Are there canoe outfitters in Northern NC/Southern VA where I could rent a quality kevlar canoe for a 2-3 day trip in NC? I’ve been spoiled by an ADK canoe outfitter (Raquette River) who offers Kevlar Wenonah for rental as a standard.
I suppose it depends where you are East/West. I work for a livery in Stokes County, and we use royalex because the rocky rivers would destroy a kevlar boat quickly. I imagine you may find someone in the Eastern part of the area.
I wouldnt rent you a kevlar boat anywhere near the appalachian region. Way too much granite and sandstone.
Dismal swamp, Merchants Millpond
This is near Dismal Swamp/Merchants Millpond.
I understand the concern for renting out Kevlar (even though ADK has plenty of rocks, too). In the ADKs we had to portage for ~6 miles, and kevlar was great for that. Would your rent plastic (ABS?). Where in NC are you?
Over there you could probably do kevlar, but since it is so expensive, most folks do not rent them. In the Adirondacks and BWCA, kevlar boats are expected so they are offered. The big difference is that you portage the rocky rapids up there and folks renting a canoe on the river do not want to portage.
We operate on The dan River. Royalex and polyethylene are the way to go. RX will be lighter than poly.
kebs and radiomix— Kevlar canoes
designed and laid up for river use are not going to be “quickly destroyed” by granite and sandstone. However, I quite understand why outfitters often prefer not to supply Kevlar boats. ABS and poly are better when some renters are careless, thoughtless, etc.
A “Kevlar” canoe designed for rocky rivers won’t be all Kevlar like a Wenonah, but will have E-glass or S-glass for the outer layers and Kevlar for the inner layers. I have several “Kevlar” boats, used on whitewater all over the nation. They are not easy to damage, but are easier to repair than my Royalex boats.
Light weight is one goal for serious composite boat builders. One doesn’t need a 6 mile portage to appreciate light weight. Just a quarter mile uphill carrying the boat from the Chattooga to the parking lot can be reason enough. The other reward of light weight is boat responsiveness when carrying out a series of complex maneuvers in the rapids.