I am considering buying a used Current Design “Kitsilano”

They do not make them anymore & the material is Thermo Composite.

Does anyone know why they stopped using this material?

CD and materials

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 10:28 AM EST –

Edit: TCS stands for Thermo Composite System. It is a trademarked ABS plastic which is heat extruded and, in CD's process, vacuum bagged. Visually very similiar to thermoformed plastics used by Seaward, Delta, Hurricane Aquasports, Eddyline, etc. The proprietary names differ and the process differs slightly as there are different ABS formulas. Even if they happen to come from the same factory there are different runs for specific kayak manufacturers)

I am not affiliated with Current Designs. I do know a couple people who work for them, one of whom is a member of the CD Design Team.

On CD's website the Kestrels are described as having a TCS option:

BUT the 2009 catalog offers roto and composite options for the Kestrels - no mention of TCS in the entire catalog.

They now offer four other layups - Fiberglass, Fiberglass/Kevlar, Composite Hybrid, Aramid/fiberlglass. The latter two have the generic version of kevlar (aramid or polyaramid being the generic name). Dupont's trademarked Kevlar 49 is used only as an option in some of their Performance Touring models. And of course the familiar roto and fiberglass layups are there as well, altho it fiberglass and fglass/kevlar49 CD continues to use only vacuum bagging on those boats.

I'm guessing that w. four layup options that and over 40 kayaks in the range that TCS was dropped. But hey, you could call and ask them: 507-454-5430

For the past few years they've offered TCS in the Kestrel range as well as a few longer boats like the Kitsilano. There are lots of satisfied Kestrel owners out there. If you like the Kit for other reasons I don't see TCS as a red flag.

As for the Kit: that boat was in a small niche betw. CD's recreational kayaks and their Performance Touring series. It appeared in their 2008 catalog so was only very recently discontinued and had a very short run. THAT might be what you want to investigate. It just wasn't in the stable that long.
OTOH, if it fits you and does what you want...

I hope this helps.

cost to build
CD dropped their TCS line because of cost. They were having a third party do the molding for them and doing the final assembly at the plant. Their cost to build the boats was very high compared to their expanding line of Hybrid layup boats which are much lighter in fiberglass and kevlar layups. These Hybrid boats cost only a little more than the TCS did at retail, so CD essentially priced themselves out of the TCS market. It simplifies their line and allows them to be competitive and sustainable in this economy.

I liked the Kitsilano as a boat. It was fun and well built. CD’s TCS should prove as durable and dependable as other manufacturers that specialize in the material. The main advantages with the material is that it paddles better than rotomolded boats, has more glide, and weighs less. Still a durable impact resistant plastic, more so than a composite boat but not quite as so as a poly one, and the boat costs less than a composite one. If the price suits your budget and the boat fits, it definitely will get you on the water.

that’s a sensible explanation. With the Vision series being built in China the cost of labor dropped dramatically, too.

Also liked the looks of the Kit and it has that versatile 15’3" length. Don’t go for rudders myself (just my taste and use) but like the looks of the boat and its outfitting.

I find thermoformed boats very appealing for lightweight and sturdiness and own one myself. I think they are a great alternative to composite and rotomould.

TCS CD Oracle
I demo’d the TCS Oracle by CD last year and was impressed with the boat. It had the same “smartrudder” as the Kiltsano and the one on the demo boat was damaged, so didn’t try the rudder. The hull seemed well made with good performance.