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  Thinking about a new Royalex canoe?
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-06-13 4:41 PM (EST)
   Category: Canoes 

-- Last Updated: Dec-07-13 5:00 PM EST --

Richard Guin of Mohawk Canoes says he was just informed by Poly One (the sole manufacturer of Royalex) that any orders for Royalex sheet for new boat construction must be placed by the close of business on Monday.

Poly One will cease all Royalex production as of next April. Guin had previously been informed that manufacturers would be able to place orders until or through March of next year.

So if you were thinking about buying a new Royalex canoe next year, better call the manufacturer or their dealers pronto and see if they have any in inventory, and if not, ask if they are ordering Royalex sheet to manufacture any next spring.


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Messages in this Topic

 

  Want to buy my Penobscot 16 ?
  Posted by: JackL on Dec-06-13 8:31 PM (EST)
I'm only asking $10,000 for it.

Jack L
 
 
  Royalex canoe....................
  Posted by: thebob.com on Dec-07-13 11:36 AM (EST)
Oh yeah, that's a steal of a deal; someone should snap that one up really quick............it's gonna be a "collectible".


:^)
NOT!
BOB
 
 
  So if not Royalex, everyone buys a Q 17?
  Posted by: jpc on Dec-07-13 11:58 AM (EST)
Quetico 17's in each driveway?
 
 
  Hard to believe and so sad
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Dec-07-13 3:34 PM (EST)
I distinctly recall dragging my 100 pound Mad River Royalex Explorer over boulders in the Sierra Nevada mountains of northern California, circa 1981, and saying that the three greatest inventions of my lifetime were Pampers, velcro and Royalex.

I subsequently changed my mind about velcro.
 
 
  Does anyone know
  Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-07-13 4:02 PM (EST)
why the manufacturer is dumping the product and why they have not spun it off to another manufacturer?
 
 
  not profitable enough
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-07-13 4:28 PM (EST)
Apparently, the bean counters at Poly One decided that manufacture of Royalex sheet was not profitable enough to continue production even after they jacked the price up about 20% immediately after buying out Spartech.

I have heard rumors that the original production equipment circa 1972 is wearing out. Royalex did not garner as wide a market as Uniroyal had originally hoped. It was hoped that the material would appeal to the auto industry, but auto makers found cheaper alternatives. I understand it was used in submarine construction but is no longer. The market for Royalex has therefore become limited to canoe manufacturers and that market has peaked.

I assume no one has picked up the rights to manufacture because the anticipated profit margin has been insufficient to garner interest and capital expenditure. If the price of Royalex was increased much further the price gap between Royalex and composite boats would be narrowed to the point at which Royalex would probably be unattractive to many potential customers.
 
 
  Talking to the guys at Mohawk they said
  Posted by: pirateoverforty on Dec-07-13 4:43 PM (EST)
It's not even about manufacturing rights. That's all public domain now. It's that there are few needs for big sheets of extruded plastic, and even fewer needs for sheets of bonded layers of the stuff. Anyone who had the machines could start making it tomorrow.
 
 
  Strike three
  Posted by: mintjulep on Dec-09-13 1:52 PM (EST)
This is the third company to discover that there is no money to be made in manufacturing Royalex.

Maybe Poly One did try to sell it, but no one else was foolish enough to buy.
 
 
  Gourmet Meal For a Piece Meal Capitalist
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Dec-07-13 4:34 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-07-13 4:36 PM EST --

The sum of the parts
is greater than hole
left in some parts
where we don't price the soul
of a business at hand
to delve out in share
what's piecemealed so richly
when a whole just did fair

and thus Warsaw rockets
shot quickly through arc
where material needs
flex little past spark
which flames of invention
supplied to demand
for the appetite meager
in big box lunch land

 
 
  What would be a good last buy
  Posted by: pirateoverforty on Dec-07-13 4:55 PM (EST)
I recently ordered a mohawk odyssey 15 in solo, haven't even got it yet. It was a toss up between the Solo 13, but I went for the ability to carry some overnight camping supplies or a young grandkid. They are both 30" wide. (The Odyssey and the Solo, not the grandkids) I paddle some good sized rivers and stumps lurking just below the surface are an issue. I don't have any whitewater to paddle.
I was telling my wife about royalex going away and she is very familiar with the weight of polyethylene and aluminum canoes, she said maybe we should get another before they're gone.
So is there some boat I'll kick myself later for not gettin, or just bank the money for a Kevlar hull?
 
 
  It is hard for me to believe
  Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-07-13 11:22 PM (EST)
that various companies making royalex canoes are actually going to let it go. I have to assume that royalex continues to be a big part of the sales revenue of Old Town and Nova Craft and Mad River - others as well.
 
 
  Note Old Town is transitioning
  Posted by: kayamedic on Dec-07-13 11:46 PM (EST)
all rotomolded canoes and kayaks to LT 9000 which is lighter than current PE. I look for it to be a replacement for Rx

http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/craftsmanship/materials/
 
 
  KM, Denny Lange's text on canoe
  Posted by: ezwater on Dec-09-13 6:16 PM (EST)
materials fails the accuracy test in important ways. The text is clearly manipulative to make it support OT's marketing conclusion.

There will be many "solutions" to the problem of the end of Royalex. In my opinion, no version of poly will serve except for canoes under 10 feet long. Single layer, or 3 layer, they all end up being lacking in stiffness and rather heavy.

I see a renewed future for "Tufweave" canoes, made with glass and polyester and vinylester resin. But for larger canoes, the challenge is to avoid having to use foam cores, which introduce potential repair problems. I think this problem can be solved by a bit of beam reduction (speed!) and by increasing shallow arch. The shape must be redesigned a bit to yield stiffness from cross section shape.

And one more thing, that applies to any canoe where the shape isn't quite stiff enough on its own. Foam thwart to bottom supports, or foam bulkheads. This simple addition keeps the bottom of the canoe from pooching upward, adds flotation, and can provide for seating, even for a portage yoke. I designed such a combination 40 years ago, but didn't have the knowledge or ability to market it. That was several years before other foam pedestals appeared.
 
 
  Do they have a choice?
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on Dec-08-13 2:12 AM (EST)
All that I've been reading here suggests they have no choice about this at all. Clearly it can't be economically feasible for a company to equip themselves to make a material that's only used for making canoes, unless it could be done with very little investment (and that doesn't seem to be the case). It was one thing for a big company like Uniroyal or Spartech to try to market it for many purposes, and failing that, to continue making material for the tiny canoe market until the machinery wears out since the capital investment has already been made. Apparently the new owners of Spartech don't want to waste money on replacing aging equipment to produce a product that can only be sold in small quantities, and I can't imagine how some other company could find a way to make Royalex production profitable. I'm as disappointed as anyone, but would be amazed if Royalex somehow makes a comeback.
 
 
  more info
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-08-13 10:43 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-08-13 10:59 AM EST --

Here is an article that was written back in August of this year that might shed a bit of light on the situation:
http://www.outdoorindustry.org/education/library.php?newsId=18916&newsSubType=All+News+Stories&action=display

No doubt, smaller manufacturers that only manufacture Royalex canoes and do not sell composite or poylethylene boats, like Mohawk canoe, will be most affected.

Paddle sports dealers will be much less affected. In the article I linked the owner of Jersey Paddler, a large paddle sports retailer in Brick, NJ, is quoting as saying that although 80% of the canoes he sells are Royalex boats, they account for only 8% of his total paddle sports retail sales.

Some larger companies, like Johnson Outdoors (Old Town) claim to have secured enough Royalex sheet for the 2014 production season. As well as Esquif canoe. In a post on their Facebook page back in August Esquif made the following statement:

"Esquif has secured enough Royalex for our 2014 production including an anticipated increased demand. Esquif is working on and is very confident about a long term solution.
Also, donít forget about our very successful #Twintex material."

Small volume manufacturers are not going to be able to make the capital expenditure to order a big inventory of Royalex sheet for the coming year. What Mohawk Canoe has been doing is taking preorders for new canoes for next year and requiring a sizable down payment up front before they order new sheet.

I read somewhere (can't recall where) a few months back that a number of canoe makers were having "discussions" about the feasibility of some sort of consortium taking over Royalex production but I haven't heard anything come of it recently.

It would appear that we potential buyers of new Royalex canoes are too small a market to make it economically worthwhile to continue Royalex production. Per the article I cited:

A former executive of Spartech and Uniroyal Inc., which introduced Royalex to canoe manufacturers in the early 1970s, said itís unlikely anyone would buy the business given that more than 90 percent of the material is sold to canoe manufacturers.

"Rolayex is a difficult product to make, and once itís vulcanized you canít recycle it because of the mixture of different materials," said Philip Karig, managing director of the St. Louis consulting firm Mathelin Bay Associates and former chief procurement officer for Spartech. ďThe canoe market may be too small, the manufacturing process too complicated and the growth prospects too few. When you put all those things together, you have to ask what someone would want with it."

 
 
  Lets see, in royalex I have...
  Posted by: eckilson on Dec-08-13 9:07 AM (EST)
two WW solos, one flatwater solo, and a decent tandem/poling boat. Unless these boats get stolen, that should last me a lifetime, or at least until some new product replaces royalex.

Hopefully there will still be used boats around for years.
 
 
  Who needs it?
  Posted by: TommyC1 on Dec-08-13 4:17 PM (EST)
Well........
I do feel for the whitewater noobs. Royalex takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'... to a point.

After that point there are better boats in glass, PE and Twintex.

There were good canoes before Royalex.
There will be good canoes when Royalex is no more.

So long Royalex!
 
 
  It is probably a small market but
  Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-08-13 6:10 PM (EST)
these boats will be badly missed by those of us who enjoy trips in the arctic regions. I still believe they will find a way.
 
 
  Enter
  Posted by: gremmie on Dec-09-13 7:07 AM (EST)
The Chinese. I mean with the expansion of the Panama Canal and all those freight containers for the unloading and our need to import to settle their nerves about all the cash we borrow ... some US entrepreneur should be able to get the Chinese to buy that royalex equipment for pennies on the dollar and Voila -- Chinese popout canoes made from native American designs. The American patriot way. At least until the oil patches don't run dry.
 
 
  I'm with Tommy
  Posted by: timburris on Dec-09-13 8:06 AM (EST)
They don't make auto bodies out of royalex - for a reason.

If you want your composite to weigh more, just ask the manufacturer to add more layers of glass. Why not coating your boat with truck bed liner? There are alternatives.
 
 
  I agree in part
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-09-13 10:55 AM (EST)
It is true that good quality composite boats made with a robust layup will be plenty strong enough for the vast majority of users, including those who do a lot of river paddling, and even some of those who paddle whitewater. But good quality composite canoes have been significantly more expensive than Royalex boats which puts them out of reach for some folks.

Short, solid polyethylene solo whitewater canoes have largely (but not completely) supplanted Royalex boats, but there has really only been one solid polyethylene tandem whitewater canoe, the Blackfly Octane 92, and I understand that Jeremy Laucks isn't making it anymore. Solid polyethylene is simply not a practical material for longer whitewater boats like a whitewater tandem tripper.

I have talked to a number of owners of Twin-Tex Esquif Zephyr whitewater solo boats. While a couple have been very happy with them the consensus opinion that I have gathered is that the material is not that suitable for hard core whitewater use. It is too susceptible to cracking and far too difficult to repair.

So far as I know, the only outfitter licensed by Esquif to repair cracked Twin-Tex boats is Blue Mountain Outfitters in Maryville, PA (that might be outdated info, however). I have heard of a few people attempting backyard repairs with variable results.

The Esquif Zephyr was introduced in 2005. As far as I know, it and the Robson Homes are the only whitewater solo canoes that have used this material. (The Esquif Mistrals are made out of Twin-Tex but are not generally considered to be whitewater boats). Esquif invested quite a bit in R&D and tooling to develop this material and if it had been a raving success among whitewater boaters, I would have expected to see more designs in Twin-Tex by now. It might well become the new favored material for general river use, though.

One of the biggest impacts of the death of Royalex will be that many good hull designs, which were never offered in composite construction, will simply no longer be available. It is conceivable that one or two of these might be resurrected by someone building a composite mold, but I doubt it will be more than a handful. Also some boat makers who currently manufacture only Royalex boats, like Mohawk Canoe, will simply be gone. Mohawk has been tying to develop a blow-molded polyethylene whitewater canoe for a couple of years, but it remains to be seen whether this can be brought to market in time to save the company.

For good reasons or not, Royalex canoes have constituted a big part of the retail market for new canoes. As was mentioned earlier, Royalex canoes account for 80% of new canoe sales at the Jersey Paddler. I think the loss of Royalex is going to leave a pretty big hole in the market.
 
 
  Goodbye Royalex...................
  Posted by: thebob.com on Dec-09-13 1:13 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-09-13 2:56 PM EST --

Goodbye to a wide variety of Royalex boat models that will likely "never" be produced in any other layup.

Goodbye to boats that are less expensive than "other layups". Example: Want to guess what the price of a kevlar, or Twintex Mohawk Odyssey would be; compared to the same canoe in Royalex, or R-84 layup?
I'd guesstimate at least double the current price.
Some may say, Well I don't care; I don't want a Mohawk Odyssey in any layup! But what about those who might; those who could afford the Royalex layup, but couldn't afford kevlar or Twintex?
Tough shi- !?

Fewer options are "never" a good thing for the buyer in my opinion.

Extreme example: Chevy & Ford discontinues all models expect for Corvettes, and Mustang Boss 302s.
That'll be 45 to 60 grand; will that be cash, credit card, or our 10 or 15 year financing plan sir?

BOB

 
 
  "Oh dear. Trooper Streaker!"
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Dec-09-13 5:01 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-09-13 5:04 PM EST --

"Yes Colonel Otto Getus?"

"Hold that 2014 budget request submittal to the state house! We're gonna need to change the Chrysler requisition ticket! Strike the word "Charger" after "100" and before "Pursuit Units!" Make it read, "Viper!"


On another note of thought per Bob's post herewith, I seem to perceive, as with so many things these days (perhaps soon a class of people, too?), an erosion of the "middle." Meaning, if Coleman Ram-X's and its like are the bottom end, and those exquisite creations of Swift, Hemlock, Colden, Placid, etc. are the high, what remains to fill the middle-strata. Johnson Outdoors/Old Town's cross-linked and roto-molded hulls? Sort of a weightier, bottom-now-rising of the middle, yes? Esquif's just had a huge chunk of its stable chewed off, so will they dedicate themselves to pushing out more Twintex models, in maybe a "higher-ended" middle? Pete's comments would seem to indicate that it wasn't a seller before. Maybe now? With Scott going down, who are those "higher-ended" middles in composite construction of which Charlie speaks? Should I covet my father-in-law's chopper-stripped Wards model? (I think I could get that shoe-keel off with a few poling ascensions of the Patapsco Pithaway River.)

Or, is there a new plastic coming along, ? (Or old, perhaps? Whatever happened to that stuff George Washington Carver tried pushin' out of/for peanuts, to make fenders for that sour Henry Ford fella? Might go over well in this era of "green industry" subsidies. Least, till we need to rub the hull down with Sta-Bil 'stead of 303, on account of excessive water in the bilges leading to sputtering and false-start launches. Or it sends you into anaphylactic shock!)

Well, anyway, Mr. Kaz's Coho is looking all the more better to me these days, though I'm going to need to pile up more ducats. Hell, that last Royalex 16-footer I was eying in hopes of future purchase was pushing $1400. Guess I'll save near 30-pounds, spend near a Mohawk's worth in $900 addition (got to have a few extra S-Glass layers thrown on her belly), give Millbrook the order and finally give Mr. Henry's 22-year old fiberglass Explorer warrior a rest from these bony creeks of home.

I do have that Royalex Uberbot. But, with its 82-pounds of heft and my aging kness and back, that ain't no "middle" class vessel! No, she's quickly being "caste" an "untouchable."

 
 
  Good points...
  Posted by: al_a on Dec-09-13 10:18 PM (EST)
I just bought a new OT Penobscot 16 and a new Wenonah Vagabond in the last year and a half, duplicating the Royalex boats I already had (and I bought them before knowing about the demise of Royalex, so I'm feeling a little like a fortune teller right now). For my purposes--float-fishing Ozark streams for the most part--nothing else does as well as Royalex. The various glass/kevlar lay-ups are all too noisy for fishing when you're often scraping over gravel and rocks, the poly boats are too much heavier. I'm really glad I now probably have enough Royalex boats to last a long time.
 
 
  Thinking about
  Posted by: pgeorg on Dec-10-13 8:41 AM (EST)
buying an new Royalex boat while I still can got me to thinking about the last one I bought. That was before I knew that they came out of the factory in a soft "green" state and, as such, were vulnerable to dings and gouges. Were I to buy another, I'd want to leave it curing for a year or two before using it. And, that might mean that my heirs would be the first to paddle it.

Peter
 
 
  Too bad
  Posted by: rblturtle on Dec-10-13 9:02 AM (EST)
#1 roylex canoes are way cheaper than composits helping people to get into the sport who don't want to spend $2,000+. I think this will unfortunatly push more to cheap kayaks.
#2 I don't know about all the materials,but royalex is real slippery for going over logs and rocks besides being tough.

For various reasons,even though I own higher teck solos,my 300$ Mohawk solo 13 gets the most use of all my canoes.
Turtle
 
 
  "So, what's the buzz, tell me what's...
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Dec-12-13 8:44 AM (EST)
...happening?" (These are sad times we, or at least I, live in, when one resorts to quoting Andrew Lloyd Webber disciple doo-wop! Or, imparting the question with a Rockyesque dollop of Brotherly Shove brogue, is it Andrew Dice Clay?)

I visit the various manufacturer's websites on occasion, but seldom their Facebook sites. Is there spin thereabouts? Tis gettin' to be the season, of various outdoor shows, that is, so there must be buzz.

It struck me funny, in considering alternate layups not of the fabric composites order, that I did not see the SP-3 layout listed on the Nova Craft website, although it's the layup of the Prospector currently offered as a P-Net Sweepstakes prize. Old stock? Is SP-3 (perhaps in a new, lighter, SP-2.5) about to make a comeback within the Nova stables? Perhaps Polyethylene Pam ("Forget that pricey 303! Just a light, weekly application of PAM cooking spray to your Old Town Beluga 17 and you'll be slip-sliding away over those waves and rocks! Later, ashore after a successful morning of fishing, just roll your Beluga over in the hot sun and flop the day's catch onto her hull! Voila! Alfresco Fish Fry Extraordinaire!") will be the reigning Tupperware Titan for the next decade.

Don't know. I'm still pushin' for Precision Paddler Peanut Plastics to be my next Poly Royal Rex! Now, if I can only find the right sultan, or that Buffet of billions fella to front me some seed money.
 
 
  Don't really no wassup, Tom
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-12-13 9:18 AM (EST)
I know that both Esquif Canoe and Johnson Outdoors (Old Town) claim to have purchased or ordered enough Royalex sheet for their anticipated 2014 production runs.

For the heck of it, I called customer support at Wenonah a couple of days ago and asked if they think they will be producing all of the Royalex models listed in their catalog in 2014. I was told "we think so at this time".

There is a thread which originated Nov 13 on the Swift Canoe Facebook page in which I asked if there had been any discussion among canoe manufacturers to try to cooperatively take over the production of Royalex and I received this response:

"There have been some rumblings that another canoe manufacturer may purchase the equipment necessary to make Royalex. The biggest issues with that are 1) cost (obviously), but 2) Royalex machinery is enormous and requires a huge space to operate. In order to buy the equipment you'd need a large facility to accommodate it. We're all hoping something shapes up for 2015."

Don't know what the situation is with Mad River Canoe. My prior attempts to obtain intelligible info from Confluence Watersports have generally led to frustration.

It looks as if at least some of the major manufacturers will have new Royalex canoes to sell next year, although perhaps not all models and perhaps not throughout the whole year. Costs will be higher because PolyOne jacked up the price of sheet 20% immediately after buying out Spartech. Mohawk Canoe has been taking preorders and down payments to purchase sheet for next year and only planned to manufacture a few select models. If you haven't already placed an order with Mohawk, it could be too late.
 
 
  Thanks Pete.
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Dec-12-13 10:31 AM (EST)
I suspect, having seen what's been up with the manufacturing and industrial real estate market the last five years, that there's a huge supply of those big facilities/structures available for accommodating large manufacturing equipment. At least here on the east coast around large transportation hub cities like Baltimore and Philadelphia, although I'd also suspect it's the same case (sadly for the fate of this nation's economy and future wellbeing) nationwide. When these facilities do get sold/re-utilized it is usually because they're near the water, and then they get either razed completely or, old brick having its "street appeal," they're "re-purposed" as pricy lofts, or corporate headquarters and distribution centers for tony sellers of Chinese-made athletic wear, or investment brokerage firms trying to "purify" their air with sort of an "Off Wall Street - But Not Too Far!" location.

Look at me, as usual. I'm just as guilty in my digressions.

Anyway, I'm sure space ain't the problem. BUT, like you say, the cost of moving any huge machinery, let alone 20-to-30-year old, creaky-rollers wobbling stuff that probably sucks in more in nickels for maintenance than the plastic sheet it kicks out will yield, means $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

Only thing gonna save this Royalty is an abomination of some Dr. Frankenmerger's handiwork, and I'm not sure if Mad QuifNovaHawk walking this earth would be a bad thing or good,??? Although it would likely start its township terrorizations in Shenzhen, or thereabouts.
 
 
  This just in
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-13-13 3:01 PM (EST)
From Richard Guin of Mohawk Canoe posted on Facebook about an hour ago:

"It has been a very depressing week at the canoe shop. We spent un-Godly amount of time trying to make sure we ordered the right amount of royalx for the right boat . 1st Poly one told us we had until march to order material, then 2 weeks ago we were told we needed to get our order in this week. So we finally decided on what sheets to get, made the PO and sent it to them (this is were it gets sad) they returned our PO and said that they are no longer taking orders. So we are shit out of luck. This means if it is not a boat we have in stock it will never be again. This is the end of some really good models of boats."
 
 
  That is really sad for Mohawk and all
  Posted by: Yanoer on Dec-13-13 3:13 PM (EST)
all those who wanted one of those boats.

I especially feel for the owners of Mohawk, since they've only owned the company for a few years.
 
 
  No sweat!
  Posted by: thebob.com on Dec-13-13 5:42 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-17-13 4:40 PM EST --


There will always be some Pelicans & Colemans available for beginners who want to get started.

You can always find a retired "beater" from outfitters. Some of those old, aluminum 17 footers can be made quite serviceable. Jumping up & down in the bilge will help bend some of the worse spots back into something resembling a canoe. Busted keel; no problem. Slap on a few dabs of JB Weld, or duct tape, and you're good to go.
Leaks? Carry a bailer & alternate paddling with bailing.
It's all about getting out on the water. It doesn't matter what the boat looks like, whether or not it will go straight, or has a propensity for sinking.

I jest!
:^)
BOB

 
 
  Cayucos
  Posted by: gremmie on Dec-14-13 11:52 AM (EST)
Dugouts to you. Head down to the Saint Francis mountains. Mine you some of the right igneous rocks. Shape you a gouge, kill you a deer for tendon cordage, haft to an hickory handle and get to work on a bald cypress log. The oil patch has made this a sport vs. a way of life. Just a sign of things to come ahead from the way back years -- digital age meet stone age.
 
 
  Ah Ha!
  Posted by: PJC on Dec-14-13 1:16 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-14-13 1:33 PM EST --

The technological wheel keeps on turning cranking out new ways to make old products. There may not be a market for Royalex anymore, but where one market disappears another appears... What we need is a 3D copier that can chip flint. Bound to make someone a fortune.
Edit: Come to think of it, if they get on it right now, someone here could be rich by next Christmas from selling the ceramic-bladed crooked knives with genuine faux caribou antler handles destined to be under all our Christmas trees in 2014.

BTW, I was chatting with a guy the other day who claimed that in addition to the worn out condition of the machinery at the Royalex manufacturing facility (Avon L., Ohio, right?) that there were toxic waste byproducts associated with Royalex manufacture.

I hadn't heard anything about this before. It might be just the kind of BS that we hear from time to time and doesn't amount to anything; and even if true there's a lot of ABS and poly products now being made that I would think would carry the same (or very similar) waste products that are being handled safely.

Has anyone else here heard similar (credible) concerns with regard to Royalex?

 
 
  Not Avon, Ohio
  Posted by: pblanc on Dec-17-13 7:47 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-17-13 7:52 AM EST --

Warsaw, Indiana.

I believe that the EPA/OHSA mandated changes in how Royalex sheet was produced back in the early 1990s sometime. The general consensus is that Royalex sheet produced after that was not as durable.

 
 
  Waste
  Posted by: gremmie on Dec-17-13 7:56 AM (EST)
Spartech and Polyone had small waste generator permits at the Warsaw, IN facility. They were more of an assembly operation. I imagine the big waste generation occurred earlier in the manufacturing process at the big plants where the oil was initially processed. Trace it back to the Canada Tar Sands or the BP Gulf oil spill and it ain't a happy footprint all around. Someday this black river will flow no more. We were shortsighted to have grown a civilization on it. But just insane to grow further on it. But, the growth god rules and we all follow the religion.
 
 
  That's what I would think
  Posted by: PJC on Dec-17-13 7:21 PM (EST)
also. I don't have any experience working in plastic manufacturing, but I, too, would think that where the component plastics themselves were made would be where the generation of any (or most) waste or toxic byproducts would occur. I'd also expect that with as much of these component plastics being made, and for as many purposes as they are being applied to, that there'd be safeguards at the place of manufacture in place to handle them, for economic as well as environmental reasons.
It doesn't surprise me that toxic wastes from plastic manufacture exist. I'd expect that manufacturing safeguards were at first lax and have been becoming more stringent ever since.
That's why I found this "rumor" odd and was surprised by it, since I'd never heard it previously in spite of Royalex being around for quite a while. Just wondered if others had heard it also.

(I also agree we use too much oil, though I also think in some ways there are many worse uses for it. Plastics do provide a very good material that could last almost forever in the proper applications saving metals or forest products which also have their environmental costs... BUT, here we are for the first time in human history with plastics - materials that don't rust or rot, can last hundreds of years, easily formed, that can be designed to whatever density is required, that don't waterlog - and what do we do with it? Make sporks and all manner of disposable crap that can't be disposed of. WTF??!!? Sure glad we're such a smart species.)

I think it was an old Blue Hole catalog (not a very reliable source of technical information, I'll grant you - just something I read and happened to remember)had me thinking that Royalex was basically made by taking two sheets of ABS with a single-side poly coating and cementing them together (ABS side to ABS side) with a material that expanded into a foam when it was heated and which hardened into a closed cell foam that held its shape upon cooling on a mold.

But far from where the chemical manufacturing occurred. This guy who mentioned this to me seemed to be saying that there was some sort of toxicity unique to Royalex, independent of its component plastics.

I will say that the last canoe I bought, I bought precisely because it was Royalex (the old Royalex at that). And I wouldn't want to have it in any other material. Personally, I'll happily take almost any Royalex canoe into places I'd be darned reluctant to take any composite, w/c, or aluminum canoe for fear of trashing them. I'm going to miss Royalex.

There will soon, I'm sure, be those who consider Royalex canoes to be dinosaurs - but, darnit, weren't those dinosaurs magnificent creatures?! Sturdy, nimble, colorful... Perfectly adapted for their habitat. Extinction is a sad thing.
 
 
  Yep
  Posted by: gremmie on Dec-18-13 5:30 AM (EST)
The dinosaurs lasted until a mega asteroid got cozy with earth's orbit. Now, man, living on fossil energy, is the asteroid, the mother of the earth's new mega extinction event. Just thought I'd give this royalexophility a little deep time context. Party on.
 
 
  mohawk
  Posted by: yakjak on Dec-17-13 4:47 AM (EST)
called them yesterday to see if they had any odyssey 14s left in stock... wanted one to put back ... they are gone. not making anymore is what i was told... oh well at least I have one in decent shape...
 
 
  Another stake in the heart of open . . .
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Dec-17-13 12:50 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-17-13 12:50 PM EST --

. . . canoeing and single blading.

The death of Royalex won't affect kayaks or SOTs. In fact, it will probably further enhance the metastasis of those markets.

But it takes away from the already moribund open canoe market one of the very best construction materials, especially among the new entrant, whitewater and wilderness river tripping segments.

Royalex has been the material of choice for larger whitewater canoes and northern wilderness river tripping canoes, especially when driven tandem, for 40 years.

I personally can't stand poly-plastic hulls of any kind. U-G-L-Y. Especially that soft Tupperware stuff that scratches into a Frankenstein-scarred surface.

Too bad for future high latitude and altitude river travelers who need to slide and flex and bash over igneous and metamorphic hard places.



 
 
  "It ain't always...
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Dec-17-13 5:00 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Dec-17-13 5:17 PM EST --

...sedentary in the sedimentary, too!"
Said simple Sam Simon sunk in S-Glass canoe.
"All ledged limestone lurks lashing, catches Kevlar at keel!"
"As is all igneous ignoble, or nasty gneiss gnawed near kneel!"
Unrighteous Raymond roared out, "Our rapid rides are all wrecks!"
"Repairing rips raised riparian requests, 'Return Royalex!'!!!!!"

 
 
  Life is short
  Posted by: LeeG on Dec-17-13 10:32 PM (EST)
Hold your canoe close
 
 
  Obviously the solution is more chines!
  Posted by: LeeG on Dec-18-13 1:07 PM (EST)
 

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