Reply To: Thermoform boats – owners' experience

Jonathan Stewart

I’ve been pleased with my Delta 16 so far (about 2 years).  Having used kevlar hulls previously, I was uncertain about plastic but decided to give it a go.  The boat is light at 48 pounds, reasonably stiff and tracks well.  As to durability, I avoid dragging it up and down beaches, but I did drop the bow off the roof rack onto the road one day, and it survived that just fine.  I doubt that the ABS/acrylic plastic will have the longevity of glass or kevlar, and I understand that the hulls have to go to the manufacturer in Maple Ridge for any major repairs.  Were I doing far-flung expeditions I would want to learn more about how to do field repairs, which can be tricky.  I haven’t noted any “oil-canning” that poly boats are vulnerable to (where the boat deforms, sometimes permanently, when pressured onto roof-rack bars).  I should note, though, that I use Yakima j-bars, which eliminate that problem.    Overall, I have no issues with thermoformed plastic as a material.  Hope that helps.