Just bought a used Old Town Camper that came with a bunch of foam knee pads (apparently this guy thought the Camper was a good boat for whitewater, as it also came with an airbag). I was considering gluing some in to function as a seat for my 3-year-old and also for when I paddle solo, but I read somewhere that glue can damage the royalex. Anyone know if that is a real concern?
Foam can be glued into Royalex or composite boats with contact cement and it won’t damage the material. If you later remove the foam there will be a residue of glue and foam left behind. This can be removed with care, but sometimes it is tedious.
Some adhesives if used incorrectly can damage Royalex. Vinyl adhesives typically contain toluene or methylethylketone. If too much of this is applied and allowed to puddle in the hull, it can eat into the Royalex. When using vinyl adhesives it is also important to let the applied adhesive “degas” for a few minutes before approximating the object being glued in to the hull. But you don’t need to use vinyl adhesives to glue in foam.
I use barge cement to glue foam pads in. You can get it from a shoe repair shop if you can’t find it in your local hardware store. It hasn’t hurt my royalex canoe any.
I use clear silicone bathroom calk to glue all my knee pads in. I have roylex boats that had them in for years and when I sold them the new owner who didn’t want them pealed them out with no damage,and the residue comes completly off with a little work.