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PostPosted: September 10th, 2018, 10:26 pm 
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Hey there,

I have the opportunity to buy a pre owned fiberglass canoe.

I know about the differences between fiberglass and Kevlar.

For a cottage boat, fiberglass makes total sense. But if you plan on using the boat to do 2 to 3 days trips on a regular basis, and have the possibility to resell at a decent price, is fiberglass still a good idea?
Are serious tripping boat going to be made in fiberglass for long in your opinion?

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 2:34 am 
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Location: Enkhuizen
It depends on how much it weighs.
For a very small boat, fiberglass still can be a good option if the weight is below say 44 lb (20 kg).
Otherwise I think most people will want something light weight when it comes to FRP lay-ups.
But that is my view from this side of the big pond ;-)

Dirk Barends

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 7:32 am 
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Really just comes down to your tolerance for weight. That's about it.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 8:20 am 
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Absolutely nothing wrong with a fiberglass canoe in good condition at the right price. Yes they weigh a bit more but they cost a lot less. For example a Northern Canoes Prospector 16' lists at $1,795 compared to the Kevlar model at $2,695. For those who don't know, Northern Canoes is Swift's 'value' brand.

http://www.northerncanoes.com/prospectormodels

Nova Craft is also still selling brand new fiberglass boats.

From a performance perspective, there is no difference in how the boat will perform on the water. For the same model, there will be no difference in capacity for a composite boat in a fiberglass layup compared to a kevlar or carbon layup. Royalex or T-formex boats do tend to differ from the composite layups of the same nominal model due to limitations in what can be shaped with those materials.

The only measurable difference between a fiberglass boat and a kevlar or carbon boat will be in weight and that difference is going to be in the range of 10 lbs for the same boat. If you were buying a brand new Northern Canoes Prospector 16' the price difference works out to about $75/lb. Whether or not the weight savings match the cost probably depends on how long the portage is and which end you are currently at. ;-)

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 9:57 am 
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Nothing wrong with fiberglass if you can carry it.

$1200 for a Solitude is a hefty price unless you were ready to buy it new. :D

My first boats were all glass and I used them hard and never lost a penny in resale.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 11:35 am 
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Canoeheadted wrote:
Nothing wrong with fiberglass if you can carry it.

My first boats were all glass and I used them hard and never lost a penny in resale.


My first boats were aluminum, so a glass boat was no heavier and a lot more, uh, no keel, blunt stem or rivet head hydrodynamic.

A well made and well designed fiberglass canoe may lack nothing in terms of design and durability than weight. While I would rather have an SSKK layup (or maybe some carbon fiber) for tripping durability a fiberglass hull with a good schedule of lay up partials can be plenty tough without weighing absurdly more than a pricier kevlar composite.

Just for funsies a few years ago I took a look at the cost delta from a couple different manufacturers offering the same model canoe in various weights from glass to kevlar to carbon lay up. The cost graph is almost exponential; eeking the last couple pounds out of a hull gets pricey.

But there are a lot of qualifiers in that paragraph above; “may”, “well made”, “well designed” and “good schedule of lay up partials”.

There are some pretty crappy fiberglass canoes, both new and old. And there are some good ones, both modern day glass canoes and stuff 30+ years old. To take one example of the latter, the Mad River fiberglass canoes built from the late 70’s late 90’s were some really well made boats.

I expect that is true of at least some other quality manufacturers of the day.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 1:15 pm 
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Thanks for the answer guys.
I was wondering if glass boats were going to be phased out in the "near"future (let say in 5 years) and that everyone will use Kevlar instead.

Canoeheadted wrote:
Nothing wrong with fiberglass if you can carry it.
$1200 for a Solitude is a hefty price unless you were ready to buy it new. :D
My first boats were all glass and I used them hard and never lost a penny in resale.


Hey I didn't say I was looking at a $1,200 Solitude. Ok, ok... maybe I am looking at that boat : )
And yes, I agree, this is not a super cheap deal, hence why I am asking myself questions. difficult to get an objective idea of what would be a fair price.

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 2:21 pm 
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Tereva wrote:
I was wondering if glass boats were going to be phased out in the "near"future (let say in 5 years) and that everyone will use Kevlar instead.


I don’t think so. The better made “kevlar” boats often incorporate some glass partials. Both fiberglass and nylon have a place in durable layups. I wouldn’t necessarily want an all kevlar hull.

Going forward, with vacuum bagging increasingly common, depending on cost and availability, kevlar, carbon fiber, basalt, tweed weaves and etc may become more available. But probably not less costly.

The next newest super duper composite canoe material is probably right around the corner. Synthetic spider silk anyone?

I think glass, at least in partials, is here to stay, especially in the least costly composite layup schedules.

To the other question, about a “fair” price, I am frugal, so my opinion is bias. As a yardstick I use 2/3 of retail cost on a used boat, a bit more if it is in really good shape, highly sought after or rare.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 4:01 pm 
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If future resale value is part of your calculations then personally I'd say the current asking price is probably more than you really want to pay.

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 6:04 pm 
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Quote:
difficult to get an objective idea of what would be a fair price


As Ted says, if you're actually prepared to purchase a boat like this new anyway, well, then pretty much any price below retail is a good price! Especially if a boat is in very good condition. You can just choose to save some money or not!

As for the rarity that Mike mentioned, that has much to do with the market as the canoe - Vancouver area is not Ontario when it comes to the canoe population.

2/3rds price for good boats is probably a reasonable benchmark for what may be fair, but I like things to be more "fair" to me, so prefer 1/2!

Ballpark, I'd say that good canoes are always pretty easy to sell and re-sell in that $800 range, and over for $1,000 people might prefer new or to wait for other options.

So, if it's a boat I really want anyway and is in good condition, I'm less picky about the price. But if it's a boat that I'm not certain about, or a boat that's already a little rough, I strongly prefer to know that I can re-sell sell it without a loss.

No concerns about tried & true fiberglass canoes going anywhere, especially from someone like Clipper who's been doing it well for a long time.

Pat.

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 6:22 pm 
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I wouldn't personally buy a fiberglass canoe. There's and old saying "the poor man pays twice". If you plan to continue to get further into backcountry tripping and possibly head out on longer trips you'll eventually dump the fiberglass (at a loss) and get a kevlar / kev-spectra / innegra boat and be glad you did. While you'll most likely end up with the canoe you really want, you'll have spent 1.5 X the price by taking the long way home.

This is my general philosophy on any purchase involving something that is a passion or serious interest. Save up and make the right purchase once. It's ultimately more cost effective and satisfying.

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 6:42 pm 
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For eight years I paddle a fiberglass Nomad by Dave Curtis circa 1988. Beautiful boat. It weighs 43 lbs, while contemporary superlight kevlar will be probably at 30-32, but I won't run rapids in superlight kevlar and it will cost 2-3 times more, even used.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 8:43 pm 
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Nomad doesn't come in superlight kevlar. It is light at 29 lbs with infused carbon rails and carbon fiber/kev/ glass.

Now made by Colden Canoe. It is an infused layup but Paul will also do wooden gunwales. http://www.coldencanoe.com/nomad.html

I cannot justify buying one as I have a Curtis Nomad from 1987. Its heavier and I believe it is 42 lbs and it is indeed kevlar with gelcoat.. It would be touching 50 if glass.. Not sure LDC ever did pure glass.

The issue with fiberglass is market demand.. Even with the huge difference in price, there is no demand for fiberglass.. Placid tried to make their boats in all the layups and fiberglass just wasnt in demand. They still use fiberglass of course in selected areas as all canoe makers do.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 10:22 pm 
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littleredcanoe wrote:
The issue with fiberglass is market demand.. Even with the huge difference in price, there is no demand for fiberglass..


It seems to be the case: lot of glass canoes on Craiglist, not a single Kevlar.

Doesn't mean they are not fine boats, but reselling them can be more difficult. Or maybe there is so much glass canoes around that this is what you mostly see.

Canoeguitar wrote:
I am asking myself the same question.
But I think that if I manage do score a good deal on a fiberglass I will go for it. if I can't, either I bite the bullet and buy a Kevlar new to be able to get on the water a bit while it is still possible, or I keep looking hoping something comes up during winter.

Cheers,

T.


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2018, 4:55 am 
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Tereva wrote:
[...]
Doesn't mean they are not fine boats, but reselling them can be more difficult. [...]

That is what I meant to say too.

Dirk Barends

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