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I'm a new Kayak enthusiast with limited molded plastic boat experience, in the midwest (Michigan). As a newbie that is desiring a "Better than Average" 12-14' unit I am considering the "HURRICANE" brand of Fiberglass Kayaks but it was not mentioned on several sites I visited that included lists of brands. Why is that? They appear to be high quality and well designed.

I plan to make the necessary 2 hour drive north for a day of testing them before I buy, but am a bit concerned by the absence of the brand. Can I please get a bit of advice on both the brand mentioned AND on general suggestions for an average sized man (6', 200#) who wants better performance than the cheap plastic units offer?

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There are probably several brands out there that you're not familiar with. A lot of smaller manufacturers only have regional distribution networks (and some have no distribution network) so I bet there are several on the east and west coast that you haven't heard of. Stellar is fairly new and has little distribution in the midwest and west. Lincoln is far more established (55 years) but only has distribution in the northeast. P&H Sea Kayaks is well established around the world, however on the entire west coast there are only five dealers.

What kind of "performance" difference are you expecting from a glass vs plastic boat? There's nothing wrong with plastic -- it has some advantages over composite layups, in fact -- and shouldn't be discounted just because it's less expensive. All plastic boats are not like the cheap sporting goods store boats -- many manufacturers offer excellent kayaks made of plastic. In fact, some searching on the Hurricane site leads me to believe that all of their boats are thermoformed plastic -- not fiberglass.

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Hi Dan. Thanks for your reply and remarks. I am looking for a "faster" boat when I look at Fiberglass. *Is it possible that I am actually comparing "Rubber vs Plastic" and not a fiberglass construction ?? I have experienced numerous inexpensive, molded boats from the national sporting goods stores, but now want speed, without sacrificing the fun and stability. Your added thoughts will be appreciated. –  Keith Apr 29 at 14:24
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Speed is going to have less to do with construction and more to do with shape. You can find many long and narrow sea kayaks made of plastic (say, 18' x 22") that will always be much faster than a short and wide fiberglass recreational kayak (say, 10' x 30"). Simply, it sounds like going to a kayak outfitter will be helpful for you. –  Dan Wolfgang Apr 29 at 17:05
    
As @DanWolfgang says, speed and handling are dependant on the hull design, not materials. I've paddled lots of boats that felt terrible that were made of kevlar (lightweight, strong) and boats that I loved the feel of made of plastic. The key is hull design. However moving a plastic boat on land (like, onto the top of your car) can be a real hassle (especially by yourself)! Still they are cheaper and very tough. –  jonny.milano May 16 at 18:56

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