does cold affect canoe?

How well does Old Town’s 3-layer poly material hold up to the cold weather? I’ve read that with Royalex, you should store inside for the winter. But what about poly canoes?

No Worries
Actually, Royalex usually does just fine when stored in cold weather, except that there can be cracking problems when the gunwales are made of wood. Wood and Royalex have markedly different rates of dimension change with temperature, and the widely recommended practice of loosening the gunwale screws allows more room for that difference. Remember though, Royalex canoes with wood gunwales are a small minority, and most Royalex canoes have vinyl gunwales, in which case the cold-cracking problem is virtually unheard of. I mention all that right off the bat in case you have ruled out buying a Royalex canoe based on what you’ve heard/read (most people would choose Royalex over poly for typical types of canoes).

As to poly boats, there should be no problem there either. There are millions of poly kayaks being left outside over the winter, and I’ve never heard of a problem arising from that. Someone else may have more specific details.

It’s worth noting that just about any common synthetic material lasts much longer if stored in a cold environment than a warm one, as the natural process of degradation gets slower with decreasing temperature (same reasoning applies for not storing plastics in a hotter environment than necessary). I don’t know about durability in cold, as plastics can become brittle if they get too cold, but not many people would paddle in such extreme cold to need to think about that, and your question seems to be about storage, not use.

No it doesn’ harm it all
If it did my 20 year old OT Disco would not be in the good shape that it is.

Jack L

Soon, you can go to Piragis in Ely
and get a nice light Kevlar canoe with aluminum gunwales. Poly canoes are just so dreadfully heavy.

No, But…
Be careful how you store it outside. If you keep it in the sun, warping can and probably will happen to poly canoes and kayaks. Go browse around canoes at an outfitter sometime and look at all the “Interesting” hull shapes poly canoes can mold themselves into when stored in the sun.

Got a tarp suspended over the canoe. Now that I think about it, I’ve had plastic stuff outside and it seems the sun does a lot of damage to plastic.

BTW, anyone look at Old Towns FaceBook page? They have a section where people submitted pictures of their canoes in storage.