Which Bell canoe layup is........

a black & gold co-weave as seen from inside? Bell is closed for the day, or I’d ask them directly.

My recollection (from previous discussions on p.net, which I can’t relocate) is that this is their all kevlar construction. The people selling the gel-coated boat say it’s black gold and I don’t think they’re remembering correctly.

I forgot to ask what model year it is.


You mean just a co-weave dyed on the
woof for aesthetics?

Kev light is black & natural
strands woven together. It looks ‘checkered’ in about 1/8 inch squares.

Bell Laminations Overview

– Last Updated: Feb-01-10 4:23 PM EST –

Didn't we just go through this? Anyway:

Bell's Fiberlar was a three blanket E glass lamination with a gel coated exterior with an arimid partial bottom with a polyester core-mat center and some arimide stem pieces. Fiberlar was discontinued when ABS came on line, ~2000.

White / Gold had an e glass outer blanket under a gel coated exterior, an arimide bottom with a core mat center, an arimide blanket, an arimide diamond and another arimide inner blanket that, after the mid 90's was 25% black Kevlar 29 and 75% Kevlar 49, the Bell "tweed". I use the term arimide because Bell started purchasing European goods which must be Twaron, not Kevlar, in the early 2000s. Every other woof strand is black aramide #29.

Both Fiberlar and White/Gold hulls had a cor-mat bottom cookie, which stiffens the bottom but resists deformation when thwart length is fiddled.
Core mat cores always seemed to flatten the boats a little compared to Black/Gold, all fabric, construction.

Kev-Krystal, later Kev Lite, is a two layer "Tweed" hull with aramide quarters, foam core and sometimes ribs and tweed foam covers. Early versions had, usually, clear gel but could be special ordered in opaque shades. Later versions are skin coated.

The lack of a pre-form oven means flat bottom cores rebound a little when the vacuum is dropped, resulting in a slightly flat bottom. Aluminum rails tend to hog the boat as they are not pre-shaped and the lightweight laminate drops it's stems a little from the straightening effect of the rails along the sheerline.

Pre 94 Kel Lite and Kev Delux Hulls had a 30" longitudinal section of s glass immediately under the gel coat, this was dropped for cosmetic and weight reasons in 1994.

Black/Gold started with clear gel, which could be special ordered opaque and is now often skin coated. The lamination starts with a carbon blanket, carbon bottom and center diamond, all black, then a tweed blanket, a tweed bottom and diamond and another tweed inner blanket. Newer black/gold hulls may have foam cores. Almost all tandems and Magic have foam cores replacing several layers of fabric to reduce weight.

The above from my Word Perfect file "Bell Lamination Schedules" dated 1994, later converted to Word and last updated 1999.

Yes you did but I am old enough to
forget what forum it was…

Now saved to Word…for the next iteration of the cycle of questions.

Copy and paste.

Thanks Charlie.
Yes, a similar discussion took place within the last few months, but I couldn’t find it in the archives. It must have been in the discussion forum or worded in a way that I couldn’t find it with the search function.

Thanks for your patience.

What is my Magic?
My Magic does not have the same foam in the diamond shape in the floor of the canoe, as the Magic on the current Bell website. It also weighs a lot less than 32 or 35 pounds. Here is how the seller described it: " I am selling my carbon fiber Bell Magic. Weight is 24 pounds. It has a carbon fiber slide adjustable seat and adjustable foot brace; wooden inner gunnels but none outer in order to save weight. I purchased the boat new from KC Paddler about a year ago to use for training while I was building a boat for the MR340. Bell made a handful of these to appeal to citizen racers."

Is mine a Black Gold layup?

If the outer blanket is a black fabric and the inside blanket is “Tweed”, it is a Black/Gold laminate.

If the outer is Tweed, it is a Kev-Lite laminate. As above, the dark strands in the tweed are also arimide, not carbon.

That said, I cannot imagine KC Paddler misrepresenting a hull, they are a righteous shop.

Joe, have you weighed that thing?
24 pounds sounds light even for an all carbon boat.

I wonder if Bell’s published weight of 34# was mis-typed as 24# ?


I gather mine is a “version” of the Black Gold layup, from the descriptions above. It is CERTAINLY a “PRO” configuration, now that you mention it that is what mine was called. YES it is 24 pounds. I swear I could tie a string to it and fly it like a kite on a windy day!!!

I will be racing it in the MO340, boat #1967.

Black or White
I just got a canoe from '99, and under the gel-coat at the stems there is some carbon, but it doesn’t look like a full blanket layer (I only removed enough to fix up the stems). Was there any carbon in the WG layup? The seller claimed it to be BG, but after a dozen years, I don’t blame him if he forgot.

Secondly, is there much of a difference in toughness between BG and WG?