Thoughts on carbon/kevlar

This is probably often discussed, but forum search returns nothing and google not much more.

I’m a biggish guy looking for a first kayak, specifically an Impex Assateague. Difficult to find on account of Impex(Scott Canoe) going bankrupt.

Managed to find a liquidation with a fantastic price, but they have no glass, only carbon/kevlar layup.

Little bit intimidated by the few horror stories I can find about repair cost and difficulty to maintain. Wondering what your experiences thoughts are?

Trying to budget concious, don’t have unlimited funds to devote.



You also may be in luck. I looks like Impex is making a return. I think you can search these boards for the links to the news articles.

depends what you are going to do with it

Re: Impex
Cheers, I saw that.

Liquidator is selling the C/K Assateague at < 50% MSRP though. Cheaper than a new rotomolded boat, difficult to pass up.

depends what you are going to do with it

Basic ocean paddling-major river delta/pacific northwest type stuff, weekend camping trips.

I’m an amateur that gets out around 8/hrs a week in summer months using rental boats, be more likely to damage by negligence than extreme use.

i wouldnt
Sweat the lay up. Some sort of negligence situation would likely damage any composite lay up. Those materials can be harder to work with, but not impossible. I would enjoy the weight savings and paddle on.

Impex carbon/kevlar
I consider myself very much a beginner kayaker, but I can comment on my experience of having bought a used Impex carbon/Kevlar Montauk.

The kayak I bought was very well used. I think it was sold new in 2005 and I just bought it from the original owner not too long ago. I was considering a new Eddlyine Raven, but happened on this Impex and it was at a considerable price difference. I bought the kayak and tried it out on a rainy day. Saw that there was a crack in the gel coat, on the bottom of the hull, just where your feet would be if you were to step inside the kayak. Well, turns out the crack went down to the Kevlar/carbon fabric, but there was no damage to the Kevlar/carbon fabric itself. The hull was also very flexible around the area of the crack—I could press on it somewhat easily. At the end of the day, I was able to find someone to fix it for $150, which included putting a rather large patch of fiberglass fabric inside the hull (to strengthen the bottom of the hull) and filling in the crack below with epoxy paste. So far, the repair is holding up well and looks very professional. I also had the entire cockpit area brushed with epoxy.

Based on this experience and having my SO’s used (but not as well used as the Impex) 03 CD Gulfstream Kevlar to compare to, I think Impex makes a light build Kevlar/carbon boat, but don’t expect not to have to make maintenance repairs down the road. The resin inside the boat will need another coat of resin at some point (if you use it a lot over the years) because the resin will wear away down to the fabric (from where your body contacts the hull over time) and eventually you will see tiny holes or resinless spaces between the fabric weave. In comparison to the CD, I think the hull gel coat and resin is thinner. All of this makes for a lighter boat, but not a more durable boat. Also, I do not recommend stepping inside an Impex Kevlar/carbon kayak–I believe this is part of the reason the kayak developed a crack in the area it occurred.

At the end of the day, I love my kayak. It fits me well (which is why I bought it), and it doesn’t hurt that I can get it on top of my roof rack by myself for those times I have to paddle on my own. Just know that a lighter kayak means a less durable one and be prepared to be proactive with maintaining it.

I don’t know about Impex, but…
I have a carbon Kevlar QCC-700 and I don’t notice any different in it from my old Kevlar one except it is lighter.

I am not easy on a boat either

Jack L

I have/had 4 Impex carbon/Kavlar
I had an Assategue and a Currituck in K-lite (carbon/Kevlar with core construction) that were clear coated. After short time they started to abrade to quickly and I had them warrantied for carbon/Kevlar with gel coat. The Currituck is holding up well despite heavy use in surf ( )

The Assategue was a bit weak in the cockpit area and started to show little stress marks on the gel coat. I added a layer of matching carbon/Kevlar cloth and a thin layer of glass for abrasion protection to make the hull a bit stronger.

I use that kayak for long trips loaded with a lot of gear. I am heavy person (#240) and I understand that I stress kayaks more than the average paddler.

If the price is right the Assategue in carbon/Kevlar is a nice kayak, but I can’t recommend the K-lite version

Good comments. In general,
if you reinforce or patch inside, use Kevlar. If you reinforce or patch outside, use glass. There are exceptions, but only for zones where expected forces put a fabric into unexpected stress, that is, compression is hard on Kevlar and tension can exceed the capacity of glass. Outside forces are usually compression, inside are usually tension.

Glass patches inside can give off tiny glass shards. Kevlar patches outside can fuzz and are hard to sand smooth.

Yeah, Kevlar patches on the inside, but i’d use carbon for outer patches as its physical characteristics will more closely match what’s already there. Carbon sands smooth, but the key to life in patching is the use of peel ply to smooth fabric edges down. Available from Express Composites, Jamestown Dist and Sweet Composites.

The Carbon Kevlar hybrid lamination has been one of the better options since Bell started using it in early to mid nineties.

I’ve tried peel ply but had developed
crude but effective skills with food wrap film. I need to make myself practice with peel ply.

carbon or kevlar
What are the differences in application and finish? Significant?

PP finish
Peel ply is a treated nylon fabric. It’s easier to get the air out by brushing the fabric until wet but the finish is mat. An alternative is using peel ply in strips around the patch edges. Either way, we end up painting again with resin to give a glossier surface finish. Of note, untreated peel ply as from Sweet is less expensive but harder to remove than treated.

no bargain
buying kayaks from bankrupting sheds as what corners are cut to make the final ends meet before the shed goes under ?

I have a Ford van made when Ford was unbelievably over extended after years as a great cash cow. There are cost cutting areas everywhere. Not cheapening the ride but small stuff.

If you are large keep an eye on keel to coaming distances for egress and in boat foot comfort.

weigh it
I’ve been told by experts that Kevlar doesn’t absorb resin as readily as glass fabric and that if the Kevlar is exposed to moisture it can wick it–possibly throughout the boat. So it might be prudent to weigh the boat occasionally as an indicator of a possible breach.

or just not worry about it
And paddle the boat. If there is an actual problem you will know eventually.

50% off is worth getting
If light weight is important to you. Like others observations it’s built to be light and will involve maintenance repairs down the line. Personally I’m not a fan of light construction for general use non-racing kayaks.