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  Posted by: TomF on Oct-10-13 9:45 AM (EST)

I agree with rpg51, including that compromise is the operative word. Royalex is incredibly durable but you pay for that with weight and some loss in efficiency. The OT P16 is a cool boat in that it is efficient, can be turned decently, takes ClassII rapids, can be set up for solo, and is light for a Royalex boat. The alternatives are similar design in Royalite or... a composite, the latter which IMOP will require good maneuvering skills and adequate water. Yes, Kevlar composite does take abuse but not the constant banging and grinding plastic can endure from bony shallow creeks, let alone a wrap around a rock. It is sort of a judgment call based on how and where you paddle, or want to paddle, or are willing to not paddle. So, seriously, why not have one of each :)? For a composite, do test paddle a Jensen 18 w/ a front slider seat) just because it is soooo much fun (several mfg's offer this hull; typically 38 lbs Kevlar). For some outfitters Wenonah builds Kevlar boats with bow/stern skid plates (really helps durability), maybe you can order one with that feature, or buy used from an outfitter, or perhaps other mfgs will accommodate the same idea. Note that it may be difficult to convert some of the other designs to work solo in the same manner as the P16, it is just really good for that. So that would make three boats, or four if you paddling partner wants to solo as well. No, I am not in the garage expansion business.

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