composite canoe was the wrong choice for me... what other options

So I got the bug to get a canoe this year and went with a Northstar phoenix in IPX. I am 5-11 180lbs and was set on a nice solo. The boat is fantastic and Its everything I was looking for other than the hull is not going to make it a year in some of my waters. Im in Columbus Ohio and we have some thin rocky (sharp rocky water).

Northstar states on the site of IPX "a canoe capable of extended river tripping and expedition whitewater, just like Royalex. " And that is what sealed my decision. Well after one trip my boat is showing fibers poking thru all over… My friends Roylex Mad River is 3 years old, gets hammered and takes it like a champ.

Soooo what to do.
I Think I need a new boat before I let this go too far. I could keep the Northstar and get a second boat but I would rather just have one. With Roylex gone, What would be some options for a nice durable solo?

I see some talk of T-formex by Esquif and the have the Echo. Anyone have one and care to share thoughts?
My buddy with the mad river thinks the Serinade in FGX would be fine but Im not so sure…

Thanks for reading!

Just a question. What do you mean by ‘fibers poking through all over’? To me, that could mean that there are lots of places where the skin coat has scraped off and the cloth is fully exposed, but that should be no big deal. Is the damage worse than that?

That is exactly it. Scratches to the fibers. I understand its not going to sink but this is from one trip early in the season. I do not want to reglass every month. I just feel I made a mistake on hull selection and would like to know if I can get something more suitable. Looking for a used Roylex but they are few and far between in the solo form.

Thanks again for taking the time to read.

I think that if you can’t find some deeper water, you probably should have something other than composite. It’s nice to have more than one boat, so I would redo the gelcoat on the glass boat and reserve it for less restricted waters.

Thats sort of my feeling… the boat is sweet but It would be nice to have a 2nd boat that can do the junk water.

I think you are on the mark looking for a used Royalex - just be patient. Eventually you will find one. I recently got an old beat-up Wenonah Sandpiper for $200. It was exactly what I wanted for my beater boat (when the composite might get hurt); the seller had gotten exactly what she wanted - a like-new Sandpiper for much more $. If you can’t wait, I’d get an interim replacement - up to you what would suffice.

Walterp, I had a MR Serenade FGX and loved the boat, but would never had taken it in thin water. The hull was hard and thin to keep the weight down, and would not take the type of use you are describing. I agree with the others, keep an eye out for a Royalex solo, there are many good models to choose from!

Yep, I think A Roylex or Tflex is in my future for sure. That being said… Im looking at the IPX composite with a fresh view. Should I be taking that boat on junk thin water? no not unless I want to do the maintenance and if I have a 2nd boat to take its place. I have a large shop that will allow me to own more hulls than one needs, so why not!

From what I can gather the impact resistance of the IPX may be better than Roylex. Abrasion? I don’t know who wins but I guess I can make the composite boat last far longer than Roylex.

Bottom line is that I like that Northstar too much to just swap it out. I keep going back to the other “equipment” in my life and Im having the same thoughts. Most tools are not do everything tools.

Also now that a week has passed and the pain of the first scratch has eased… It ain’t so bad. The whole idea of a canoe for me was to relax and forget about the “rocky waters” of life!

Hopefully Im on the right track.

Yes, for composite canoes in general (I’m not sure if this is true for the material you have), abrasion resistance is actually a whole lot better than it is with Royalex. It just sounds worse when it’s happening! I’ve seen well-used fiberglass hulls that are thoroughly scratched on the bottom and have been that way for years. At first glance it looks like terrible damage, but the scratches are invariably much shallower than the scratches you’d get on Royalex. It’s the fact that waters where scratches are likely to happen are also places where severe impacts, or the need for hull-flex to occur (like when high-centering on a rock), that make Royalex preferable in typical fast, rocky streams, NOT scratch resistance. When it comes to scratch resistance, Royalex actually rates very very low.