Posted by: BPD on Feb-05-13 9:14 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Feb-05-13 9:35 PM EST --
Without a doubt.
My comments about the difference between the two layups were based on what the Wenonah boys told me back in the day. I talked to those guys a fair bit back when I worked at Rutabaga, and had a friend who built boats for them and worked in the repair shop. That's how they described the layup to me at the time. But they may have glossed over some technical aspects of the construction when they were explaining it to me. Which would explain my confusion on particulars.
Maybe they leave out two layers of Kevlar cloth and replace it with a single layer of carbon. Certainly plausible. I haven't seen the cutting schedule, so I don't know.
One way or the other, as you said, they are putting less material in the boat--either by using a lighter weight carbon cloth or by replacing multiple layers of Kevlar and selective reinforcement with a single outer carbon skin.
So the carbon boats are less durable, as you suggested and Jack observed.
My point, which maybe I didn't make very eloquently, is that it is pretty hard for people to tell the difference between these two particular layups on the the water because the stiffness in the Wenonah ultralight hulls comes primarily from the PVC core.
Given the thickness of the core, and the minimal amount of cloth used in the boats, the materials used outside the core don't have as much impact on the overall stiffness or paddling "feel" of the boat as they might otherwise.
Its hard to perceive much difference between the two hulls on the water. I certainly haven't when I have paddled them. So the decision of which to buy has to come down to other factors, like weight, cosmetics, cost and durability.
Which is why I was thinking it makes sense to go for the Kevlar. Unless you really want the graphite look. Or you really want to save those two pounds.
Touring Kayak Paddles
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