Mohawk composites?

-- Last Updated: Oct-16-08 4:04 PM EST --

Hello everyone. It’s been a long while since I last posted…

I’m thinking about adding a second solo boat to the fleet ( a Wildfire and a 18’Sundowner), and was curious about the Mohawk Solo 13 in fiberglass, wood trim of course. Anyway, is anyone out there familiar with Mohawk’s composites, specifically their fiberglass layup? Is it stiff? Is it well executed? The price is so low, I’m expecting to see choppergun or mat… If that’s the case, I’ll go back to looking at the royalex version.

How about their wood trim?


If anyone knows of any good, used, poking around / light tripping / freestyle boats for sale, disregard the questions above and email me directly!

Thanks for all of your help with past and present paddling queries,


It is possible to make a fairly durable,
reasonably light, and suitably stiff boat of pure E-glass. I had a 13’ Mad River Compatriot of pure glass. It weighed 50 pounds, more than I would have liked, but it took punishment and was easy to patch. I would think Mohawk capable of achieving such a result, but you should question them about the specifics of the layup and construction.

flat bottom
those have a relatively flat bottom. Getting enough stiffness without using ribs will take a good amount of e-glass and will add weight.

thanks and…
I recently heard from the folks at Mohawk, and evidently they use chop mat in their layup. I’m thinking I should stick with the Royalex version. I had considered the glass boat because my intended usage did not require the durability of ABS and I was looking for a little stiffer hull and better glide. But chop mat…

I duno. Any input would be appreciated.

chop mat
chop mat does ok for reinforcement. Uses up a lot of resin in hand-lay ups which equates to more weight vs using carbon or s-glass and resin infused layups.

But if their layup is significantly lighter that roto, it still might be a good option. Question is how much lighter.

Roto plastic is always more durable.

i have a mohawk composite hull
i bought it in 1978 i think. it has proven to be very durable. it does have some chopper mat in the bottom but it doesn’t seem excessively heavy. i have no clue if they use the same layup schedule now.

Royalex, not roto, is the alternative
in this case, but your statement is certainly correct- Royalex or Royalite will be more durable than pure FG for any comparable weight.

For those who don’t know about chopper gun FG, it does add reinforcement = stiffness, but does not reinforce in the sense of adding toughness. Kevlar, or even a couple of layers of polyester cloth, added as inside layers, would add toughness.

oops… yes I meant Royalex

– Last Updated: Oct-19-08 8:11 AM EST –

Also, there is a kind of matting that's made of long strands of fiberglass that are lightly glued together. It doesn't get sprayed from a chopper gun.

It's nice for adding bulk layers and helps if you're trying to get a composite sandwich effect by putting it between to layers of carbon, kevlar, etc.

Yes, I have seen it touted as an
interlayer when the resin being used is polyester. Supposedly if cloths are placed directly against one another using polyester resin, the resin’s relative lack of flexibility (compared to epoxy and vinylester) can cause the cloth layers to shear and delaminate.

From a practical point of view, when I cut up a '73 canoe made with glasscloth and isopthalmic polyester resin, I was amazed that there was NOT a lot of delamination hidden under the gelcoat and interior paint. The boat had been frequently hammered on class 1-2 Georgia whitewater. I cut it up because of widespread hydrolysis blisters, often observed with polyester, but not in every case.

Mohawk no longer
diaplays any FG canoes on the website. Not sure if that means they no longer make them or if they are just building to order.