Buy new Royalex or wait for used$

Need some buying advice. I live in North Georgia and will paddle anything from lakes, to the Tennessee River and light class II Whitewater. Things can get a little rocky, so Royalex is optimal.

I’m still shopping for used boats, but I have a bead on two new boats and I would appreciate some opinions.

First, is a Mad River Explorer 15: $1,699. The shop bought and stored several Royalex boats. Still in bubble wrap, so I’m told.

Second, a Wenonah Prospector 15: $1,549. It’s also Royalex, but it does have two blemishes. One small, tip of the thumb-sized ding. And what is described as a “wave in the Royalex just below the gunnel.” That spooks me a little, but more from ignorance than experience.

It’s about a two-hour drive, in opposite directions, to see either boat. I would appreciate any tips.

Also, I stumbled across an ad for an Old Town Pathfinder that looks to be in great shape. It would be less than $800. So, is it better to hold out for a used boat.

Premium Prices, 'eh?
Having paddled and owned a Mad River Explorer 15 for about 5 years, it’s a good boat. That said, I now have the Wenonah and think it’s a better boat, especially for rivers.

With the demise of royalex, I broke down and bought the Wenonah Prospector this Spring. I believe I paid a few C-notes less than that? And the one for sale that you’re looking at is obviously also a “Blem” as mine was.

As for “Used,” you have to be patient and lucky. Depends on how soon you want/need the boat? I was looking for a Bell Yellowstone or Morningstar for river use for several months. Every one I found sold right out from under me. I finally gave up and sprung for the Prospector (and I’m happy with this boat). But, AFTER I bought it, it seemed like Bell Morningstars and Yellowstones were a dime a dozen (LOL)?

Here’s a link to nationwide adds that I used. And I would be hesitant myself about paying such high prices for those new royalex boats. As for the Pathfinder? Paddled one, not a fan.

No one makes royalex boats anymore. Soon all will be used. Get one while you can.

local shop has an MRE

– Last Updated: Jul-31-15 11:33 AM EST –

brand new, and not for sale. My poling buddy told me about that when I mentioned the 4 Royalex (notice, I capitalized that now revered word)canoes out front, none of which had a price tag...I looked at composite Swifts, beautiful but $3400...and I thought of what I do in a boat...went home and spraypainted last Sundays digmarks over on my Reflection, my go to boat this year for poling. Had 13 boats, glass, kevlar, poly, Hypalon and Royalex. Now I'm down to my 4 Royalex lol...beat to crap, but the one I'm using is the first paddlecraft I bought, 17 years ago.

Wave in the RX
…just below the gun’l is of no consequence - so long as it is as described…just below the gun’l. As long as the bottom and chines have the proper shape, it’s good to go.

One thing to remember is that if you get
a Royalex lemon, such as a delaminator, warranty replacement is likely to be impossible. That wouldn’t stop me— I have Royalex boats over 15 years old that have never had warranty issues. But when one is buying boats from amongst leftovers, it is something to think about.

I assume
Terrapin Outdoor Center is one of the places you’re looking?

I’ve seen quite a few Rx boats come up on CL in Atlanta. I’d wait. Maybe buy a beater aluminum boat in the meantime.

That said, I bought new Rx when I could. But my market is worse than yours.

Just my opinion…

– Last Updated: Aug-01-15 7:09 PM EST –

I think both of the canoes mentioned are overpriced. I'd be religiously checking used boat for sale ads. I think you can do better. It may require some patience, and a little aggressive searching on your part.

A new boat won't be new, or look new, after you've used it 15 times.

Some dealers are hyping Royalex like it's a layup that's made of spun gold.
"It's Royalex; they don't make it anymore"!
When you hear that; bend over & hand em your wallet.


And damend. Irrefutable.