Been paddling my shearwater 17 for 12 years now fairly hard use , is spent about 4 hours removing deck rigging  and sandinding. I'll  put  a few  coats of varnish on and it'll be brand new again. People often think these boats are delicate  and have to be pampered but they are  actually  far more durable and easier to repair than fiberglass boats

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RE: Durability

Amen and Amen!

Picture below is the bottom of my Wahoo after a varnish refresh.  The boat had over 1000 miles on it when this picture was taken and the week before it won 1st place in the Sea Kayak division in a 26 mile race on a low water/very rocky Suwannee River.

RE: Durability

   I agree that they are easier to repair and restore than poly/plastic boats, but I think they ARE fiberglass boats! Multiple costs of fiberglass and varnish cover an Okume shell.

RE: Durability

  They are composite boats. 


Just stay away from the oyster beds and low tide. 

RE: Durability

   Wood core fiberglass boats, best of both worlds 

RE: Durability

my wife's chesapeake 14 is now over 20 years old.....and still going strong.

every 7 or 8 years it got totally refinished and we just make sure to deal with any big/deep scratches when it happens.

one major repair where we had to replace a section of hull when we dropped it from on high (a fibreglass boat would have been totaled)....but you would never know unless you knew where to look.

keeping it dry and storing it in the garage are the other keys to long life.  but durability....not a problem.


RE: Durability

+1 to keep it dry and store in a garage. Sunlight, standing water, insects, rodents -- none of them are your boat's friends.   

RE: Durability


now that i have picture up and running again, i thought a quick pic of my wife's Chesapeake 14.....that dates from over 20 years ago with my shearwater....dates from about 8 years ago.

and a picture of my modified night heron dating 10 years old but refinished last year...



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