Rate your Ameriican made brands

cougarmeat

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John, I completely agree with you if landing with breaking waves - get out of the boat, don’t get between the boat and the shore (when boat is parallel) and get the boat out of the water/surf as soon as possible. But if it’s a flat lagoon, where I can just drift in, I will. Depending upon the drop off, that extra 8 - 10 feet between bow and cockpit could make the difference between being in water up to my knees or over my head.

If I lived near you, you would have a lot of free coffee drinks if you showed me how to make minor touchups.

Some differences are just “differences” - like my friend Bob was very fond of advocating the use of a snow picket. My background led me to favor a snow fluke. Each has it’s good points and weaknesses. There’s something to be said for caring for your gear, and there can certainly be caring too much. Part of me says I’d like to use my boat so much I’d wear it out. But if I did really damage it - like paddle hard right up on the beach but don’t see the big rock just under the surface - I wouldn’t be in a position to buy a new (used) one. And all the shops around here focus on blowup paddle boards and poly whitewater boats.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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....and I'm sure that Leon and Shauna haven't paid retail for gear in many years.......
When they owned BodyboatBlade they were NDK dealers, so that surely was true.
That said, their boats were pretty 'beat' and I think Shawna told me that they kept them for "a few" years.
Her Romany in the years I took courses at BBB had a pretty distinctive colour scheme - Red deck, yellow sheer stripe, black hull, with stars on the hull.
 

Jasper

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Portland, OR, US
If you want to smash into rocks, poly is the way to go IMO.
To be honest, I always felt a lot safer smashing my Express into rocks then my Stratos and Delphin. But the never ending gel coat repairs get old, and I kinda want my Express to last me the rest of my life. It kinda feels wrong from an ecological perspective to bash a poly boat on the rocks as a throwaway item though...

I kinda try to tell myself it's ok as long as I pick up more plastic from the beaches than I leave on the rocks, but that might be an addicts rationalisation....
 

Jasper

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Jun 8, 2017
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For what it's worth, Eddyline is working on establishing a Mexican production partner. Scott and Brittany(majority owners) are moving to Mexico to oversee that process. I don't know any details, and I'm not going to ask them till they are ready to release more information.

My guess is that the explosion in the recreational kayak market and their non-profit work in healthcare PPD overwhelmed even their move to a larger Washington state production facility.

With this, Snapdragon's shutdown, and Kokotat's sale, there are some interesting shifts in the US paddling industry...
 

Mowog73

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Apr 27, 2021
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SW Ontario
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."
Amen brother! :)

The cream-coloured bottom of my kayak has many white gelcoat patches.

I try to be careful on landings, I don't want to put extra scratches in the hull, but landing safely is more important.

Plastic boats are tough but I've shown friends how tough a composite boat is and that they are not fragile. I'm not against plastic boats, I just know that a composite boat is much tougher than people think.
 

rider

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Jul 12, 2005
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I am for one slightly confused by the nature of this question. Why does it matter in the first place? Is this for buying a boat or investing in a company? If it's the former, you should first decide on what type of performance characteristics and fit you want and then pick a boat that best suits your needs. If it's the latter, the industry, Covid boom aside, has been in a decline for years....
 

Jasper

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Jun 8, 2017
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Portland, OR, US
I am for one slightly confused by the nature of this question. Why does it matter in the first place? Is this for buying a boat or investing in a company? If it's the former, you should first decide on what type of performance characteristics and fit you want and then pick a boat that best suits your needs. If it's the latter, the industry, Covid boom aside, has been in a decline for years....
There are a lot of reasons to prefer to buy local. As a generalisation(dangerous territory!) the left likes to focus on the environmental benefits of not shipping goods around the world, the right tends to focus more on supporting the local economy. I think it is kinda nice in our divided world to be able to agree on something! I don't think performance characteristics need to be a limiting factor in this, often local manufacturers have a unique ability to know what characteristics work in the local conditions.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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Since the US is the 2nd greatest exporter in the world, the 'America First' movement seems to be a bit 'not playing fair' to me.
When other countries retaliate, it may prove to be counter-productive.
And those 'Made in Canada' and 'Made in USA' kayaks aren't really....if you look at the sources for the materials.
One of the reasons that "US-made" neoprene sprayskirts and wetusits were in short supply was that the neoprene all came from Asia, and the main plant cut back production because of COVID, according to what I was told by a dive store owner in Nanaimo.
Back to kayaking.....
 

JKA

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Jul 25, 2016
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Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
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...
I don't use Spectra on my rudder-equipped kayak, I've stuck with stainless steel cable.

I have never broken a ss cable yet (touch wood), but I have experienced MANY failures of Spectra cords. These were all on fleet/rental boats, and their failures could (should) be put down to poor servicing.

Maybe if these boats had stainless steel cables there would have been even greater failures, I don't know. It may just be a numbers game: most of the fleets have Spectra cables.

I do know that trying to feed a new Spectra cable down a thin tube mid-trip is a frustrating exercise. The wire-leader idea will go into the brain tool-box!
 

rider

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Jul 12, 2005
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So while I am still convinced this is a totally back-asswards way to go about picking what boat to buy...I happen to own 3 American kayaks and one Canadian canoe, and have owned many more over the years. My US-built Sirocco (from the good old days when they came with the Kajak Sport lids) has been my faithful trip companion for many years, and damn near flawless build, except for one pinhole leak through a deck line fitting which took me a bit to find. Before that I had a Canadian built Sirocco and it must have been molded by either a faulty machine or drunk operator. I have owned 2 Canadian made poly Necky Elahos and 2 poly Chathams, and the quality left some to be desired on 3 out of the 4.
My Stratos... it's a great hull design for ocean play, with just enough speed and capacity for a trip up to a week. It's also a build where they plainly cut corners to make a price point. The bulkheads are made of cheap awful foam that until then I have only seen used for packaging(2 yr old boat needed serious re sealing!) . The thigh hooks needed beefing up to be up to par for my intended use (C'mon Confluence, you build ww boats and can do so much better), the hatch covers notoriously need straps and buckles added to keep them on in serious conditions because again, instead of biting the bullet and spending money on quality Kajak Sport lids, they went with an in-house design to save cost.
The Jackson Karma creekboat which has mostly been collecting dust for the last 2 years, also US built, also good hull with outfitting built with slant to cut cost.
At one point I owned a Seaward Legend and damaged the hull with a surprisingly light impact.
Owned a Canadian built Solstice GTS, remember it fondly despite always thinking the H-track hull/deck joint is crap, and the gasket type hatches are a bit goofy.
The Clipper canoe, I got after 15-20 years of summer camp use when it was retired and ready for life as a planter. A trip to Western and about 2 weeks of work on it and it's sister ship, had it good for another 20 years and me convinced that Western/Clipper is an excellent company and a good bunch of helpful people. This was the only time where buying local felt worthwhile.
 
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