WS Zephyr 160 composite

Curious if anyone has one and have you experienced any cracking at the turn of the hull (soft chine) just outside the seat. Imagine if you were in a kayak on a carpeted floor and sat in it and leaned to the side the weight would be just outside your hips and concentrated on a narrow section of the hull.

I’m wondering if this boat just had an unfortunate accident in handling or if the hull is more delicate than the average sea kayak and can’t handle that kind of use.

Z cracks

– Last Updated: Oct-13-10 8:56 PM EST –

No responses?
Is that indeed how the the cracks occurred? Not in shipping? I had a Z 155 cracked in shipping but it was replaced and I'm a happy boy.

possibly in a demo
pretty sure it was ok when unwrapped but we found the crack recently. It’s location made me think of what would happen if someone sat in it and leaned it over on its side while on the floor.

is it possible a big guy sat on the coaming? This is a kayak that will fit a 250+ pound paddler. Someone might have put all their weight on the coaming and cracked it.

Or it could have been damaged in shipping then a big guy put his weight on it and sealed the deal (or damage).

if someone sits straight on the back coaming or aft deck and they’re too heavy the failures show up there not in the hull. When I’ve seen stress cracks in a hull it’s usually strapped down wrong on a rack or levered off a rack or the person is inside and weight is concentrated on one portion of the hull around the seat. Just curious is anyone else had seen it show up. I think these are the Chinese made boats with core material and light glass on the inside. I’m kind of primed to be critical of new production as it often appears like there’s been too many chefs in the kitchen or not enough follow through from designer to production designer to find out if the actual construction works in use.

Good to know since I really like the Zephyr 16. I saw a deal on a Tempest 18 last year but avoided it because of the potential quality issues they were having.

ratchet straps
I’ve seen this happen several times specially on a boat like this one. It’s an ok boat that’s fairly expensive for an intermediate at best boat. So the new owner gets ratchet straps to make sure it’s tied down tight to their car and crushes the boat with these straps.

Bill H.

new boat, never been on roof rack
it’s in the shop and has been up on a storage rack with no weight but it’s own or on the floor, then demoed twice.

What’s the nature of the cracking?
Mostly gelcoat with maybe some minor delamination you can see from inside? Or more serious cracking of the cloth layers?

Normally one would like Kevlar inside, but the chines are subject to compression when they are bent more towards closure. Some glass or carbon reinforcement might protect the chines.

2 1/2" long
with shorter “crinkle” cracks near the ends. The inside is hidden by the seat. It’s a glass WS boat. One can depress the crack slightly. My gut sense is that the layup isn’t strong enough for a 200lb person to roll onto one edge while sitting on a hard floor with thin carpet. The interior glass is a high weave count but thin. It’s a Chinese made boat. Just curious if anyone else has seen one in a shop. The earlier painted Chinese made composite Necky Manitous had a similar core material and cloth before the present ones which are stronger. Oh well, maybe I’m drawing conclusions from insufficient information.

Maybe there was some kind of raised
protrusion on that carpet when the hypothetical carpet roll occured. I’ve rolled my old, rather flexible, Kevlar Noah on carpet, up onto its rather sharp chines, without any particular consequence, though some scrunching of the chines has occured while paddling.