Rate your Ameriican made brands

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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88
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Kootenays BC
Although I have never tried one the Few Canadian made Delta's I have seen look like good quality boats.
Possibly a future purchase for me.

I am like you in a way SZ,
Give me a Canadian made boat proudly made by true Canadians.

Please remember here that I am more of a skin on frame guy with this one.

If I was going to buy a kayak made in the USA today it would be a Cape Falcon Kayak.
Mostly because I respect Brian's work and involvement in the kayaking community.
I honestly couldn't have built my kayak without his online videos.
 

CPS

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Oct 27, 2020
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180
Location
BC
China now.

Pelicans are made in Quebec, but I assume that's not what we're thinking of.

Deltas are nice boats. A pretty solid "good for most people" design on their boats, and fairly intuitively grouped by light touring (Day trips), touring (weekend) and performance touring (longer trips). They've also got some recreational boats which are nice if that's your jam. Wish they still had the 20' tandem to give people a decent option that isn't composite.
Some people are quick to point out that a thermoformed boat is fragile or brittle, but for most of the paddling most people do, it's not really worth getting too concerned about.
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kootenays BC
Pelicans are made in Quebec, but I assume that's not what we're thinking of.
I had assumed they were made in China or wherever they could get the cheapest labour.

I don't mind Pelicans.
They may be cheap, and ugly kayaks.
However they are durable, float and introduce more people to paddling where I call home than any other boat manufacturer.
Plus I am almost envious when I see their owners just running them onto rocky beaches without any worries.
 

pryaker

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Mar 23, 2010
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233
Location
Powell River BC
It's gettng more common to see Spectra cord used for rudder cables these days- mostly as retrofits in sea kayaks. I think all surfskis are using Spectra rudder lines. The THINK surfskis use Q-Powerline, a 600# test Spectra cord used by kitesurfers for rigging. It has a waxy outer sheath which is very low-friction. The Expedition Kayaks Audax boats come with 2mm Spectra lines for both steering and uphaul. Cord can be knotted so installation and some field repairs are much easier because of that. For the repair kit on trips, I have cord with thin (20-22 ga) stranded electrical wire leader attached with CA adhesive, so the replacement can be pushed through the tube if necessary. The leader just gets cut off after use.
Very timely post for me, thanks John! I just got back from a long trip paddling my wife's new Prijon Kodiak which has line for rudder controls. After her boat needed a cable repair mid-trip I was wondering how I'd fish a new line through the tubes in the kodiak if needed. My thoughts were that I'd need a wire to fish it and was thinking of tape or maybe CA glue; nice to know thats the method that works. Kinda ironic you need a wire/cable to fish a line that is intended to replace a cable...
 

red kite

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Feb 1, 2009
Messages
153
Location
comox valley
Some people are quick to point out that a thermoformed boat is fragile or brittle, but for most of the paddling most people do, it's not really worth getting too concerned about.
There's no scientific basis to this, just judging by what comes through my shop, but... I'd say that 90%+ of the damage on thermoform boats is from considerable and/or unfortunate drops or hits while (un)loading / transport / storage or the like.
I think the main concern is that a crack in thermoform immediately goes right through the material. In composite it would be more of a splintering crack / local delamination that often holds up until you can pull up on shore to apply the duct tape.


Plus I am almost envious when I see their owners just running them onto rocky beaches without any worries.
Which likely has more to with either a "who cares, it's cheap" attitude, and/or lack of education...

pelican.jpeg

It's not really a good resolution picture, but there is a hole in that thinned red inside layer. This Pelican kayak was half submersed when it reached shore and the owner was scratching their head because they couldn't figure out where the water in their "indestructible" kayak came from.
That missing white material is in nano layers on a boat ramp and parking lot near you...
(I think the identity of the owner is sufficiently protected, there are plenty of these about to happen out there, though...)
 
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cougarmeat

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Sep 17, 2012
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854
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Bend OR USA
>Which likely has more to with either a "who cares, it's cheap" attitude, and/or lack of education...

And, “… it’s a rental."

I was first taught, “Run it up on the beach; it’s just GelCoat.” Then I wore the gelcoat down to the fiberglass and had it repaired. Now, unless it is really soft, I’m happy to stand off in “wading” level water and get out. A keel strip helps, even if you have you suffer a small drag penalty. But the “sand” on Washington Beaches can attack the whole hull, not just the keel.
 
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drahcir

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Mar 26, 2010
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North Idaho (Sandpoint)
I was first taught, “Run it up on the beach; it’s just GelCoat.”
That's interesting! I was first taught that dragging any kayak onto the beach is forbidden as in "Would you drag your naked butt onto the beach". This instructor also taught us how to tie down kayaks for vehicle transport, even how to spare our backs when lifting kayaks, etc. Like you, I ultimately added keel strips to all my kayaks, The keel is the most vulnerable hull area and also likely to experience the most damage. Still, I am careful getting my kayak onto the beach.
 

AM

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Jan 30, 2006
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Vancouver
I know we’re veering off topic (when do we not?), but the most valuable lesson I received from an experienced coach years ago was this: “don’t baby your boat”. He was of the BCU “land in anger“ school and grew frustrated at us students because we flinched at rough landings and launching. I have since adopted his attitude and assume that my boats need keel-strips and periodic maintenance.

Apparently back in the old days Mike Neckar would deliver new fibreglass kayaks to his dealers by tossing them onto the sidewalk, providing pre-scuffed boats to the public.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
I know we’re veering off topic (when do we not?), but the most valuable lesson I received from an experienced coach years ago was this: “don’t baby your boat”. He was of the BCU “land in anger“ school and grew frustrated at us students because we flinched at rough landings and launching. I have since adopted his attitude and assume that my boats need keel-strips and periodic maintenance.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
I was a rank beginner when I took a weekend course at BodyBoatBlade with Leon Somme and Shawna Franklin. Coming into a gravel beach, i was positioning my kayak to do the side-on, paddle out on the beach for support, exit that I'd seen in a book or online. Leon set me straight in a hurry:
"Run that boat straight on to the beach"!
:)
Shawna later laughed and commented "Gelcoat is like women's makeup- if the surface is looking worn, just add more!" :)

Gelcoat is made to be repaired. Boats are made to be used and it is very difficult to 'wear through' most glass boats.

Worrying about scratches in my boats is like worrying about marks on the face of a hammer. For me, the boat is a tool for fun and exploration. Whenever I see an older boat with a pristine hull, I think : "How sad! Good boat, but it's never seen much real use."
 

sofstu

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Jun 14, 2021
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Kootenays BC
I don't hesitate running my skin boats onto the sand and even rocks if I have to.
However thats only if I have too.
My one has a Ballistic fabric coating and I have taken that one in a rough shallow river without any noticeable damage.

I often use Gorilla Tape, clear on the keel.
Then peel it off about once a year and retape it.
It's not a perfect solution but sure protects the hull from light scratches.
 

SZihn

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Jul 1, 2021
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Shoshoni Wyoming
John my sister has a few friends that paddle on the Alaska coast a lot and 2 of them told me that if you want to "use the hell out of a kayak" that Poly is the way to go, for that exact reason. I was told Yes they are heavier, but they are said to be a LOT more durable.

I have zero experience with anything but poly, so I can only say what I am told,----- but it sounds like you and several others here are saying the same thing.

I have wondered about the thermo molded poly boats. Are they somewhere in-between composites and polypropylene in ruggedness?
 

CPS

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Oct 27, 2020
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BC
There's no scientific basis to this, just judging by what comes through my shop, but... I'd say that 90%+ of the damage on thermoform boats is from considerable and/or unfortunate drops or hits while (un)loading / transport / storage or the like.
Driving into underground parking with the boat still in J cradles...
 

JohnAbercrombie

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John my sister has a few friends that paddle on the Alaska coast a lot and 2 of them told me that if you want to "use the hell out of a kayak" that Poly is the way to go, for that exact reason. I was told Yes they are heavier, but they are said to be a LOT more durable.

I have zero experience with anything but poly, so I can only say what I am told,----- but it sounds like you and several others here are saying the same thing.
I've never owned a rotomolded or thermoform (like Delta) boat - only glass or similar composite factory boats and home-built wood core epoxy glass boats.
If you want to smash into rocks, poly is the way to go IMO.
But a poly boat will get 'hairy' (and slower) with use, unlike a glass boat which can be repaired easily with gelcoat and brought back to like-new smoothness and gelcoat thickness. (Not necessarily like-new appearance unless the original gelcoat was straight white....).
I don't think there's much disagreement with the idea that a composite boat is usually stiffer and faster than a poly boat of the same hull shape.
And poly boats do have disadvantages - pretty much impossible to modify, more difficult to get a good fit with the sprayskirt, molded hatch rims tend to leak, etc....
But, yes, poly boats do have advantages. @Philip.AK who posts reports of his amazing Alaska trips here uses poly boats.

I've only done one little trip in Alaska (in Prince William Sound) but I found the beach conditions about the same as here in B.C..
 

cougarmeat

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I just keep in the back of my mind that instructors/coaches probably don’t pay as much for their boats because of deals with suppliers. When I first moved to Bend, some friends, who ran a Ski shop, helped me get into Fischer’s “Pro” program and all my skis were half price. If I could buy new kayaks at half price, I might think about it a little differently. I’d be surprised if Shawna and Leon paid full retail for their boats. I’m guessing they also had access to quality repair work.

It’s not that I baby the boat - more that I don’t purposely abuse it. If I can land safely without shaving off some micro-particle, I will.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I’d be surprised if Shawna and Leon paid full retail for their boats. I’m guessing they also had access to quality repair work.
The point that Leon was making when correcting me is that the 'side exit' method was dangerous if waves were around, and impractical to boot.
I learned my top priority should have been to get myself on the beach safely and quickly and then pull the boat after me.
Anyway, I'd guess that 95% of the deeper scratches in my boats' hulls were caused by me paddling up on to a barnacle-encrusted rock while going 'full-tilt', not when landing. If there are really nasty rocks/oysters at the landing, I do try to be careful.
Fixing gouges, chips and scratches in gelcoat, or adding extra 'sacrificial' gelcoat is about the easiest job to do.
I've taught most of my friends how to do gelcoat work. When they asked if I could fix the scratches in their boats, my reply was:"No, but I can teach you how to do it yourself." It's worked out pretty well.
I do have one friend who carries pool noodles to place under his boat before he pulls it on to the beach at stops on day paddles.
Not my style - "life is too short to worry about that" springs to my mind.
I'm 70+, so I'll let the auctioneer (or my widow) worry about the resale value of my boats when I've finished with them. :)
 

chodups

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Nov 2, 2005
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1,137
When I first moved to Bend, some friends, who ran a Ski shop, helped me get into Fischer’s “Pro” program and all my skis were half price. If I could buy new kayaks at half price, I might think about it a little differently. I’d be surprised if Shawna and Leon paid full retail for their boats.
I was the beneficiary of prodeals for 47 years prior to retirement and half retail or less was the going rate. Of course you were expected/encouraged to stick with products that you sold so pimp what you got, right? And that was usually the case but sometimes the ski/boot/boat/paddle that you wanted wasn't a product that you represented and no prodeal was available.

There were 16 hell-ish years after our daughter was born that Jean and I were operating on an extremely thin budget that left no disposable income to pay for new gear of any sort and certainly not pay for lift tickets. During those 16 years I was supported by local reps who ensured that I was able to ski with the latest demo gear and paddle most anything I needed. Can't thank them enough.

About nine years ago before I retired in 2019 I found something in a boat that I had to have but had to pay retail, something I had done only for food, cars, groceries, lodging and BC Ferries. It was a harsh toke but helped me understand the economics of the majority of the paddling demographic.

....and I'm sure that Leon and Shauna haven't paid retail for gear in many years.......
 
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AM

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The point that Leon was making when correcting me is that the 'side exit' method was dangerous if waves were around, and impractical to boot.
I learned my top priority should have been to get myself on the beach safely and quickly and then pull the boat after me.
This. Body before boat.
 
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