Q:What does Rainforest Designs do?
A:We design and manufacture what we think are the best composite touring kayaks available anywhere. We also do a bit of consulting work for Nimbus Paddles on paddles. We supply some parts for a couple of other kayak manufacturers, rescue straps, rims, seats etc. A new project for us is the development of a velomobile. For more information of this go to the velomobile project page
Q:How long do composite kayaks last?
A:We are not really sure. We have some kayaks that are about 30 years old and still very serviceable. They look old from lots of use and are a bit dated design wise but are still fun to use. The determining factor seems to be how well they are taken care of. A composite( firbreglass or kevlar) kayak can be repaired and refinished if necessary. This is not the case with rotomoulded kayaks.
Q:Do you refinish old kayaks?
A::No. We are normally too busy manufacturing our kayaks to do complete restorations. We do repairs and minor cosmetic fixes on our boats. If you would like to have your kayak completely refurbished we recommend that you take it to Sterling's Kayaks(www.sterlingskayak.com). He does a superb job. In fact he restored a friend's Solander a couple of years ago and it looks like new again, not bad for a twenty years old boat.
Q:Where are Nimbus kayaks sold?
A:We sell most of our kayaks in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the US and are now starting to sell more of our kayaks in Central Canada. We also export to Japan and England. Japan at one time was a large part of our sales but this has declined recently with the downturn of the Japanese economy. England is a fairly new market for us.
Q: Do you sell from your factory?
A: Almost all of our sales are through our dealer network as they can provide the service we are not set up to do. We only sell some of our demos at the end of the season. To got to the dealer list click here
Q: Why do you not have dealers in the eastern parts of Canada and the U.S.?
A:Shipping has been a big issue for us. Common carriers are reluctant to ship kayaks as breakage is a problem. We only ship with specialty carriers so this limits availablity.
Q: How many boats do you make each year?
A:We build between 200 to 500 kayaks per year depending on the season.
Q: Can I get parts for my old Nimbus Kayak
A:Yes. We can supply replacement parts for almost all of our kayaks. Some parts will need to be upgraded to the newer versions but we continue to support all our old models.
Q:Why are Composite kayaks so Expensive
A:The short answer is that they are a lot of work to build. The slightly longer answer is that if you want a high quality, state of the art touring kayak that is light weight and lasts there are no shortcuts to get this result. We could build our kayaks in a few hours less per kayak but they would not be as good. This difference in build quality would not be readily apparent at first but would show up as the kayak gets older. Using somewhat cheaper materials is a temptation but results is a lower quality kayak. Doing this is a relatively small saving compared to the final cost and not worhty of consideration.
Q:Are all Kevlar kayaks created equal
A:No. Some of our competitors are building kevlar kayaks with a minimum of kevlar in them. Some kayaks have as litlle as one layer in the hull only and are sold as kevlar kayaks. We build our kevlar boats with a maximium kevlar in them. We are the only kayak builder who uses a glass/kevlar hybrid first layer. This layer has the glass fibres on one side and the kevlar fibres on the other. There is a polyester thread woven around these fibres to hold the cloth together. The fibres themselves are not bent or crimped from being woven which slightly improves there strenght properties. We orient this material in the most appropreate directions to achieve maximum stiffness. The glass fibres are on the outside of the laminate. Kevlar kayaks should always have a layer of glass fibre on the outside of the laminate as kevlar is not very good in compression. Kayaks build with only kevlar will suffer compression damage on the outside of the laminate and will eventually become damaged. We reinforce our kevlar decks with uni-directionl glass and the hulls with uni-directional glass and a core.

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