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Yeah, they are ugly, but are there good plastic canoes and kayaks that are better than others?

asked Jan 22 '13 at 14:16

Kevin%20Kelly's gravatar image

Kevin Kelly
196


They need not necessarily be ugly, though beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My family has one open canoe, three kayaks and two "sit on top" kayaks - they're all plastic. All but the two sit on tops have been stored outside in Scottish weather for several years and then outside in Australian weather for the last 9 years with little in the way of protection (just raised off the ground and sitting upside down under the eaves of the house). They've required very little maintenance, other than checking for red backs before you use them, and still look pretty much as good (or bad) as when new, despite seeing a lot of use.

The only boat which has had more than minimal maintenance is the one which has seen the most use - our Old Town Discovery Scout. After 12 or more years of hard use, the last few of which have included carrying two kids and a dog, the front seat was replaced. I could have just repaired it, but that tends to be where my wife sits and she often ends up with a kid on her lap and another standing on the seat with feet either side of her, so I made a new and slightly stronger seat to handle the load. It's a wonderful boat and when we bought it 14 years ago was a very popular boat in the UK (it may well still be) as the flared nature of the hull allowed them to be shipped from the US stacked inside each other like plastic bowls, hence reducing the shipping cost and buyer price compared to similarly specified boats which could not be stacked as densely.

As to the question of if some are better than others - undoubtedly yes, but which is better depends greatly upon intended use and budget.

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answered Jan 22 '13 at 18:07

Graeme's gravatar image

Graeme
1

I have owned 7 different boats, always purchased for fishing. These include a Poke Boat (ultralight kayak), an inflatable (Zodiak-style), a folding boat, fiberglass skiff, a square-ended aluminum canoe, etc.

All have disappointed me in one or more ways, until I bought (after "test-driving" via the very courteous manufacturer) a Wavewalk 500. It is just over 11 feet long with a one-piece molded hull of polyethylene which ways 59 pounds and is easily car-topped by one person.

The key features (aside from being nearly indestructible and maintenance-free) are that it is extraordinarily stable, you never have to get your feet wet when entering and exiting and it easily takes a motor for traversing large bodies of water, though most of the time I use it with only a paddle. It is so unusual in its design that it is best to go to the makers website and see it for yourself. I no longer think about the "next boat". Be sure to explore their blog which is rich with owner experiences.

www.wavewalk.com

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answered Jan 23 '13 at 06:19

Guylo's gravatar image

Guylo
1

Having made wooden canoes and paddled dozens of different makes of plastic ones, the Old Towne Camper is my favorite all purpose canoe.

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answered Jan 23 '13 at 14:46

menglert's gravatar image

menglert
1

Depends what you're using them for. Fishing, sightseeing etc It also depends on whether you're considering putting a motor on it.

Look at Gheenoes, I have an LT25 and it's the best thing for fishing the flats and cruising around

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answered Mar 18 '13 at 13:40

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andygeekboy
1

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Asked: Jan 22 '13 at 14:16

Seen: 4,331 times

Last updated: Mar 18 '13 at 13:40

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