Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rockfinders! Which kayak finds the most rocks?

Plastic Boreal Baffin (left) vs fiberglass Maelstrom Vaag 174 (right)
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Which kayak finds the most rocks?

Tag, you're it!

The fiberglass kayak will find the most rocks. Usually. It's a given.

So, when the wind is up, and the water levels are down, and rocks and shoals you've never seen before are peeking out, I go for plastic. My yellow Boreal Baffin.

Out on the water, I let the fiberglass kayak do all the work, "There's a rock here, more over here."

"Gee, I haven't come across one. I'm in plastic."

This is a quiet moment in a bay out of the wind where plastic found the way to shore without hitting a rock and fiberglass followed.
Sometimes plastic, the tanks that they are, are your best friends.

Plastic and fiberglass can co-exist. If you can keep up. Fiberglass usually waits for you or comes back for you (it has no choice - if you have the keys to the car). And sometimes, you may rescue fiberglass or vice-versa.

At times, you may wonder, "Why did I leave fiberglass at home!? I could be moving much faster!"

How many times have you heard, "You're in plastic. You go first!"

How many years have you gotten away with no Gelcoat repairs?

It's great having two kayaks, one in plastic, one in fiberglass. I love them both truly. My yellow plastic Boreal Baffin and my white and blue fiberglass Maelstrom Vital 166.

But, as soon as I bring out the fiberglass kayak at the end of the season, it will find the "repair rock!" Two years running!

Happy fall paddles without repairs!
The BaffinPaddler

Location: Lac Deschenes, Ottawa River, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada


  1. So, Peggy, it's plastic or fiberglass? Plastic for me - hands down! Plastic is very forgivening. You can knock it around, run up over some rocks, experience a "hard stop" (hit a submerged object), and it keeps ticking. Wait! Maybe that's a watch! But, either way, I'll take plastic! ;-)

  2. I hear ya Mike. The speed and beauty of fiberglass is hard to beat, but the freedom and price of plastic is priceless!

  3. I love the look and stiffness of fiberglass - but give me a plastic boat that I don't have to worry about when I paddle! I really enjoy poking in close to shore and tempting the waves near rocks - not a good environment for fiberglass.

  4. I think next year I'll keep tabs on how many times I paddle plastic, and how many times I paddle fiberglass.

    I think it's 50/50 for me. I really like having one of each, so I can choose, "Let's see, do I feel like risking gelcoat repair today?!"

    Then I'll add up gelcoat repair costs. Usually it's about $70-80 because I send it to the shop. This year, I'm still clean, but the paddling season isn't over yet!