Cedar strip / epoxy kayaks outperform plastic or composite layups in every way
Though wooden boat building is too labour intensive to compete in pricing with the plastic and 'glass counterparts, wood is still one of the best structural materials for small boats. Wood and epoxy are used to build some of the world's best multi-hulled sailboats, sprint kayaks and rowing shells.
They are truly in a class of their own. Wood is up to 10 x stiffer than fibreglass and nearly 6x stiffer than a Kevlar / epoxy composite. So your energy is expended moving the boat, not flexing the hull. Wood also retains it's strengh despite repeated cycles of tension and compression from rough seas and fast paddling; it doesn't get brittle with age as glass and plastic can.
Cedar boats are lighter than comparable 'glass or plastic craft, so they accelerate quicker, carry more gear and supplies, and are easier to "spin" on wave tops and in surfing conditions. Lighter boats are better on shore too; they are easier to carry above the high tide line or lift onto the car's roof rack.
Cedar boats are tough, with fibreglass sheathed hulls to resist puncture and abrasion. The wood is epoxy saturated, so the maintainance associated with traditional wooden boats is eliminated.
Above info is courtesy of Chesapeake Light Craft.
Cedar strip/epoxy is as abrasion resistant as most other materials. These boats actually tolerate normal use like dragging over gravel or oyster beds better than fiberglass or plastic because even a very deep scratch is the same color and texture as the surface. The scratch remains far less visible than, for example, when fiberglass is scraped beneath the gelcoat.
Cedar strip/epoxy boats are in every way just as maintenance free as ordinary fiberglass. Repairs are easy to do and can be completely hidden. Even serious damage can effectively be repaired so as to completely restore the original strength, performance and beauty.