Difference between Carbon Fiber/Epoxy vs Kevlar/Graphite built canoes...

Can anyone explain the pros and cons between carbon fiber/epoxy layups vs kevlar/graphite materials canoes weight, stiffness, strength. Keep hearing diiferent things about the two layups.


Submitted by Whats Dis on Thu, 05/04/2006 - 4:18pm

from what I learned from roadracing, a double carbon or graphite lay up will be lighter, a little stiffer(maybe), but when it takes a hit it tends to shatter and break.

adding a kevlar back will give it a little more give and should keep it from shattering from a small hit. this will also add some weight.

example: DOT(department of transportation) approved motorcycle helmets cannot be all carbon because it shatters on impact. most manufactuers are making a carbon helmet with a kevlar or glass back because thats the only way to get them DOT approved.

just my $.02


#1 Sun, 05/07/2006 - 8:33pm

Thanks Ulua54, my son, who can't decide which or what kind on canoe to purchase, wanted to get more information and inputs from different person(s) on the subject about the materials and lays options. He just did not want to get advise from the builders himself, but from other paddlers, as it is the paddlers that really have the last say. Don't you think so.

#2 Sun, 05/07/2006 - 9:03pm

You also need to consider the use of the boat. Both carbon fibre and kevlar cost big buck$ and the ultralight weight is not always appropriate. If the boat is to be used primarily for surfing or only in 'downhill' races (following sea with lots of runners), ultralight weight is good since you can accelerate more quickly to catch waves.

On the other hand, ultralight canoes don't have any 'way' (an old nautical term for inertia). In a head sea, an ultralight canoe will be stopped dead by every wave whereas a heavier canoe will carry forward. Even in flat water, once the boat is up to speed, extra weight is beneficial since it evens out the pulsing action of your paddling stroke.

Then of course an ultralight is easier to carry and gentler on the roof racks (but gets battered about by the wind more severely).

Everything about boats is a compromise.

#3 Tue, 05/09/2006 - 11:35am

Thanks for the information, I will explain this to my son, and I do agree woith what you said about the heavier canoe vs the lighter canoe.



#4 Tue, 05/09/2006 - 11:42am

In my opinion is layup is secondary to design. What canoe does he like to paddle? How tall is he and how much does he weigh? Where does he paddle and what kind of paddling does he like to do? Is this a first canoe? To me these are bigger considerations to selecting a canoe.
That said, something I would consider when deciding between the Kevlar/Carbon vs Double carbon is how important impact resistance is. A double carbon canoe is very stiff and very light, but also doesn't handle impact very well. Since the carbon is so stiff it doesn't flex with paddle strikes. The Kevlar has some give so it s less likely to ding. From what I'e heard, unless you are very careful you are likely to get dings in your double carbon canoe.
And as far as layup, if you are looking at the same builder, the weight savings between the double carbon vs a heavier layup is usually around 1 to 2 lbs. Enough to make a difference to some, but not enough to most.

#5 Wed, 09/10/2014 - 10:30am

WTF is with this person (Brucewayne) reviving a 6 year old thread and posting some nonsense with a weird link to playdate.com?

#6 Wed, 09/10/2014 - 10:43am

This might answer some questions Difference between layups!

#7 Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:00am

No matter OC Ken...BruceWayne was a spammer/jerk for sure..but still a good thread. Wonder what WHATS DIS's son chose as his layup of choice?. It's been 8 years now and he has probably been through more then one canoe by now. Agree with Kalikikopa that the double carbon is great for a season or so but not for someone who is going to keep a canoe for a few years and may have a budget in mind....

#8 Sun, 09/14/2014 - 2:09pm

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