Perception Rumor -- Anyone?

I heard the latest generation molded plastic Perception kayaks are being made from a thinner mold than earlier models, a result of the company that recently acquired them.

The comment came from a local outfitter I met the other day who cautioned against purchasing their kayaks again. I recently got a 2003 Carolina so no big deal, but I am curious as to how true this rumor may be.

Old News

– Last Updated: Mar-20-05 11:16 PM EST –

Perception has remained one of the few manufacturers who have stayed with linear polyetheline. The other high end plastic boats are made from cross-link poly, super poly, or a number of other propietery plastics.

Ever notice that Perception makes the only seayaks with aluminum tubing center lines? If you remove the tubing you can almost fold the yak in half by lifting on the bow. If they now are doing an even thinner lay-up this will only make them even less structuraly sound.

The buy out is extremely recent, so I doubt they have changed anything yet. It looks to many that they will make Wilderness Systems the flagship boats with Dagger taking up the middle market, leaving the bottom for Perception.

I know there are a number of Perception fans out there. I have appreciated many of their designs, but have never understood paying the same money for a metal re-inforced, squishy decked, Eclipse, as you would pay for a rock solid, triple layer, P&H Capella.

Its my opinion that the Perception line has relied for years on un warranted customer dedication....that and they will open up anybody willing to buy 6 or more boats as a dealer.

P.S. I just re-read my post and realized it came off much angrier that I intended. The only bad boat boat is a dry boat....this is what happens when I'm off the water for two out of three days off. I don't know how other's last 6 months or so.

Irresponsible method to check on a rumor. Why don’t you just call the company and ask, rather than spreading some rumor from an outfitter that may just be pissed off at perception? If it is true, post it.

easy explanation for that
you call the manufacturer and ask them if they’re making their boats weaker and they’re not going to admit it–just like all car makers puff their chests out about reliability, etc. and walk to the mailbox and drop off several thousand recall letters., on the other hand, is full of people who pay very close attention to industry changes, and some of the most knowledgable people you can find on some subjects. Hence the posting asking if anyone has heard the rumer and/or can substantiate it.

Rumors are flying
I was down at the store Saturday and the latest on the Watermark Confluence buy out is that it “did not” happen and may not happen. Can anyone conferm which rumor is true?

Stopped in at my local shop
about two weeks ago I guess. The aisles were packed with new Perception boats still in their wrapping. They did not seem to know of any change-overs or buy outs at the time.

Oh, and for the record, the Eclipse gave up its re-bar for superlinear PE a year ago.


ah, the rumor mill…

– Last Updated: Mar-21-05 12:03 PM EST –

WaterMark hasn't been sold anytime recently. Might they some day, any day? Sure - but until that happens, it's all speculation. As far as I can tell, there have been no significant changes in the materials used, and as noted previously, the Eclipse hasn't had a keelson (the aluminum tube) in some time.

It would appear that, for the moment, the industry is in a period of 'settling', with the major re-alignments/mergers of the last 4 or 5 years taking root and everyone trying to figure out where they fit in the market. There were a lot of problems a year or two ago (particularly with Confluence) with getting product in a timely fashion, but those seem to have settled down as well, and with a recovering market, there should be enough demand this year to keep everyone's ovens working. I'd suspect there'll be a little shifting around this year with the changeovers in the retail chains (Galyans morphing into Dicks - no pun intended - will mean a reduction in mid-range and upper-end product for the Big Box end of the market, since Dick's isn't interested in $900+ canoes or kayaks, and will be focusing on entry-level boats instead).

WaterMark IS in the process of moving their office from Arcata, CA to Oregon. Perhaps that was the root of the 'sale' rumor.

I called perception
After pushing a lot of buttons on my phone I talked to a technical rep who claims they are using the same molds and the boats are being built by the same people (“unless there was a significant hull change”…hmmm, does make you wonder.) Anyways, they were very friendly, and if I would have had the foresight to ask about properties about a specific boat, they would have been happy to answer it.

People on p-net are a mix of experts, beginners a and b.s.-ers., and there is disinformation in these threads . Why not go to the source and ask prior to spreading rumors???

What does that mean?
With rotomolded boats, you can vary the thickness of the hull by changing the amount of powdered plastic that you pour in. Neither the mold nor the operator need to change. I’m not suggesting that the rumor is true, just pointing out that you got a rather ambiguous response from Perception. What I can tell you is that a friend who is a Perception/Dagger dealer was lamenting last year that the quality of Dagger boats had dropped since they became a “sister” company of Perception.

I just don’t see it.
I own a 2004 Dagger Catalyst 12.8. And its very well made. I don’t understand this sort of comment, as I’ve seen other Daggers in this same model that were made a couple of years before mine, and the quallity of my boat is at least as good, if not better than the earlier models.

~ Arwen ~

may be trying to hide

– Last Updated: Mar-21-05 3:42 PM EST –

something, but when she said "We use the same molds and the same people..." I understood her to mean that nothing had changed.

I am in the manufacturing business, however, and understand that quality can degrade incrementally without most employees knowing. But they are insinuating that they have intentionally changed nothing.

"but when she said “We use the same molds and the same people…” I understood her to mean that nothing had changed."

That may well be the case. We have no way of knowing if her choice of words was incidental or intentionally ambiguous. As much fun as it is to pick on Perception, I’d tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Dagger didn’t make the Catalyst until at least 2003; I think it was new in 2004 though. I bought a new Dagger Cypress in 2002 (may have been made in 2001, I’m not sure) and I can tell you the plastic felt thicker and heavier than the plastics that they have been using since. On the plus side, the new plastic makes for a lighter weight boat. On the down side, it just doesn’t seem as solid to me.

Pre 2004 Catalysts

– Last Updated: Mar-27-05 9:34 AM EST –

Well, I'm (sort of) correcting you. The 12.8 Catalyst might possibly have not been released until 2004, but the 13.0 (which is nearly identical) was released at least a year earlier (although it might not have been called a Catalyst). And I ran into a paddler last summer who had a Dagger which he said was a couple of years older than mine, and looked very simular to my Catalyst. I saw his kayak, and he even commented on how Dagger had made improvement since he had bought his. Also, his Dagger was not Exolar hyper-resin polyethylene, but regular poly.

Here's something to think about: if Daggers and Perceptions are supposedly being made with a thinner hull, then why hasn't the weight dropped. After all, light weight is certainly a selling point. I have the Perception 2004 and the new 2005 catalogs and the listed weights for the various models haven't changed at all. I do know that Dagger and Perception kayaks are among the heaviest poly kayaks in their listed weight, when compared to other simular sized kayaks.

~ Arwen ~

boat thickness
i have 3 perceptions. a 2003, 2004 & 2005. the 2004 and 2005 are exoler. there no differences in the thickness of these 3. the 2004 and 2005 are stiffer. when did they supposedly make them thinner?

i have read an article that they are relocating the factory because they need more space