Hornbeck Boats
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FAQ's

What kind of maintenance is required for your canoes?
Boats with wood trim should be oiled periodically, once a year minimum. We supply a can of oil with every boat we sell. Screws and bolts should be tightened annually. Scratches on the hull can be obscured with spar varnish, if desired. Scratches on carbon hulls can be dealt with using black magic marker. For our Blackjacks there is no maintenance. Hulls can be washed with soap and water if desired.

What is the difference between carbon and Kevlar?
From a practical standpoint and aside from the obvious color difference, Kevlar is more abrasion- and impact-resistant than carbon fiber. (We position Kevlar internally in all areas of stress in carbon hulls.) Kevlar hulls are more visible on the water. Kevlar canoes are less expensive than carbon fiber canoes because the material costs less. Carbon fiber is much easier to tool than Kevlar, so we can use it in our complex Blackjack hulls, which require a lot of sanding and grinding. There isn't a significant weight difference between the two materials as we use them. Blackjacks are an exception. The tooling qualities of carbon allow us to eliminate all wood components, significantly reducing the weight of the finished boat.

Do you ship boats?
We do so now with enthusiasm. We've found a shipper who specializes in canoes and kayaks. Their prices are reasonable and their safety record is great. Call us to inquire about shipping.

I live in California. How can I be sure that you'll send me the right boat?
We'll ask you for a lot of data: height, weight, physical condition, intended use. We'll mutually arrive at a decision. Then we'll send you a boat. Try it for a week. If you don't like it, send it back for an exchange or a refund. You can't lose.

What do I do if I damage a boat?
Use duct tape for a quick fix on the outside of the hull. Bring the boat to us and if it's a relatively easy fix, we'll fix it for free while you wait. If it's more involved you'll have to leave it here and we'll charge you a nominal fee for the repairs. If you don't live nearby we can send you repair materials. Call us for more information.

How do you make your boats so lightweight?
We do so through the use of premium building materials, a unique building technique and eschewing the strictly cosmetic. We use carbon fiber and Kevlar in our hulls exclusively because these are the lightest, strongest materials available. We build the entire hull at one time so all of the resin molecules can cross-link at the same time, forming chemical and not mechanical bonds. We use no gel coat or skin coat. If something is purely cosmetic, you won't find it on our boats. No cane or molded seats, no array of colors, etc. As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the essence of sophistication."

Why do your boats cost less than others?
We sell our boats direct, without dealer and distribution costs. As noted above our boats are simple. In our building process we don't spend time and money to achieve dubious cosmetic effects. We also sell accessories. Boats are not a high-profit item. Selling paddles, roof racks, life jackets and a multitude of other items in our store helps to keep the price of our boats at a reasonable level. We will always match anyone else's current pricing on accessories.

Why do you recommend such long paddles?
Our experience and the experience of thousands of other paddlers (this is no exaggeration) has shown that small canoes with beam widths of approximately 30" work best with paddles that are 250 to 260 cm in length. We have paddles of varying lengths for use with our demonstrators on our pond so you can judge for yourself. But if you'd prefer, bring your own paddle to try it out with our canoes.

Do you take trade-ins?
Usually we don't. The Internet is a great place to sell used boats for more than we will pay you. Interestingly, boats that we sold 10–15 years ago typically sell for close to the original purchase price.

Can I get a boat in my favorite color?
As noted before, a high priority of ours is to keep our boats as light as possible. This means that we don't use gel coats, skin coats or materials other than carbon fiber or Kevlar. So we can't offer a wide array of colors. We are limited to black (carbon), yellow (Kevlar) or a combination (matrix) of the two, which has a green hue.

Classic boats standard color (Kevlar) is yellow, green Matrix skin add $150.00, black Carbon add $200.00.
New Trick boats standard color (Matrix) is green, black Carbon add $200.00

Will a carbon boat, because it's black, feel hot on a warm day?
No. Carbon fiber takes on the temperature of the environment that it's in. If the water temperature is 75 degrees, your boat will be 75 degrees.