Anyone know what happened to Airalite? Picked up an older but lightly used Perception Sonoma 13.5…I know perception stopped doing Airalite boats towards the end of the last decade. Seems like it might not have the impact resistance of a heavier plastic boat or a more way more expensive kevlar…but trying to find out if there’s more i should be worried about (like say sudden catastrophic failure) in open water.
I know Delta and Hurricane are still using similar materials and i’ve got whitewater boats for the rough stuff but I hope to take this far from shore.
https://www.rapidmedia.com/adventurekayak/categories/5273-boat-review-the-sonoma-13-5-by-perception for boat specs if you care. For what i paid it’s a pretty sweet boat i can easily carry.
And yea, i posted the same question at the bottom of an old post and after looking more closely at this forum realize not many will see it.
Tom of the Hack-
Likely more to do with the general direction of Perception kayak models. Directed more and more towards the Rec end of the market.
I recall when the Sonoma first came out. If you understand the hard chine design, it’s a fun kayak but at 13’5″ not a full fledged sea kayak length/glide.
I recall Perception tried to expand the Airlite to the Eclipse sea kayak series but the material thickness they used made it weigh just as much as their poly construction, which at the time was not a light thing in a 17′ kayak.
Enjoy the Sonoma. Fun boat.
See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
July 12, 2007
I used to have a Dagger Specter 15.5 in Airalite that I loved. It was 55 lbs, and extremely resistant to damage (I regret getting rid of it). Airalite was the proprietary version of thermoforming for Dagger/Perception. As to why it went away – expense. My memory may be faulty, but I think the Specter retailed new at about $1200 when new rotomolded boats were about $750. I got my Specter at the Jersey Paddler as a left-over for $600, and I think it was the last really good boat deal I got from them. Some people said that the channel seam connecting the two halves could be prone to leakage. Also, supposedly the plastic could not be repaired or welded (but this may have been before the advent of G-Fle. Lastly, I think thermoformed boats of the time had a tendency to have very defined chines – like the Eddyline Nighthawk – because of the constraints imposed by the material. Hope you’re drying out from Moodna.
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