Royalex & Age
Posted by: kimoj44 on Feb-27-14 8:10 AM (EST) Category: Canoes
Been looking at a few canoes made from Royalex. Assuming there are not obvious issues, should the Royalex's age be a concern?
One I'm going to look at is from 1998.
Kayak Deck Gear Bags
Paddler's Truck Rack
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Posted by: kayamedic on Feb-27-14 8:38 AM (EST)
If it was stored out of the sun that is a good sign.
Posted by: deuce on Feb-27-14 9:13 AM (EST)
My solo boat is a Blue Hole Sunburst. Those haven't been made in over 25 years but mine is a tank. It was a barn queen when my buddy found it. He paddled it once and sold it to another buddy. He put it in his back yard under a tarp and didn't get it out again until I told him I'd buy it. Usually pretty obvious if one has been stored incorrectly, but age in and of itself is not a problem.
Posted by: fatelmo on Feb-27-14 10:43 AM (EST)
Me OT Tripper be 36 years old (1978) an' still in sound conditoon. It wuz always stored out of de sun.
The vinyl outer layer of Royalex|
Posted by: ezwater on Feb-27-14 2:01 PM (EST)
protects entirely against sun damage to the ABS structural layers. Royalex won't get brittle from sun unless the vinyl is scraped off, or UV damages the vinyl enough that it chalks and flakes off.
Posted by: rpg51 on Feb-27-14 2:37 PM (EST)
I have two trippers from the late 70s. Both stored carefully all their lives. One has become brittle, the other not so much. No idea why. But I would say that if it is stored well you will still see some brittleness creeping in when you get up to the 30 year mark. Still, I use both of them in significant whitewater all the time. Its not like they are going to break apart spontaneously or anything. They are perfectly serviceable and rugged as heck.
I became aware of the brittle-with-time|
Posted by: ezwater on Feb-27-14 11:17 PM (EST)
issue when I was making small hand rehab devices out of plastic sheet. When I made them out of fresh stock, they were flexible and could be bent to various angles without crazing or cracking. But if I went back to one, two or three years later, and tried to modify or change a bend, the plastic had become quite brittle.
My solution is wood.|
Posted by: rpg51 on Feb-28-14 6:01 AM (EST)
I like your solution|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Feb-28-14 9:34 AM (EST)
I love wood/canvas canoes. I wonder if they were as proportionately expensive back in the day as they are now? A lot of work (and $) goes into making them, but perhaps production on a larger scale and a less-limited supply of quality lumber made them more affordable (I've heard amazing stories about lumber which today would be considered furniture grade being so plentiful that it was used for making disposable shipping crates 50 to 60 years ago and more).
Good for 30+ yrs|
Posted by: Booztalkin on Feb-28-14 10:17 PM (EST)
In the late twenty-oughts, I rehabbed a '74 Chipywan. At the time, I wondered if the royalex was worth a rehab effort.
Go for it |
Posted by: eckilson on Mar-01-14 5:10 AM (EST)
RX and Age|
Posted by: CEWilson on Mar-01-14 12:01 PM (EST)
The trouble with Royalex and Age is that, as we age, it gets harder and harder to lift!
Posted by: vic on Mar-01-14 2:14 PM (EST)
The real problem with Royalex and age is that the more we age the harder it will be get :-)
Posted by: ret603 on Mar-03-14 1:00 PM (EST)
The older we get the harder it will become to digest Royalex.
The '74 Chipewayn|
Posted by: booztalkin on Mar-06-14 1:25 PM (EST)
I ran across the email address of the guy that bought the Chipewayn, five years ago. I wrote to him and asked how the boat was doing. He responded "Awesome!"
Good for a million years|
Posted by: mgc on Mar-13-14 12:44 PM (EST)
I own a Royalflex Old Town Kayak that I bought in (?) 1973/4 or so. I don't use it much anymore and keep it stored outside. It's fine. It looks like it's good for a million more years.
Old Boats In My Quiver|
Posted by: dougd on Mar-13-14 4:43 PM (EST)
Most of my boats in RX are between 20-30 years old and are still rock solid and I bought them all used. I now store them in my barn but have no idea how they were stored before I bought them. My Courier has taken some serious hits on rocks in WW and has no problems. Unless there are serious visible problems I wouldn't worry to much. Just my .02
IMO Royalex is not the best material|
Posted by: Yakfisher on Mar-14-14 2:07 PM (EST)
Posted by: deuce on Mar-14-14 2:32 PM (EST)
I don't imagine there will be much of that, but I do suspect some folks might point out the fact that you're impuning the suitability of a widely and successfully used material based on one experience you had. While that experience was unfortunate it's hardly grounds for saying Royalex isn't the best material for canoes. To each his own for sure though, my friend.
Also not sure |
Posted by: eckilson on Mar-14-14 3:38 PM (EST)
what "materials have largely replaced it". At least in these parts, it's pretty rare to see a canoe that isn't Royalex. Maybe it's all the rocky rivers around here.
Posted by: rpg51 on Mar-14-14 7:51 PM (EST)
That is the way to go.
Canvas the consumers, and see who |
Posted by: ezwater on Mar-14-14 8:19 PM (EST)
wood agree with you.
I like that - good one g2d|
Posted by: eckilson on Mar-15-14 5:49 AM (EST)
It gets pretty cold up here, and cold related damage is still uncommon. The main problem that I see with Royex is wear. As you have noted above, once the vinyl gets worn off, you will start to get cracks in the ABS layer. I say if a boat has been paddled enough to wear the vinyl off the bottom, a crack every now and then is justified.
Interesting as I thought Royalex|
Posted by: kayamedic on Mar-15-14 6:20 PM (EST)
was a Maine thing.. Its almost time for the Kenduskeag Race..there will be some 700 RX boats, the majority Old Town..
Don't get me wrong rpg51|
Posted by: eckilson on Mar-16-14 5:40 AM (EST)
Wood canvas canoes are beautiful - I'd love to have one. Composites are great too, but I have a Wenonah Spirit II in kevlar that sits on the rack because I don't want to scratch or bang it up. My royalex boats have all the fun.
Is your poly canoe still un-warped?|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Mar-15-14 3:47 PM (EST)
Posted by: vic on Mar-15-14 5:10 PM (EST)
I would guess the river dorks that rent those poly boats don't even know the canoes are warped. Probably looks normal to them, especially by the time the get off the river :-)
I kinda like my polycanoe|
Posted by: tdaniel on Mar-16-14 9:09 AM (EST)
it was cheap to buy- 300 dollars new although a bit deformed- paddles good, and is very durable. Heavy to carry, and the way its set up without thrwarts you can't portage it over your head, and the wife feels tippy in it (seats are bit high for her, and she'd like more initial stability) but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it paddled. In my universe its all good- rafts, kayaks, duckies, canoes, innertubes. I've paddled kevlar, royalex, poly, twintex, aluminum, pvc, hypalon, and glass. Some boat types and materials work better in some situations than others. If it gets you out on the water, and it works in your current situation then I don't see what the issue is. Add me to the list of river dorks who believe gettin' out is more important than bein' cool. "Its all good"...some folks are just slow to realize it.
"River dork" clarifiction.............|
Posted by: thebob.com on Mar-16-14 7:42 PM (EST)
tdaniel: RE river dorks|
Posted by: vic on Mar-16-14 7:55 PM (EST)
Please let me clarify what I mean by river dorks, and what most of the people I paddle with mean by river dorks.
No, because I store it properly|
Posted by: Yakfisher on Mar-16-14 5:32 PM (EST)
Unlike most of these canoe rental places that leave them on racks out in the hot sun where they warp.
There's more to it than that|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Mar-16-14 5:41 PM (EST)
As I said in that earlier post, that observation was made without needing to include the ones I've seen at the rental places. All the poly Old Town canoes I've seen have been warped, regardless of age or storage method.