Light, Strong, Beautiful Custom-Built Kevlar Canoes

Hull Options


Nighthawk Lightweight Kevlar (stock), 3-layer:   This is Nighthawk Canoes’ signature hull type.  It combines 3 full layers of kevlar with our extra strong epoxy resin, and reinforced skids, for the ultimate in lightweight, toughness, abrasion resistance, and puncture resistance.  Superior toughness for about the same weight as competitors’ lightest weight canoes.  This is more than 50% stronger than almost every other canoe in the same weight category.

Utility, 4 layer:  GREAT FOR RIVERS!  This layup provides superior toughness for those of us who can be hard on canoes, need an extra safety margin in the backwoods, or often use the canoe in gravelly or shallow rivers.  The final layer of the canoe is made from S-glass, a material with uniquely tough abrasion resistance, and an extra layer of kevlar is added to the floor of the canoe.  Utility is basically a Package that includes S-glass outer layer, Extra layer of kevlar in the floor of the canoe, and small skid plates.  It significantly improves durability for a minimal ~3 lb penalty in extra weight.



Carbon FiberOur carbon fiber canoes are built with 2 layers of kevlar® and a final layer of beautiful carbon fiber.  (3 layers total)

Colored Kevlar®:  Similar to Carbon fiber layup, these canoes start with 2 layers of kevlar® and add a final outer layer of colored kevlar, or hybrid carbon, for an attractive canoe, nearly identical in weight and durability to the standard lightweight all-kevlar® layup.

Epoxy Color :   Epoxy color is a very unique layup that includes 2 layers of kevlar®, plus two additional layers of lightweight fiberglass.  Because the fiberglas is clear, the outer layers of the canoe then show the tinted color of the epoxy resin, for an attractive, bright boat, with minimal weight penalty and similar strength to our other canoes.


Custom Layups:

If you have something in mind that is not in our catalog, just ask.  Here are a few other custom layups I have used:

-Modified stock: 2 layers of kevlar, + final layer in S-Glass  (Best abrasion resistance for the best weight)

-Alternate utility: 4 layers of kevlar

-Reinforced Floor:  An extra layer of kevlar to any of the above options, but only through the floor of the canoe (not all the way up the sides)


What is S-glass?

Most other manufacturers do not use S-glass as a construction material, and few paddlers have even heard of it.  S-glass is an extra strong (and more expensive) version of fiberglass.  It is nearly clear when applied to the canoe, but gives a hint of a “frosty” appearance to the underlying color.  I can substitute or add S-glass as a final layer in any of the natural-kevlar finish canoes.

Compared to kevlar, it is a harder, more abrasion resistant surface, but somewhat lower puncture resistance and more brittle.  A canoe entirely made of S-glass would be more brittle (or much heavier) than a kevlar canoe.  But, a kevlar canoe combined with a final layer in S-glass has the puncture resistance of the kevlar and the abrasion resistance of the S-glass combined…. making it more resistant to scratches (the most common type of stress to the canoe hull), and easier to repair or resurface.

If you are are going to use your canoe as a river canoe, particularly in faster, shallow or rocky rivers, then one of the Nighthawk Canoes with a ribbed floor and an S-Glass finish will give you a lightweight canoe with unbelievable durability, and will hold it’s finish quality better over time.

For aesthetic reasons, I will not put S-glass on a carbon fiber or carbon-hybrid canoe.

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