light weight kayak

I am looking for a lighter weight kayak than my present WS Sealution II. I am thinking of fiberglass and in the rnage of 42-46 pounds. I am 6’3" 180 #.


D-- I will be looking at your replies.
I have wondered the same question, but what I have found is that, basically a 17 foot plastic kayak is about 60 lbs. A 17 foot fiberglass kayak is about 55 lbs. A 17 foot plastic kayak new is about $1300. A 17 foot fiberglass kayak is about $2600. I have seen this many times on pnet, and even in the reviews in Sea Kayaker magazine. Price worth the 5 lbs? I have not found it to be so. But if there is a f/glass sea kayak (not kevlar or carbon fiber which would require a second mortgage) that is in fact 42 lbs, then we might be talking. In my humble opinion, that is one of the myths of fiberglass kayaks: that they are significantly lighter than plastic. I would say they are some lighter (10-15%) than plastic. And the funny thing is, then in the reviews anyhow, they go ahead and load them up with 30-100lbs of gear to test them out. Odd.

So, I will be hoping that someone out there can find a fiberglass yak that weights in at 42-45 lbs, as you have requested.

QCC claims 44 lbs
for the carbon/kevlar 700X.

Quest – don’t know about 700X, but…
… this baby is about 40 lbs, and is really amazing…

P&H Quest Lightweight Carbon/Kevlar …

It’ll also lighten your wallet… by $4800!


Always love it when you say fiberglass,

– Last Updated: Sep-25-06 4:59 PM EST –

short, wide, the pundits come up with kevlar, carbon , long, and narrow.

Many options over 17’ under 50#
Shop on other features/performance - then worry about weight and layups.

Need glass?
Are you paddling in an area where a layup including more kevlar and less fiberglass would be tough enough? Still with gel coat. Seems you are talking more sand than rocks given your profile.

Not that I’ve actually tried or even seen one, but the same guy that makes Onno paddles everyone raves about makes kayaks too. They look like they’re well made, very light, and a good bargain considering the normal price of FG/kevlar/carbon kayaks.

Not too many choices as far as models go but if I was in the market and he had something in the range I was looking at I’d give them a serious look.

Alan (anxiously awaiting his new Onno paddle)

What type of boat?
You might want to consider purchasing a used figerglass/woodstrip or sng boat. Many are in the range of 40-55 lbs. You may know that the Impex Outer Island was designed by Jay Babina who still paddles his woodstrip model. I have recently seen a few stripper Outer Islands for sale. I suspect they are in the 45-50 lb range.

You can purchase used wood core/fiberglass boats for about $22-2600…sometimes less.

For example (I don’t know any of these folks):

Outer Islands strip-built,


low volume,great rolling


contact Irwin , 845.352.6312

For Sale: Outer Island kayak

Peter Curry – Sunday, 3 September 2006, at 6:11 p.m.

18’ Outer Island cedar strip/fibreglass West Greenland style kayak. $1,900. Hand built and being sold to build another. Beautiful lines and paddles like a dream. Three seasons old and in great shape. Can be demo paddled in Rockport, MA. Please contact me at or 978-546-1342 for further info, pictures or demo paddle.

The real questin is: what type of boat are you looking for?


NC 17
Depending on deck configuration (hatch choices) you can go as low as 43 lbs in a 17 foot kayak by going with the NC 17 Overnighter LT. Fully outfitted, this boat may weigh a couple of pounds more than 43, but it’s still within your desired weight range.

See for details. (Disclaimer – I sell this boat. See also at ).

Yes, especially if you plan to paddle more than a few times a year for at least a few years, the reduced weight of a fiberglass boat (easier lifting and portaging) together with the quicker acceleration and nicer lines are definitely worth it!

Pygmy Arctic Tern
17 feet, 39-41 pounds. Lots of other plywood and glass boats that are this light. Kits cost $700-1000, and are easy to build. You can pay less if you have the skills to build form plans. And they are better looking than any gelcoated boat out there.

The stiffer hull
of a fiberglass boat is another advantage, especially as a plastic boat ages and softens.

If weight is more important than $$$…

…you can have a light weight lay up. Premiums can range up to $1.000 over a std. F/G boat.

it’s spelled C-A-N-O-E
On the rare occasions I paddle with kayakers, when we’re pulling out and packing the boats back to the cars kayakers often express surprize as to how “light” canoes are.

Yep. Take off the deck and all that framing and you can shed a lot of weight.

Of course, if you’re doing serious whitewater or serious ocean paddling you’re pretty much stuck with a butt boat.

The canoes are still in the water
about a half mile from the take-out, when I’ve got my yak loaded.

S&G = $500 Materials, 40+ Lbs.
Build it yourself - ya, really! I build my S&G VOLKSKAYAKs for about $500 in materials (4mm marine ply, brand-name epoxy), about 70-80 hours simple and satisfying labour, and they weigh in at just over 40 lbs. There’s lots of great designs out there - Pygmy and CLC, Point Bennett, One Ocean - just Google S&G kayak designs and you’ll see what I mean.

There is nothing hard about building, even working with raw ply from a table of offsets. The gang on the Kayak Building Bulletin Board will provide all the hand-holding you might need.

“But those ply boats don’t last”, I hear someone say…well, my first VK just finished its sixth season, and apart from cosmetic damage from being dragged around Newfoundland’s rocky shores and dropped occasionally, it’s in perfect shape. That’s a lot of boat for very little money…hard deal to beat, IMHO.

I bet it looks better than six year old
gel-coated boats!

You Like WS?
I just ordered a kevlar Tempest 165. You MIGHT fit in one. 47 pounds is what the catalog says.

I know, I know, it’s expensive.

consider an Island Kayak
check out the thread on the Island Kayak Qaarsut at

which might, at 16 1/2 feet and low volume, be too small. However has several of the Expedition models, which at 18 1/2 feet and 49.6 lbs. might be more to your liking. These boats are “glass fiber and diolen with an isothelic resin!”

That’s $4800 Canadian…
Not real $$ :wink: