Why kayaks cost more?

I was looking at a nice fibreglass kayak in a showroom for $2850. A similar quality fibreglass canoe, which would actually have more material (by weight), is about half that price.

I suppose labour is more involved on a kayak.

A kayak has more parts (bulkheads, hatches, seat-bands) outfitted from the factory.

Does this add up, or is it just a matter of what the market will bear? Often, engineers get to share what they know. I would like to hear from the economists, or perhaps someone familiar with the industry.

When people ask me what the difference beteen canoeing and kayaking is, I often joke, “There the same, only kayaking seems cooler so it costs twice as much!”

Thanks for any explainations you might offer.

Yeah yeah
kayaking is cooler that’s it, yeah yeah ;-).More canoes for me har har.

I have seen the light

– Last Updated: Feb-26-06 5:29 PM EST –

I too have always thought kayaking a bit more cool than canoeing...until... I had my first experience paddling with the menacing Duckheads (down here in MD.) These guys know how to unwind! (perhaps a bit too far) but that's what paddling is all about, right?

Definitely some more parts and labor on a sea-kayak than a canoe, but you would have no problem spending almost as much on a top-o-the-line canoe as a kayak.

there is more labor, parts
labor costs, parts cost, installing parts costs

makes cars an incredible deal

I am from MD .

what is a duckhead?

Never heard of them (It?)

These are Duckheads…

Yep, the answer lies in your questions.

faster and more seaworthy
so it makes sense that they would cost more.

(ducking and covering)


oh yeah
kayaks are faster and more seaworthy? Seaworthy probobly but Faster? maybe but remind me again what type of boat always wins the Mississippi Challenge?

They don’t really cost more
Highly designed hand crafted canoes like the ones from Placid, Souris River, Marrimack and Hemlock can cost 3000.00 or more. I see one listed at 2,895.00 + tax. There are many others that would put you over 3000.00 with shipping or any extra add-ons

oh good, we have had this one yet!

– Last Updated: Feb-28-06 8:45 AM EST –

(should say haven't -you can't edit your subject, apparently)

it was feeling like a slow and quiet winter without any good arguments about kayaks vs canoes.

now, you know as well as i do that kayaks are faster over any distance short of multi-thousand mile expeditions requiring the hauling of hundreds of pounds of gear. fast kayaks (or surfskis, which are just fast sit on top kayaks) rule at every distance from sprints (check out the differences in Olympic times), to conventional length races (ie, most 5-10 milers), to long conventional races (ie, Blackburn), up to the 24 hour record.

After that, slow, dumpy boats that allow you to carry everything you own begin to be more comfortable, and hence better for the task at hand.

(ducking once more)


Do to!
Sure, a kevlar/epoxy canoe will cost a bit, but even a fiberglass/polyester kayak will be 3 grand. A carbon/kevlar or expedition lay-up in a kayak will be even more. Let’s keep apples to apples here with respect to materials.

What boats are you comparing?

Struer Kayaks
The handcraftet Struer(http://www.struerkajak.com) kayaks are rather pricy too:

Their most expensive K1 is at $5400:


I don’t see any prices for their C1 but I bet the price is up there too.


Yep things can get costly
I can’t find the link but someone posted a picture of a very expensive Japanese Art kayak here once that was somewhere around 1 million dollars, yes it was a real kayak.

Then there is Wood Song Canoes…they don’t even tell you the price…if you have to ask you can’t afford it. http://www.woodsongcanoes.com/wood_song_contents.htm

I was thinking of the Impex Susquehanna I want, and the Novacraft Prospector I used to have. To make the comparison fair though, I will use current posted prices.

For a fibreglass sea kayak, Mountain equipment co-op offers several boats in the $2900 to $4200 range (from glass all the way up to carbon/kevlar): http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_listing.jsp?bmUID=1141264726979

A comparable, good quality fibreglass canoe can be had for $1050(http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442095179&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302700641&bmUID=1141265272129)) and a premium kevlar Evergreen or Helman duralite/epoxy canoe is going for about 2300/2350, with wood trim!

So, comparing apples to apples, fibreglass to fibreglass, canoes are about half the price (and I might remind people that they carry two paddlers, so in that respect they are 25% of the price per person)

I enjoy kayaks, I was just curious if anyone had any special insight as to why they cost so much more ('cause they do!)

you have the answers
more labor, more materials requiring labor, more parts requiring outfitting. A kayak is built from two molds requiring joining of two parts, a canoe only one. One might ask why kayaks don’t cost more or canoes less.

Take a look at QCC kayaks, $1600-2300 in fiberglass, shipping included.

Just for the sake of clarification
The prices quoted on that website are Canadian and reflect much higher numbers than U.S. dollars…4,200.00 Canadian = 3,700.00 U.S.

I will say this, I have a P&H boat and there looks to be about 4 times the work involved in putting one together in comparison with a canoe. With many custom features (compared to U.S. kayak builders) like glassed in bulkheads, recessed deck fittings,and water tight hatch covers. The price still seems relative when compared to a carbon kevlar canoe that would be 2,899.00 U.S. = 3,294.00 Canadian.

I like my peanut butter plane.