Ask ocPaddler: Double graphite boat vs kevlar-graphite?

Kevin asks "What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of a double graphite boat versus a kevlar-graphite boat? Mahalo"

If you are familiar with both materials, please tell us your opinion. --Keizo

Posted by keizo on Sun, 01/26/2003 - 11:51pm


Aloha Kevin...both kevlar and carbon (graphite) have good tensile and shear strength. Kevlar is tougher than carbon, but has poor compressive qualitites resulting in less stiffness. Carbon is more brittle, but is definitely stiffer. So, in theory, a kevlar outer skin offers a little bit more durability, perhaps more puncture resistance. Where as a certain blow to a double carbon canoe may cause a crack, the same blow to a kevlar outer skin canoe will "crush" making a larger soft spot.....both need reinforcing. Personally, I would opt for the double carbon, since stiffness is an important factor in speed and how the boat glides through the water....Steve

#1 Tue, 01/28/2003 - 6:09pm

There has been a trend to put kevlar on the inner skin as a 'safety net' preventing total perforation of the hull in multihull boats. Another good reason not to put kevlar in the outer skin is its tendency to soak water (this from white water canoeists).

Other than than I concur with Steve in that a balanced sandwich laminate produces the best composite. You could always go a carbon/kevlar cloth on each side of foam to get some of kevlars damage tolerance, bearing in mind the above...

#2 Fri, 05/23/2003 - 12:54pm

Absolutely fabulous! Huge amounts of thanks dude! -

#3 Mon, 10/04/2010 - 1:23am

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