Lifespan of plastic boats

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Tunowit, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Tunowit

    Tunowit New Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    Just wondering what one could expect in terms of lifespan for a boat made of polyethylane. Wouldnt mind a rough estimate for a boat stored in sun and one stored out. Seen numbers saying up to 10 years for a plastic boat, some saying only 5 years.

    Looking at picking up a used boat, so any information is appreciated!

  2. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

    Mar 16, 2005
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I had a plastic Prijon Seayak that was 2 years old when I bought it. I kept it for about 12 years before I sold it for more than I originally paid for it. It was still in great shape other than some deep scratches on the bottom of the hull. The only work I ever put into it was replacing the bungies although the neoprene sub-covers on the hatches were starting to go. The pigment in the plastic had faded a bit but I didn't observe any UV degradation of the plastic.
  3. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

    Jul 2, 2009
    I recently sold a Perception white water boat that was built in 1991. I'm no plastics expert, so not sure of the exact type of plastic but this boat still had lots of potential life left in it. Pushin' 20 years old, not too bad.
  4. AM

    AM Paddler

    Jan 30, 2006
    My Prijon Kodiak is over a dozen years old. It was an outfitter's boat, then a friend bought it, then I picked it up. It's been stored indoors most of it's life, but not always. Some fading, but the plastic is still strong.
  5. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

    Sep 18, 2010
    British Columbia, Canada
    I bought a used Dagger Ego last year. It was made in 2001 and was in exceptional condition. The boat was stored indoors and only used in freshwater, and I'm not sure what it would look like if it was stored outside in the sun.

    Any boats, be it plastic or glass, will become brittle if exposed to the elements for long periods of time. The life expectancy of a boat greatly depends on how it is stored.

    My Avocet lv is stored outside with a danuu cover on it and at the beginning of each season I give it a coating of 303 protectant. 303 is a sunscreen for your gear and would work on plastic boats too :)
  6. MartinZ

    MartinZ Paddler

    Jun 17, 2007
    Bahia de Kino, Sonora, Mexico
    It seems to be very much about how well it has been protected from UV. I've got a ' 95 Pirouette that has seen little use and was stored inside. It is as strong and bright as the day it was bought.
  7. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

    Apr 28, 2010
    Saskatoon, SK
    The local canoe club here in Saskatoon has a few kayaks now (CD Storm, CD Squall, and a couple of others) that date to the early to mid-nineties, all rotomolded plastic. These kayaks are being retired, or have recently been retired, but it is not due to the plastic deteriorating but rather due to wear and tear after many miles of hard use & much abuse. As far as I have noticed, the plastic looks more or less similar to new, but very scratched of course and some fading. It's not brittle as far as I could tell. These kayaks have been stored indoors in an unheated boathouse. They are unused for basically 6 months a year but see fairly heavy freshwater use for the remainder of the year.