glass vs plastic

General Kayak Fishing Discussions
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poodle
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:29 am

Without starting a war what are the pro's and cons of plastic vs glass for a hull?
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RCB
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:51 am

I know I wouldn't have attempted in glass what I did with plastic at an Omana reef, scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaape :worried:
From what I have seen though, glass is slippery quick :y:

The centre hatch on the saffa yaks look very spacious too :y:
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nzimp
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:53 am

Plastic is less precious in the fact you can chuck it about a bit. Slightly heavier with most models but once your yak is rigged it all gets pretty heavy. I have washed my plastic yaks a couple of times in 4 years. :$
The glass yaks are a lot more delicate and need looking after. Most do paddle better and if you are looking at a SOT they are a lot more comfortable over longer trips. They also have better storage built in and are easier to modify.

I love my Stealth and I love my 2+1. I also love the clubs 4.3 so I could not recommend one over the other. It would depend on what you are lookinfg for from the yak.
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MikeAqua
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:00 am

Fiberglass is more breakable but also easier to repair.
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Limitless
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:02 am

Someone like Winch is better qualified to answer about laminate products, but for what it's worth here's my short list:

Plastic pros:
relatively cheap
durable - NZ manufactured products are highly UV stable and take a lot of abuse
roto moulded kayaks are one piece with no seams
very easy to accessorize and add fittings using a variety of fastening systems
Weld repairs are simple and rapid, you're rapidly back on the water

Plastic cons:
roto moulded kayaks can be heavy
roto moulding process limits internal fit-out options
lots of flex
very few materials will stick limiting adhesive and sealant options

Glass pros:
very rigid compared to plastics giving better performance
material performance allows the use of more fair (slippery) hull shapes
can be much lighter if exotic materials are used, normally a bit lighter than roto moulded
Kayaks made in two halves giving good access for internal fit-out options
Field repairs using cloth and appropriate resins are simpler for many paddlers

Glass cons:
relatively expensive (primarily as a result of the labour component)
not as forgiving and more easily damaged than plastic - esp the gel coat needs to be maintained as this is the UV and water proofing layer
Care needs to be taken when fitting high load accessories to ensure mounting areas are properly reinforced or supported
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MadMike
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:03 am

In glass you will be able to save on bread bags... But what you save in bread bags you might make up for in polish... :D Just saying :P
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Pointloader
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:15 am

Honestly, I wouldn't say either was better than the other overall.
I like Glass for it's speed and comfort, and the models I have chosen are better suited to use in the surf - I don't actually launch/land in surf often for fishing, but I do enjoy going out just to play in the surf. The storage is a bonus too.
I still really like plastics for their layout and the fact that I was able to get in close to rocks (even scraping over or banging into them at times) without worrying about damage.

It really comes down to what you are looking for in a yak, and what you are willing to sacrifice as no one yak will ever tick ALL the boxes.
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Limitless
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:25 am

I think the word is "compromise" - like Pointloader I have yet to find one kayak that perfectly ticks all boxes. It's a case of selecting a craft that best fits your intended purpose in the conditions and locations you'll most frequent.

The next word for me is "fleet" - for the last 16 years I've never owned less than two kayaks giving me options to suit different situations.
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YakSolo_333
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:20 am

I think enough is said about this topic in other threads by paddlesnap and winch. Both have obvious advantages and disadvantages.

Plastic
Weight and design limitations are plastic's down side. Anything over 4 meters with all the gear on top weighs a tone or more. No bulkheads either, so filled with water if the rodholder or hatch is loose and you end up with a disaster. So hull design and length are limited because of the material limitations. Other than that pretty good platform for fishing :y:

Composite ie glass, carbon, Kevlar etc

I dont agree that they are costlier than plastic, those SA glass kayaks are all well below 1500NZD in SA.
Design is no limitation here, you could make a kayak as long as 7 meters for especial expeditions or a 5 meter genera purpose. Not only length but various hull designs V or flat basically you can do whatever with glass. Internal safety designs like bulkheads in place and no they are not as girly as you think. Glass hulls nowadays can take a good level of abuse, and repairs are easy and often achievable in your own garage.

So while both materials are going to stay with us in the market, there is certainly a gap to be filled with resin and fibre ;) in the recreational sector
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nzimp
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:34 am

Limitless wrote:I think the word is "compromise" - like Pointloader I have yet to find one kayak that perfectly ticks all boxes. It's a case of selecting a craft that best fits your intended purpose in the conditions and locations you'll most frequent.

The next word for me is "fleet" - for the last 16 years I've never owned less than two kayaks giving me options to suit different situations.
Definitely the way to go with a fleet of yaks. Different day, different colour :) . I toyed with the idea of selling my plastic one to fund the glass one but decided not to in the end. Best thing I ever did after getting married and having kids. Why compromise when you can have a shed full of yaks and still spend less than you would on a boat.
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Rusty
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:11 pm

perfect answer in pic below
covers most things :lol:
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But if you judge a fish
on its ability to climb a tree.
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lenzman
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:41 pm

I to agree if you have the option of a couple of kayaks to target different conditions its great. I have owned both glass and plastic and found the glass to be a bit less precious than many think. Certainly quicker and more comfortable for those long days. That said though if I wanted to get every lose to rocks my choice would be plastic. I have recently ordered another glass yak to go along along with my plastic and I can see both being used. No one design or material can give everything we need in one kayak.
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Lister
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:50 pm

You missed out the joys of carbon/kevlar composite.......... :swear: expensive and of such value, even when carrying the bloody thing you're scared of "bumping" it.
as for launching and landing, helps if you have a large support crew to aid/carry you and vessel to shore.

On the up side, they go through the water with barely a ripple, are real easy to paddle, [learn proper technique of roll and paddle.] and are a joy to use/own.

Plastic...... More my cup of tea. Rough and ready, sorry Stephen, bumped her over rocks, up onto reef and generally ignored her welfare. Love the big arsed Biatch to bits though, different horses for different days,

Get one of each, plastic for fishing rough handling, glass/composite for touring non fishing days.




All of the above is my own opinion and is probably totally wrong but I don't care so.... :P
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Paddletoad
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:53 pm

YakSolo_333 wrote: I dont agree that they are costlier than plastic, those SA glass kayaks are all well below 1500NZD in SA.
Kaskazi's are around 1700 NZD including a carbon paddle actually, but thats the list price and doesn't include the standard "African Haggle" discount, actual price would be well below that...
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