Thermoform boats – owners' experience

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Jonathan Stewart.
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  • #13335
    Harald Riffel

    The other day Marc posted a question on this forum about Thermoform boats.  I am surprised that no one has replied.  There are several club members that have owned Thermoformed boats for some years.  Please pass on your experience and let us know how these boats have performed over the years.

    How does the hull bottom hold up to being dragged up and down the beach?

    Does the hull hold it’s shape, or is the bottom prone to developing waves like some rotomolded boats?

    Has anyone damaged their boats and had them repaired?

    Are there any features – positive or negative – that stand out for you about your Thermoformed boat?

    If you own a Thermoform boat, please pass on your experience and opinions.  If you are paddling with a club member that has a Thermoform boat, please urge them to respond to this post.  Thanks.


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  • #13337
    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.

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