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What Are the Benefits of a Fiberglass Canoe?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Canoes have traditionally been made of wood, but over the course of its existence, the canoe has been made of other materials including metal and fiberglass. The fiberglass canoe is perhaps the most popular choice in modern times because of the many benefits of choosing fiberglass over other heavier, more easily damaged materials. The drawback to a fiberglass canoe is its price, though a person who invests in a canoe made from fiberglass is likely to get more use and a longer life out of the canoe over one made from wood or metal.

Wooden canoes can be constructed to be exceptionally durable, but they will be the heaviest option of all the materials used to make a canoe. This is the most traditional material for canoe construction. Aluminum became a prevalent material used for canoe construction, and it had the advantage of being lighter than wood in many cases and also durable enough to withstand direct impacts. Aluminum canoes could become misshapen or cracked, however, and repairing damage to the aluminum could be quite difficult. The fiberglass canoe was the answer to all the problems of previous models: it is lightweight, durable, repaired fairly easily, strong, and long-lasting.

Fiberglass canoes are lighter than wooden canoes.
Fiberglass canoes are lighter than wooden canoes.

The process of making a fiberglass canoe is not extremely difficult, but the process must be done by a professional because the fiberglass can be harmful to one's health during the construction process. Special equipment is also necessary to make a fiberglass canoe, so these canoes do tend to be more expensive than other options. Luckily, fiberglass canoes are likely to last an extremely long time because they are highly resistant to water damage. They are rugged as well, and they are able to take on direct impacts with little or no damage. If the hull of the boat should become cracked or damaged, the canoe can be repaired.

The hull of the boat is likely to become scratched after regular use, but this will not usually affect the structural integrity of the fiberglass canoe. The fiberglass can be susceptible to damage, however, if it is stored in direct sunlight when not in use. The canoe should be stored somewhere protected from the weather if at all possible; since the canoe is very lightweight, it can be hung easily in a large garage or in some other larger enclosure. The canoe should also be protected from any items that may puncture or deeply scratch the canoe when stored.

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    • Fiberglass canoes are lighter than wooden canoes.
      By: Zsolt Biczó
      Fiberglass canoes are lighter than wooden canoes.