Old fiberglass boat.

-- Last Updated: Jul-10-14 7:45 AM EST --

I bought an old-school fiberglass whitewater kayak recently (1974 Phoenix Cascade) and have enjoyed paddling this wonderfully light-weight boat very much. But with the boat being that old, should I be cautious about taking it out into an environment which stresses the hull?

I paddle on an estuary (the brackish York River, Virginia) and encounter 1-2 foot waves in the channel quite often. My concern is less about the design of the kayak but more about the fact that the boat is 40 years old.

The strength of your Phoenix Cascade

– Last Updated: Jul-10-14 7:40 AM EST –

kayak is not affected by age, and very little affected by UV. It is mainly affected by the many blows and scrapes it has endured in the past, which delaminate and thin the hull.

For many years, I paddled a Phoenix "Seewun" c-1, in their supertough "Fiberlastic" layup. In many seasons of rock crashing, I had only one minor repair near the stern. That boat has lasted much better than its competitor, the poly Perception Gyromax.

A normal Cascade will have a glass outside, Nylon inside layup, which is pretty tough and reasonably light. Enjoy.


– Last Updated: Jul-10-14 10:16 AM EST –

that's reassuring. I've paddled extremely wide recreational boats in the past, but in spite of its age and lack of amenities (no cupholder :-)!), the Cascade is so much more satisfying. Had to watch some video clips on how to get in and out of a boat like that from a dock, but it's no problem now.