Blue Hole OCA Canoe - Royalex?

I’m looking at a vintage Blue Hole OCA that I believe to be Royalex from 1980. One number says, “TBH07400M8D” serial number is OCA 4964. Anyone have any info on these? Thanks!
Seller is asking $400, supposedly garage stored (it looks to have been; no obvious fading in the pics).

Very likely Royalex layup; probably in the 70 pound weight range, without any added outfitting.
Built like a tank; would take a whole lot of abuse before it was worn out.
Will not be much fun to unload or load without some assistance. Certainly can be done, but not enjoyed.
Will require almost constant paddling to keep it moving on flat water.

Not a boat I’d want to solo on whitewater; too heavy, too long, too much effort expended.
If it has truly been stored indoors, and not consistently exposed to excessive UV, or extremely low temps; it is quite possible that it is still in decent condition, and could be around another 15 years.

Speaking for myself; I would not give 400 bucks for it, but I might consider 300; but only if I really wanted/needed it…which I don’t.
If you are a patient person, and actively search; I think you can easily find a more suitable canoe, close to the 400 to 500 dollar asking price.


Yes, it is Royalex. The Blue Hole OCA was one of the first, if not the first, non-aluminum tandem hull that was highly whitewater capable. I have two Blue Hole Royalex boats (solos) from the 1980s that are doing just fine. Blue Holes had a near legendary reputation for durability and were made of fairly heavy Royalex sheet.

The boat would be a very capable river canoe. It would be less than ideal for primarily flat water paddling but could perform that role as well as tripping, so long as you didn’t need to carry it to far. It would be very tough, but heavy and the raw T 42 aluminum gunwales will tend to turn your hand(s) temporarily black from rubbing against them when you paddle. Although the hull is certainly not ideal for solo paddling, many whitewater paddlers used it that way before solo designs became widely available.

Here are some specs on the OCA:

Length 15’ 9"
Maximum beam 35"
Beam at 4" waterline 33"
Depth at center 15"
Bow/stern height 25"
Weight 70 lbs (I think this is a bit optimistic)

There is an interesting book on the history of whitewater paddling titled “The River Chasers” by Susan L. Taft. If you search around you may be able to find it as a free download. That book has some interesting information about the origins and history of the Blue Hole Canoe Company, founded by Bob Lantz and Bill Griswold in 1972. Although Lantz and Griswold had nothing to do with the design of Royalex (which was done by Uniroyal Corp) and did not mold the first Royalex canoes, they realized the potential of Royalex for use in whitewater canoes and basically introduced the material for that usage. Their first 150 boats or so were generic “Warsaw Rocket” hulls manufactured by Uniroyal, and fitted with gunwales, thwarts, deck plates, and seats of their own design.

Lantz and Griswold started molding hulls of their own design in 1975 and the OCA (Open Canoe model A) was their very first model. This boat had more fullness in the ends and more freeboard than the Warsaw Rockets, and thus was better suited to whitewater use. The boat quickly went on to become a classic whitewater OC2 design.