Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am Posts: 1615 Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Of course it could be done! I have seen a full carbon fibre sea kayak which was almost 20 feet long yet weighed under 5 kg, so anything is possible.
Cost? I would imagine you could get one made for well under $50,000
but why? The Islands are not designed to be ultimate performance machines, and a carbon one would have to be treated so carefully that you would lose 90% of the convenience (Have you ever watched how owners of racing sea-kayaks give their hulls meticulous detailed attention after use? Not just a hose down, I can assure you!)
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm Posts: 2098 Location: High Point, NC
Carbon Fiber itself is not that expensive. Even in prepeg form it's not the major portion of the cost involved in nearly anything that uses it. What would get you is the labor involved in a one-up production.
Sure it could be done and if done properly would result in a very nice boat with better performance than the plastic models you mention. But the labor involved might cost you more than most would be willing to pay.
Carbon fibre would be cool, but prohibitively expensive. I used to have a Delta Kayak made out of special Thermoformed plastic. It was excellent. Stiff, and crazy durable, and VERY lightweight. I'd LOVE to see a mirage drive boat made out of this stuff! It wouldn't be much more expensive than rotomolded plastic either.
EDIT: Well... the material wouldn't be much more expensive. For Hobie to bring in the material, machinery, and expertise, it would certainly cost a lot more. But a partnership between Hobie and Delta Kayaks would be my dream boat. (Are you listening Hobie?)