-- Last Updated: Feb-10-07 1:14 AM EST --

How bad is it to take a royalex canoe being stored in sub-freezing, perhaps subzero temperatures indoors to a pool, and then back outside to be transported home ....all within a few hours time? With vinyl rails, wood seat and thwarts.

No probs
But I’d put on a warm jacket, maybe a good warm hat…gloves…got to keep warm after coming out of that pool and into the cold!

Seriously, should be okay unless you have wooden gunnels. Royalex canoes with wood trim needs to have the screws loosened off for cold weather storage otherwise you are prone to cold cracks in the royalex.

Just wanted to make sure. The temperature change seems like it will be a lot for that short of time.


I would be worried about the wood, and be very concerned about any water that was trapped any where between boat parts and the exspansion when the water froze.


Trapped Water

– Last Updated: Feb-11-07 2:22 PM EST –

It makes sense to worry about trapped water freezing, but in actual fact, that seldom causes any damage. The reason for that is that the water isn't ever *completely* trapped, because it got in there somehow, and can flow out the same way if forced. This is something I've paid a lot of attention to in all sorts of situations, and I've yet to see any damage occur. I think when the water freezes, it's free to "squish around" during the freezing process, changing shape as needed to fit the space it occupies. On the other hand, repeated freeze-thaw cycles where only partial thawing occurs each time, sometimes DO cause damage (I think this process lets small amounts of water ooze in and completely fill small gaps, where it can then get "hemmed in" as the edges freeze, but that's just an explanation that makes sense to me).

I've had water bottles freeze solid on countless occasions, and I've also had water freeze within the tight spaces of the bottle's cap threads and seal, and never has anything been damaged as a result (I HAVE had water bottles split open after several partial thawings followed by re-freezing). Water within vinyl gunwales or wood thwart attachements has never damaged anything when it froze either, though I do try to make sure the boat is at least partly drained of such water before putting it on the car roof. Same goes for all the woodwork on my guide-boat. It looks like there'd be a lot of potential for water seeping into the joints to cause a problem when it froze, but after having water freeze in that boat dozens of times, I've yet to see the slightest indication of damage.

Only a problem if
you have wood gunwales. Wood gunwales on a royalex hull can cause cold cracks in the royalex in col weather. Wood seats and thwarts are no cause for concern though.


What about…
kevlar boats? Does the same apply for loosening the screws to prevent cracks?