Cold cracks with Royalex?

Been reading about the possibilities of cold cracks forming on canoes made from Royalex. The Mad River website has a description/advisory that sounds a bit like a disclaimer. Anyways, I was wondering what experiences any of you may have had with this issue?

Royalex - Cold Cracks
I don’t know about the current line of royalex boats, but I have an Old Town Tripper that is more than 30 years old. It has spent all of its winters in unheated garages in Chicago and now NE Wisconsin with no evidence of any ill effects.

Wood trimmed Royalex
Wha Ho, Pilgrim;;

Cold cracking “may” be a possibility if yer have wooden gunnels an’ a Royalex hull due to the expansion and contraction of de Royalex wit temperature. De wood doesn’t do dat to any appreciable extent, so it’s de Royalex hull area where the screws go through the wooden gunnels and hull dat “might” crack at low temperatures. Wenonah Canoe Company nowdays slots de hull holes to allow for this movement. Ah’ pull de screws out at each end for about 4 feet or so an’ let de gunnel ends hang loose fer winter storage. On vinyl gunneled canoes yer won’t have this problem since everything expands an’ contracts the same. Ah’ also gots a 28 year old OT Tripper dats always been stored outside (protected from de sun, of course) an’ it’s still in excellent shape. Got’ta love those old Trippers - they don’t build them like dat anymore.

Fat Elmo

mr rx
do a search about as far back as a year from me regarding royalex…look in archives.

i had a mr crack and they didnt do anything even thou i followed their advise…read more in archives

Had an old RX Tripper myself, circa 1980. Took lots of long canoe camping trips with it all over the US. Great boat as long as portaging wasn’t on the agenda. Carried two paddlers & enough gear for two weeks through all kinds of water. Sold it years ago when I quit tandem padling & went to strictly solo (divorce’ll do that sometimes). Still regret selling it. I see OT still makes the Tripper. Wonder if they’re as good now as they were years back then.

Cold Cracks
Yep, as FE said, cold cracks are generally associated with royalex and wood gunnels. I’d add age is a factor, too.

I have a Nova Craft Bob Special - royalex and wood gunnels. I back out the gunnel screws for winter storage. No problems.

I also have an Old Town Penobscott that is 12 years old. It has the aluminum gunnels. However, several years ago I replaced the worn out plastic decks with wooden ones. Last winter the hull developed two cold cracks on each side of the hull near the bow. The cracks were right in line with a gunnel screw hole where the wooden deck was attached.

I have heard that if you enlarge the holes in the hull where the screws pass through that will eliminate the problem.

cold crack repair
I had several of these little buggers and they are repaired per instructions from Mad River Canoe and Mike McCrea.

You can see a couple of pics here.

Dagger Caper
I had a Caper, used. Stored it outside under a tarp enclosure and it did in fact crack. I fixed it and the next year it cracked again, longer still and under the saddle. Since then it has undergone surgery, cut in half, has become a worm farm, and is now currently sitting out in my field waiting for the next round of what to do with it?! Back out the screws on the gunwales a bit for the duration of storage in the cold weather.