lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

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tomjones50
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lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by tomjones50 »

Hi everyone

Im a 5'9 75kg Male

I've got into kayaking in the last two years, around Cornwall and South Wales. Currenlty using a Venus 11 (i know its 'meant for women'). I've loved how light it is -about 20kg /44lbs. I can carry it when the tide is fully out or to different spots....just about.
Currently doing single day trips -around 10 miles. looking to work up to maybe two day trips but nothing more than that.

It seems like a 12-14 foot boat would be an appropriate step up from the 10.5 sit on top. However I dont really want anything heavier than the Venus 11 - 20kg.

However i dont want to shell out 2k on a composite boat - i dont trust myself not to damage it in some way


I have have been looking at thermoformed kayaks because they seem to fit the bill - Eddyline and Delta look incredible, but shipping from west cosat USA looks like it will push up the cost. Has anyone managed to get a thermoformed boat in the UK?

I was wondering if anyone else has been in similar position?


TLDR: im looking for a 12-14 foot kayak max weight 20kg /45lbs Budget around £1300

please dont reply with "Im 5'1 and carry my 60lbs boat for 5km, then flick it back on car roof with my wrists" this is not terrible helpful

Hengle
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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Hengle »

The Vajda https://www.vajdagroup.comboats are thermoformed in Styrolite and offer a range of Skis and Sea type kayaks, they are available in the UK from Craig at Marsport http://marsport.co.uk. We had one of their junior boats in this construction a while back and it was really good.
Heng

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Chris Bolton »

Your budget may not stretch to a new thermoformed boat. One possibility is a used composite boat; you're not putting as much investment at risk, and it has the advantage that you can typically sell such a boat for what you paid for it (provided you don't destroy it!) which gives the option to switch to different design at low cost.

tomjones50
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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by tomjones50 »

Thanks for the advice! Just out of interest, what do thermoformed boats of this size cost roughly?

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by simon64 »

Have you considered modular take apart kayaks ? Whilst the total sum of the parts may be heavy, each section is quite light and can be dismantled for easy storage and transportation, also worth getting a trolley to help with the journey from car to launch.
You can also add sections should you wish to take a passenger or five.
Point 65 do the modular kayaks.
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Re: Lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? Thermoformed?

Post by Jim »

Sorry, I'm not aware of thermoformed kayaks, so neither of the ones mentioned.
12-14 feet is more of an inland touring length than a sea kayak length, not that this is critical, but I wonder if the boats you are looking at have sea kayak features?
I'm not really sure if there are rotomoulded boats in either inland touring or sea kayak designs that would come in under 20kg - possibly some inland designs would be they may be too flexible to carry camping kit in waves, I think you would need to be looking at a modern composite design, and I suspect the £1300 budget would be blown unless you are very canny with choosing a second hand bargain.

Firstly, do not be frightened of damaging composite boats, they are much tougher than often given credit for, especially if they are more exotic than old fashioned E-glass and polyester resin. Sure you will crack and chip the gel coat, and sometimes crack the underlying laminate, but even when this happens it is possible to effect strong repairs using appropriate cloth and resin at home, or field repairs with gaffer tape. On a multi-day trip you may even be able to make a resin repair overnight if conditions are dry and warm.

Secondly, why modern? Well, partly that material issue but mainly how it affects weight. 1970's built boats (which you can pick up well within your budget) were built heavily using glassfibre and polyester resin - I just sold my old boat and I popped it on the scales just to see what weight it actually is - 29.05kg (actually less than I expected). So a vintage sea kayak is not going to meet your requirements. As composite technology has improved, sea kayak manufacturers have improved designs, perhaps not at the same pace, but certainly by a significant amount. Instead of a thick heavy fibreglass laminate, you can now get stiffer boats that use carbon/kevlar laminate around a lightweight core material with epoxy or vinylester resin - overall weight has gone down, strength and stiffness has gone up (and the outfitting is much better). My current sea kayak is an 18 foot Taran in lightweight carbon/kevlar construction, with 3 bulkheads and a deck pod, 4 rubber hatches and a rudder system, it weighed in at just under 20kg, new it cost more than 2.5 times your budget, but you don't need to be looking for such a big boat with such complex outfitting. I haven't looked extensively at boat specifications for some time, but I know that Tiderace, for example, have always offered boats with a sandwich type construction (the actual core they use varies depending on purpose and location within the boat), so it might be worth looking up the specifications of their early designs to see if anything would fit your weight criteria. Most manufacturers will have something in or close to your weight range, so you need to scour all the websites and identify all suitable boats and them scour the forums and for sale groups to find a second hand one within budget. The ideally you would get a test paddle to see if it suits you before buying, but that is another subject entirely!

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Jim »

Hengle wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:05 pm
The Vajda https://www.vajdagroup.comboats are thermoformed in Styrolite and offer a range of Skis and Sea type kayaks, they are available in the UK from Craig at Marsport http://marsport.co.uk. We had one of their junior boats in this construction a while back and it was really good.
Heng
That's really interesting, I paddle Vajda composite boats and hadn't spotted that they make sea kayaks in Styrolight.
I had recently heard about some boats they made some time ago where they used styrolight (or something similar sounding) to vacuum form a skin and then laid up a fibre reinforced laminate on the inside which bonded to the skin making it effectively both the mould and the gel coat in one go allowing for high production rates with minimum tooling (a few minutes on the vacuum form mould, vs usually 24 hours occupying a traditional mould).

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Chris Bolton »

Just out of interest, what do thermoformed boats of this size cost roughly?
Somewhere, I saw a price for the Vadja Mission X1 of about £2200, but I can't find it again. It appears that Marsport don't sell the Vadja thermoformed boats (and possibly no Vadja boats at all but their website is terrible), and https://www.northborn.co.uk say they are the sole UK importer, but only list competition boats.

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Hengle »

Hi Chris
When I last was in the Marsport Shop in Reading Craig had a seakayak hanging on the wall in Styrolite, He is also the importer for their race boats into the UK
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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Irish Sea »

Have you considered building your own boat? Stitch and glue, skin on frame or even a wood strip construction boat would meet your price and weight requirements and there are a lot of designs to choose from. Something like the Cape Falcon F1 in skin on frame or a Nick Schade Petrel Play in stich and glue or woodstrip come to mind.

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Jim »

I don't know about Marsport, Northborn have essentially taken over the part of the Vajda range that Hydrasport used to import, i.e. slalom, but that does not necessarily mean there is not room for other importers to be importing from their other ranges.

Before Brexit ruined the import part of his business, Steve from Hydrasport (who knew I was doing some sea kayak racing) asked me if I knew of anyone in the UK using the Vajda surf ski's because he was interested in importing them (I've never seen one and never heard the surf ski guys talk about/compare them to others) because no-one else was at the time. I think the few Freestyle paddlers who use Vajda boats import their boats directly from Vajda and some slalom paddlers have done that whilst things were uncertain, but hopefully now the Gibson's have taken over it will be relatively easy to buy Vajda slalom boats again.

Although the Gibsons are primarily a slalom family, I know Gary and Jane were training in K1 and K2 for a descent race in SA (I'm not sure if they have done it or still in the pipeline) so do have an interest in the longer boats and unless they would be treading on another importer's (i.e. Marsport) toes I'm sure they could include a sea kayak, surf ski or K1 in a shipment. I was actually chatting with Gary and others yesterday (although the conversation was about paddles and surf boats) and I know they are looking to looking to make sure they aren't too niche.

So if the Styrolight sea kayaks are of interest, I'm sure Craig will respond fairly quickly if he is actively importing Vajda boats, if not ask Northborn (probably Eilidh), I am sure they will help if they can.

tomjones50
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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by tomjones50 »

All really good information again! thanks everyone. it seems like there are a few European stores that sell thermoformed kayaks. This one in the Netherlands seems to fit my bill https://www.kanoshop.nl/hurricane-sojourn-135.html. its also at a reasonable price 1400 euros has anyone ever imported a boat from the EU? im hoping its not too costly - providing we are still in the EU when it is shipped (touchy subject).

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Re: lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? thermoformed?

Post by Jim »

My friend imported a WWR K1 from Czech, she paid 500 euros, but the manufacturer did basically send a man with a van with only that kayak on it so that is probably a fair price for his round trip! Normally the manufacturers or their reps or team paddlers attend international races and deliver boats that way, but she needed to outfit and train in the boat before the next big race.
As long as we are in the EU, it is all down to the cost of shipping large items, which is often expensive. Depending where you live, it may be cheaper to book your own car on a ferry or eurotunnel and collect it yourself...

No idea what duty would be due if/when we leave. I have never had customs stop and ask us to prove that we even owned all the boats on our roof rack going between UK and EU, never mind to prove we owned them before we left and were not importing them - we were pulled out of line and asked some questions coming back from a trip to Spain and France in June but once we explained we had been to Pyrenees Cup and World Cup races they decided not to ask us to unload the boats to check for contraband or why we had more boats than people in the car (they did all belong to us, that time, but how often in groups have we ended up travelling in different vehicles to our boats?). However, post - Brexit that might all change...

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Re: Lightweight 12-14 foot kayak? Thermoformed?

Post by Beryl »

Another option to get to that weight is a wooden kayak. Mine is nearly eighteen feet expedition boat yet only weighs 19kgs. Also it only cost £350 off eBay. Problem is they aren’t common. Look up the ‘Shrike’ on this forum to get an idea of what’s possible. Like you I want something that is manageable off the water as well as on.
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