ft long with a cane seat and back velcroed to the bottom. It was a little heavy, ~ 28 lbs.

I’m suspicious of the OT Pack’s claimed 33#. I’ll bet it scales more.

Wenonah Wee Lassie
If you invest $1300 in this skin coat Kevlar canoe (only layup I saw offered on Wenonah’s website) get a cover for it and/or be scrupulous about keeping it out of the sun when not in use. UV degrades & darkens Kevlar

not very comfortable
If you want a fishing boat I would get something you are not setting on the floor with. I would also get something wider if your fishing. As far as durability. nothing is perfect. I’ve owned 9 kevlar boats and one RX. I like a light boat over a durable boat but fishing I would buy a RX boat. I like my Nova Craft Cronje in RX Lite at 60 lbs. It’s ideal for all around us. For general paddling I like the Wenonah Prizm. I spent a week on the Mississippi in mine last summer. I would special order it and have the bow and stren cut shorter. Wenonah will have no problem with that kind of special order. They do that all the time. It’s better in the wind that way. Their kevlar layup is fantastic.

Wenonah Fusion
Wenonah brought out a wide ride pack canoe with higher seat and trim optimized for fishing in 09; 13ft X 31", 29#, $1725. I believe the optional rudder to be additional weight and expense, but it beats 60# like a drum.

GlenL… UV darkens Kevlar, but some
data indicates it strengthens Kevlar in the short run. It must weaken it over the years, but it’s something that can be dealt with by regular use of a yacht wax with UV inhibitor, like those made by 3M or Meguar.

dagger tupelo
I don’t know your location but i have a tupelo that I would sell for cheap.

I live in central IL.

I’d like to try your Tupelo.
I’m in Urbana.

I’m emailing you.

I e-mailed you, hope you got it I’m kind of new at computers.

I got it and responded.

didn’t get it

Kevlar & UV
Interesting info, g2d, although doubtful anyone would intentionally expose a Kevlar craft to sunlight to strength it in short term :>) As you note, long term exposure is harmful :>(

I saw the short term effects of UV exposure when an 18 yr old skin coat Jensen 18 of mine, otherwise well cared for was left @ a friend’s in the sun after a race. When I picked it up a week later a “negative” type image of the race # stick on was permanently embossed into the hull. I use 303 religiously but wouldn’t depend on it alone to protect a skin coat Kevlar craft that spends much time hull up outdoors like on roof racks. IMO a cover’s a good investment.

Think I read on past posts here Carbon Fiber is much (much) less susceptible to UV damage. Also that ordinary window glass will filter out damaging rays so no worries for boats stored indoors that still receive direct sunlight ? Any thoughts ?

Kevlar Canoe
Like so many sports equipment issues, there are no silver bullets; only more questions. That said, there is a maker of small pack canoes in the Adirondacks who has built a good reputation around basic, lightweight kevlar and carbon fiber canoes. His name is Peter Hornbeck and, if you ever spend any spring-fall time in the Adirondacks, you’ll see his boats; a lot of his boats! I have a 12’ in kevlar that weighs 20#; my fishing partner has the 10’ at 16#. For hiking 1-8 miles into remote trout ponds, they’re great. Especially if you’re packing in enought gear for several days in the bush. If, on the other hand, you and a friend want to paddle and fish big, rocky rivers, like the Allagash, you might want something a bit sturdier. See? More questions! Hornbeck Lost Pond Boats; check them out.

skin coat Kevlar canoes hanging…

– Last Updated: Oct-21-09 2:16 AM EST –

from the ceiling in my store have darkened quicker than you'd think, even though there is no direct light on them. There is even a fairly big overhang outside above the windows, blocking sunlight on the windows. Glass won't stop it from darkening, unless the florescent lights do that. And my shop isn't all that well lit.

Boat for fishing

I prefer a canoe for fishing for a variety of reasons. When using a pack canoe you are sitting on the bottom and casting becomes more difficult. In a canoe you can sit or kneel which provides more casting options. Because you are sitting up in the canoe you have a significantly better view of where you are casting. With polarized sunglasses you are better able to see fish from the higher position.

It is easier to get into and out of a canoe than from a pack boat, especially in less than ideal places.

I have found a canoe paddle to be much less cumbersome that the longer double bladed kayak style paddle. It may seem like a minor issue but dealing with the paddle while you are fishing can be bothersome especially near shore on in the wind.

The canoe offers more and better access to gear and tackle. It’s easier to move things around in a canoe and to get to them. In a pack boat you have the space in front of you for easy access. In a canoe there is more room to move things around grab what you need.

If you plan on being rough on the boat then I would recommend royalex. You can drag in over rock and crash into stuff without having to worry too much. Kevlar is tougher than many give it credit for. I have no problem dragging it over beaver dams and bumping the occasional stump or rock.

If I had to pick a single boat for fishing I would choose a small solo canoe. I’d choose kevlar unless I planned on doing white water or wanted to not have to be careful with the boat.