Please comment on Impex gelcoat...

… I am dilligently searching for what may be my next Kayak purchase next spring. I had asked for ideas from P-Net readers, and several reccommended the Impex Asseteague for me amd my needs. I have reviewed the specs for this boat, and believe it may be a good choice for me to try. I am a big guy, and this boat is advertised to be “just for me”. I believe my skill level after paddling 3 years is up to a boat like this too. Time will tell…

… I was demoing a Necky, Elaho HV in composite, and after the demo the dealer tried to get me to committ to buying one. I liked the boat, but I told him I am not going to buy my next boat, until I get to test the Impex, Asseteague. He said he “heard that Impex had problems with cracking gelcoat”, and went on to say I should be leary of their boats.

… I was surprised to hear this, as I have never read any negative comments about Impex on this web page, especially their Gelcoat. In fact, I remember reading from someone praising their Gelcoat. I have also seen and paddled several of their boats, and have always thought highly of their quality and craftsmanship.

… Would anyone care to comment on any good or bad experiences concerning Gelcoat Problems on Impex Kayaks?

… Thanks in advance for any input you can give.

Happy Paddling!

our demo fleet
of Impex boats holds up to abuse about like all the other f/g boats in the fleet.

most have some gelcoat cracks after a hard season. comes with the territory.

Impex made a pretty big leap forward at the beginning of last season on QC. Danny’s really concerned and will stand behind his product. If it IS a problem he’ll fix it!



– Last Updated: Nov-02-04 5:02 PM EST –

I have had no problem with the gelcoat on my Montauk, except... when I dropped her on a strong gust of wind. The boat felt on its nose and scraped a penny size chunk of gelcoat off.

The Impex ain't built as heavy as the "Brit" import boats but then I don't have to lug the extra weight on and off my car either. For normal paddling (excluding "rock garden" play) and no babying (I slide my boat in and out of surf landings), I have no qualms whatsoever with the boat.

Me thinks someone is trying to pull a self interested, fast one.


gel coat
gel coat is a sacrificial layer anyway,if you’re using your kayak it’ll be full of cracks eventually. You could skip the whole issue of gel coat and go straight to an eddyline.

If you’re thinking of a skegged kayak then the Elaho HV is out of the picture anyway. Necky does funny things with their long ruddered kayaks, for the amount of low initial stability I bet there are other kayaks that would be faster,if that’s the trade-off ,they seem to be one marketing response after another.

I’m a fan! I hang a lot with my outfitte
and have lots of friends who paddle impex. While such esteemed paddlers and Dlewis have had some cracking, in general I see impex boats holding up under anything but rock gardening. which really is abuse :slight_smile:

I have a friend who is paddling a ten year old impex montauk and finally this year we are seeing some gel coat cracking around the screws for the footrails. This guy does about 2000 rolls per season and fires em like a cannon. We have paddles some stuff together. Not real surf though. For a ten year old boat it has not held up as well as an explorer, but then again it weighs about 12 pounds less. It has held up well.

Hey Wjlatsha,

Going to be closer to your area this weekend doing whitewater on the Tohikon. I have an Assateague & Currituck on the car as I type(just came back from the Hudson this morning), both of which I’ve had in the instructional fleet for 1 year now. It would be a good representation of what “cracks” look like. Sounds like the Necky dealer was trying a bit of a pressure ploy. Anyway, I can leave the Assateague on if you’d like to meet partway over by Lambertsville area and paddle the canal. Who knows, my wife has wanted to paddle the canal for awhile. Drop me a line if you’re into trying the Assateague out this weekend.

See you on the water,



Gel Coat Issues; Caveat
Before buying an Assateague, I looked at many Impex boats (and a few Formula boats, the Canadian counterpart to Impex). Based on what I saw, I would say 50% of the Assateagues (Formula Cadence) boats had gel coat cracks, eventhough the boats were new. At the time I did not know whether it was due to problems with the gel coat or shipping damage.

Based on an additional year with my Assateague (bought used), I have had no gel coat cracking. The gel coat still looks great after a lot of use.

I now suspect that the extensive problems with gel coat that I saw when shopping were due to shipping damage.

it sounds like
your salesperson had something more expensive and harder to sell that he wanted you to see and wanted you to buy that.

Nothing wrong with Impex gelcoat.

Ironically the Chatham 18 I’ve got has gel coat cracks from time of purchase at the rear skeg box as they appear to be getting familiar with that new construction process and lay-up. I think the stiff skeg box needs another layer of glass at the corners to transition a stress riser better.