sof for rocky river?

Is a skin on frame boat usable in a rockey river. I always hit and drag over rocks in my local paddle spot. Plastic boats and good inflatbles ususally only get scratches. Composite boats are a poor choice.

If I used a tough fabric would a skin on frame just flex around the rocks like a plastic boat or would it quickly self destruct like wood canvas boat?

Self Destruct??
I gotta take issue with “self destruction” of wood and canvas boats. That is probably the No.1 Myth of W/C canoes, next (No.2 Myth) is they are heavy.

Much of North America was explored in birch bark and wood and canvas canoes. Read the about the Hubbard expedition! They are tough and repairable.

Of course, if you intend to bounce off every rock during a run, you might pick another material to destroy.

SOF - I dunno. The ones I have seen have a lightweight framework, (most are intended to be lightweight) otherwise I can’t comment.

I will get off the soap box now.


I met a local paddler
who use to go down the rivers here in the spring in a SOF kayak. Him and his friends could not afford real kayaks but they own a saw mill and built a few SOF kayaks and covered them with those inexpensive blue tarps and had very good success with them. I almost couldn’t believe it until he showed one of the kayaks covered in a blue tarp. He said that the tarps held up pretty good going through dead fall and rocks. The kayaks were pretty heavy and built more solid than my SOF I use for seakayaking. I would think that if you made the frame out of good solid wood and covered it with a 13 oz. nylon it would do well. If you do it, let us know how it works out.

See if you can find out what Alley uses
on their fold up canoes and kayaks.

We used Ally canoes up in the Noatak River in the Arctic which was real rocky, and the fabric that they have is very tough.

They make both canoes and kayaks that have aluminum frames, and the fabric is a tough canvas type material.

I agree with one of the posters above.

When I was a kid probably long before you were born, I used to paddle a OT canoe up in NH and it was ribbed with a canvas over the ribs.

We thought nothing of dragging it up on the shore



Watch this
Then you decide.

very impressive demo video!
One video clip is worth a million conjectures!

good video and good lesson
about lending someone your kayak.