I have an idea on this. The main issue here is boats breaking "early" due to "normal" use. I can see the manufacturers desire not to warranty due to cost pressures, but it really turns boaters off who love the product and want to stay loyal. One option would be to offer discounted boats to creekers who crack boats in under a certain time frame. For instance, if someone breaks a boat in under a month, offer them another at cost. If someone breaks a boat in under a year, offer them a boat with some kind of discount. This could be a potential happy medium between customer and company and help keep customers around. If a boater breaks a boat early and doesn't get any help or feels blown off, they will seek out other manufacturers to try out other boats. Maybe I'm baised as a customer, but if you offer a replacement boat at a cost lower than what you could get a competitors boat for you could keep customers around more easily.
I also like the insurance idea. I'd definitely be willing to shell out some extra bucks when buying a boat if I knew I could get a replacement at cost if I broke the boat in the first year or something like that.
Seems like an opportunity for manufacturers to improve relations with a dedicated segment of the kayaking community that is going to be buying lots of boats.