I’ve got a chance at buying either a NorthWind in WhiteGold or a NorthStar in KevLight. Both are being refurbished, so condition shouldn’t be an issue. I paddle in Florida, slow rivers, mostly sandy bottom, the occasional rock outcropping in a spring or submerged log. I will probably paddle solo as often as tandem with kids. I know KevLight will be lighter, WhiteGold more durable. Is the KevLight durable enough? Opinions on the hulls? Please help with a tough (but in a good way) choice.
The Northwind is huge to paddle solo. The Northstar paddles solo nicely.
IMHO the White Gold is a better laminate even if it’s heavier. But if you want to solo the boat a whole half the time spent paddling, you’d be way happier in a Northstar. If you’re not into tripping it will hold up. But I don’t know what kind of contortion issues there might be with the Kevlight/Crystal and the Northstar. You’ll have to ask CEW about that.
You’ll hear differing opinions from many, but I’ve been paddling a KevLite Bell Magic for 5 years. Hundreds of miles later the boat is in fine shape, and that includes 40ish days in the boundary waters (read hidden rocks). The only issue I have is with the stems. They wore through the epoxy after 3 years so I put a simple fiberglass layer on bow and stern. Got 2 more years out of them. Going to use maybe kevlar this time.
I think it’s a nice laminate.
Don’t use Kevlar for outside patching.
It lacks compression strength and fuzzes when it wears.
You can use S-glass rather than E-glass. S-glass is harder and stronger. Used bias-cut strips, no more than two for what you are doing.