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  Depends on the layup, of course
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-15-12 4:28 PM (EST)

It is kind of ironic that as Americans in general have gotten bigger, and heavier, they have been increasingly reluctant to buy "heavy" boats. Given the same materials, the lighter the layup and the heavier the load it is expected to carry, the more likely the boat is to crack, or suffer more catastrophic failure.

Old whitewater Royalex canoes used to be incredibly tough, but the sheet was quite thick, gunwales were often heavy duty aluminum, and the boats were heavy as sin. Then buyers (apparently) wanted lighter boats so manufacturers started specing thinner sheet and added less reinforcement, gunwales became vinyl covering a thin strip of aluminum, or just plastic with no metal reinforcement at all, and the boats started to wear out within a season or two of hard use such as rocky creeking.

I recall when a 55 lb tandem canoe or kayak was considered quite light. Now many would consider a boat of that weight unacceptably heavy.

Durability always comes down to how much you are willing to pay and how heavy you are willing to lift. If you use all expensive materials like carbon, aramid, S 'glass, and epoxy resin along with the most modern construction methods you can build a boat that is stiff, strong, and pretty light, but you will pay through the nose. If you want something light that doesn't cost too much, you have to leave something out, and the boat is going to be more fragile.

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