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Canoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes – solo, tandem, inflatable, wooden, etc. Depending on the materials used to make it, the canoe will have different properties, some of which will be desirable, while others – not so much. Some of the most popular canoes are made from the innovative Kevlar material. In this article, we will take a look at some of the pros and cons of a Kevlar canoe.
What is Kevlar
Kevlar is a synthetic fiber used in the making of rubber products, tires, canoes, bulletproof vests, helmets, etc. It is known to be incredibly strong and heat-resistant. It was first invented by the chemist Stephanie Kwolek as a replacement for steel in the production of tires.
There are three grades of Kevlar – k29, k49, and k149. Kevlar canoes are made from several layers of woven Kevlar fabric glued together with resin to create a solid laminated material. Usually, grade k29 and k49 are the ones used to make the boats.
Kevlar canoes tend to be stronger and more durable than most canoes. This is due to the higher tensile strength of the Kevlar fibers. The construction of Kevlar canoes makes them more likely to withstand impact from any external source such as rocks, branches, etc.
A durable canoe can save its owner many troubles. It lowers the cost of maintenance as it is less likely to require repairing. Furthermore, durable Kevlar canoes make transportation less stressful as they are less prone to accidental damage.
One of the essential qualities of Kevlar canoes is how lightweight they are. Most canoe materials like wood and plastic tend to be very heavy and uncomfortable to carry. This, however, is not the case with Kevlar canoes. They are known to be 25% lighter than fiberglass canoes.
Weight is an important specification to consider when purchasing a canoe. One of the more tedious aspects of canoeing – portage, can become more comfortable if the canoe is lighter. Portage is the process of carrying your canoe from one place to the water. Apart from this, a lightweight canoe is also easier to lift on top of your car roof.
Thanks to their lower weight, Kevlar canoes tend to be faster in the water. A paddler will need to use less force to propel the canoe forward, thus reducing the number of strokes needed for a given distance. The higher speed of the Kevlar canoe makes it easily maneuverable and perfect for longer trips.
As with all good things, Kevlar also has its downside. The cost of Kevlar canoes is generally higher than that of any other. Because of their higher quality, the price of Kevlar boats tends to be in the thousands. This makes them less accessible to beginners who might not yet know if they will keep after the first time. Kevlar canoes are definitely an investment because although the initial cost might be high, they will save their owners a considerable amount of money as they require virtually no maintenance.
The process of manufacturing Kevlar can be harmful to the environment. One of the substances used in its production, sulphuric acid, can be very dangerous to animals and plants if it has been disposed of incorrectly.
Furthermore, Kevlar canoes cannot decompose in a landfill. They are made from a combination of Kevlar fibers and resin, which makes them unlikely to be recycled, although it’s possible to recycle the Kevlar fibers. This means that once made, the Kevlar canoe will most likely exist for a very long time.
Kevlar canoes have the potential to be harmful to the environment if you buy them from an irresponsible manufacturer. If you intend to buy a Kevlar canoe, we recommend that you do your research and pick a brand that cares for the environment and produces its Kevlar canoes in a sustainable way.
Kevlar canoes are one of the most desirable boats for paddlers. They are strong, lightweight, and require little to no maintenance. These canoes make portage and transportation easier. Their performance and maneuverability are unsurpassed. Although they tend to be expensive, they are worth the investment. If you are considering buying a Kevlar canoe, make sure to choose a sustainable manufacturer. It is also a good thing to know that you will use the canoe for a long time. If you want to get rid of your Kevlar canoe, we suggest that you try to sell it as a second-hand canoe.