Painting Royalex

I just picked up a used OT Penobscot 16 that has some wear on the ends. The vinyl is worn through and some of the Royalex is showing. It isn’t deep enough to fill but I want to add some UV protection. I read a few of the threads on the subject and many advise spray painting. Are there any paints that work better? I don’t want to damage the vinyl and/or Royalex.

I’ll probably add skid plates in a year or two.

Thanks in advance.


Krylon “Fusion”.
A couple layers of bias-cut “E” glass and G-Flex, mask it, and spray a few coats. Done in a weekend.

Krylon is paddling bible…
If you have followed these forums for a while, you have seen Krylon Fusion paint recommended by paddlers time and again. Not that it is bad paint, but I don’t find it sticks any better, if as well, as other types of acrylic or enamel paints.

On a boat I no longer have, that I covered the bottom with dynel and West System epoxy, the final coats of Krylon flaked off more easily than dried on sand. I sanded the bottom, washed with soap and water, and wiped it down with alcohol prior to spraying on the Krylon, so I think my prep was okay. When I tied the boat on the car, the friction from the ropes was enough to start the Krylon flaking. The paint was pretty much gone after 30 or 40 uses of the canoe.

I have used Krylon on a second Royalex boat, and it isn’t holding very well there, either.

So, bible or no, I’m just not particularly impressed with Krylon Fusion. Yes, you can paint your royalex. The paint will scrape off with wear. I’d suggest a quart of any good quality enamel. If you spray, you’ll need 3 or more cans of spray paint. You can probably paint two hulls with a quart of paint. Lightly sand to enhance mechanical bonding. Krylon is supposed to chemically bond, but again, my results were not impressive. Your mileage may vary.


You’re probably right.
It’s just paint and it’s gonna wear off pretty quick no matter.

I think the OP was asking about touching up stem repairs only.

You might try JB Weld
I have good luck touching up spots where the vinyl has worn off with JB Weld. You can do a nice job with it too. The stuff is pretty tough and never comes off. It has to wear down first.

used a couple types
I’ve used Krylon Fusion in red and green. The red ( i bought 6 cans) clogs and dies with half or more of a can left. The green works well.

I also used leftover polyurethane from my sailboat (brightside) and that held up a lot better.

Which version of J-B Weld?
Which version of J-B Weld do you recommend? I like the idea of abrasion resistance along with the UV protection. I assume it “plays nice” with the Royalex.

my experience

– Last Updated: Apr-02-12 1:02 PM EST –

is that Krylon Fusion bonds marginally better than other widely available spray paints, including the non-Fusion Krylon paints, and there is a reasonable selection of colors so I use it on whitewater Royalex boats which are subject to continuous abrasion. The Fusion has never flaked off as it ages as I have experienced with some other paints. It will certainly scratch off, but it is easy enough to just spray on a bit more if it does.

I have used the red color and don't recall having trouble with the nozzle clogging, but I have always been careful to turn the can upside down and spray till clear propellant comes out to clear the nozzle before storing a partially used can.

I agree that a 1 part marine polyurethane paint like Interlux Brightside is stronger and better looking, and if you don't mind taking the time to apply it you might consider painting the hull bottom with it. Mark a waterline at 3 or 4 inches with the canoe level on a flat surface. A quart should be plenty. It would be a bit more expensive than several cans of spray paint, though.

After masking the hull, apply the polyurethane with a foam roller to areas about 2' x 2' at a time then tip it out with a disposable foam brush, or have some one follow you and tip it out as you roll paint on the whole hull bottom. You want about 3 coats.

Although tougher and prettier, the polyurethane will scratch off as well. Unfortunately, partially full cans or Brightside will often harden and go bad in the can when stored no matter how tightly the lid is sealed, so don't count on having any available for touch up work later.

I’ve used both the regular and fast dry
… I don’t know if I have a preference. The fast dry is probably a little easier to work with.

I clean the surface first, usually with alcohol or lightly with acetone. Then I smear on a light coat using a wooden coffee stirrer. Once it’s dry you can finish it a bit with sandpaper if you want.

The stuff is also pretty “slippery” so it doesn’t wear down quickly.

Maybe its just me
but I would just forget about it go for a paddle. The thing will last half a life time as it is.

It’s a good idea not to leave bare ABS
Once the vinyl wears off and the ABS is exposed to the sun it can become brittle. If you’ve ever found an ABS bucket that’s been lying outside exposed to the sun for years you’d see how brittle it can be. If you store your boat inside it’s probably not a big deal.

I’ve used PC-11 to similar effect.
It’s white, though, but it’s pretty tough stuff once cured and really sticks to the vinyl.

Main concern right now is UV damage
Unfortunately, this one is going to be stored outside - no more room in the garage. I’ll probably try the JB Weld and some spray paint with the expectation that the paint won’t be there long.

Since the vinyl will continue to wear off, I’ll probably put on some sort of skid-plate next year.

I hope to get it out on the water next week.



I’ll make a prediction …
If you put JB Weld on the bare spot you won’t put skid plates on it next year

you are probably correct
You are probably right. I think it is the best solution, but I probably will never get to it. If I have free time, I’d rather spend it paddling.

At this point there are two places where the Royalex is exposed - the largest is about 2 inches by 1 inch. I expect there are few very small tears/holes in the vinyl in the same area, so to cover the whole area makes the most sense.

Thanks again for your advice - any more hints are welcome.


fill it , smooth it , and …

– Last Updated: Apr-04-12 11:50 AM EST –

....... then cover it with a glass cloth patch .

Maybe go an inch larger than the damage area all the way around .

Mix a little color tint into the filler that you smooth down .

Mix a little color tint into the resin used with the cloth (follow tint % mix instuctions) .

Now you have a patch (sacrificial patch) over the most prone area of wear that will be tougher than the original vinyl skin , and it has some color to it . Forget paint , ain't worth the time or money , useless on canoe stems .

Almost any damage is worth filling , even if it's minor .

Royalex is the name given to the complete multi layered "Oltonar" product . A vinyl layer is on the exterior and interior , the other layers below the vinyl are ABS , and floatation core is in the middle . These sheets are heated and laid over a mould to conform to the moulds shape , then cooled and trimmed .

I tried a test strip of KeelEasy for about 6 months on my Royalex canoe and it held up very well in a very abrasive saltwater environment. I have since added a 4ft 2 inch piece to the bow and a 2ft piece to the stern. It’s been 4 months now and it is working great. It is easy to install but read the instructions, tips and video’s before you try to install. KeelEasy is so easy and tough I will never use traditional skid plates again.

yeah , sounds just right …
… peel and stick huh , is that what keel easy is … if so , quick good fix sounds just right .

I ordered a sample
If it’s thin enough I’m going to put it on the rails of my WW boat.