Our experience with kayaks has only been with composites, so we are not familiar with owning a rotomolded kayak. We are looking for a tandem sea kayak & are considering a rotomold. We are interested in hearing about the differences between fiberglass & rotomolded kayaks, durability, lifespan, pros/cons, etc. Thank you!
narrow it down to boat type first
going by material won’t give an A/B comparison. For screaming values check out Current Designs Kestrel T170.
Rotomold vs Fiberglass
We’d like to know the differences in the materials to help us choose a proper model. Don’t know whether to consider a rotomolded kayak, or stick with composites.
Plastic= heavier, softer, more flexible, but cheaper and more resistant to blunt trauma.
Ease of repair
Rotomolded polyethylene is a great material if you’re going to be whacking your boat into rocks on a regular basis, or tossing it on and off trucks as liveries do. Otherwise I’d stick with composite if the cost isn’t an issue. A composite boat should be lighter, stiffer, and easier to repair and maodify.
what I mean by boat type
what kind of conditions are you going into, weight of paddlers, etc.
if you and the other paddler weigh 300lbs there’s no reason to be looking only at big sea kayaks that can carry 600lbs, whether they’re glass or plastic. Likewise there are 18’ glass doubles that can easily carry 500lbs (Northwest .5) or other ones like the discontinued Wilderness Systems Echo that would be better for two light people than any plastic boat or bigger 21’ glass boat.
As a category tandem glass “sea kayaks” cost close to $4000 which is why the CD double is so attractive.
I would consider a thermoplastic option. They are gaining popularity as a lighter material but less cost than fiberglass. Rotomold would be my last choice for tandem as it weighs a ton!