Polylink/Superlink PE Repair


I’ve been looking for a solo canoe since spring. I thought Buffalo Canoes in Ark. was making me one but all I’ve gotten is the run-around. I was previously looking at the OT Pack and the local Dick’s had one for $549 in May that’s of course gone now. I need a smaller boat to car top on a two door Blazer and it needs to fit in my garage without taking up most of the room of a car. I just sold Buffalo’s equivalent of the Discovery 158 for those reasons. Also, I’m a whitewater kayaker and I like a boat that turns sharper even if it’s not as fast. I’ve been stuck on Royalex because everything I’ve seen says it’s easier to repair than the other plastics. So, what’s the real story with Polylink/Superlink? Can it be successfully repaired? I’ve been looking at the “Field & Stream” 12’ canoe that they now have at the local Dick’s but am apprehensive about it being a “throw away” boat once it gets wear/damage. I’ve been paddling for almost 30 years so the chances of my crashing the boat are minimal but there’s also the question of wear-through from shallow shoals. This boat would never see anything above a Class II, it’s strictly for tame rivers, anything higher gets my whitewater kayak.

The “Kay-Noe” is only $399 at Dick’s right now and I can’t decide whether of not to pull the trigger.

Thanks ahead for any comments/suggestions. :slight_smile:

There are epoxys
that do stick to Polylink/Superlink OT boats so they can be repaired. In fact you can now purchase skid plates kits that use this epoxy (name of the vendor currently escapes me).

The “Field and Stream 12” looks to me to be what used to be sold as the Discovery 119. Having had a Disco 158 for over 15 years, I have found them to be very tough boats and mine gets tons of abuse. I know plenty of canoe liveries that use Discoveries and even Guides (which do not look to made as well) and get years of use out of them. I would not categorize PolyLink or Superlink boats as “throw aways”.

Polylink Repair
Great! Ok, thanks for the response! Yeah, that boat is the Discovery 119 rebadged for Dick’s, the tag even says “DSC119” on it. Was the original Discovery 119 made of Royalex? Oh well, no matter, I’m probably buying it anyway. :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, there are tons of outfitters in Missouri and most use OT boats, mostly the the Discovery 158 as you said. A few still use aluminum boats but they have welds all over them and they must have someone on staff who knows how to use a heliarc welder. :slight_smile:

All Discovery’s

– Last Updated: Aug-21-08 5:42 PM EST –

Were orginally made of "Discovery" which was later called at one time Cross Link, then Super Link. The exact material makeup changed over the years as well but its is still pretty sturdy stuff.

The real question is, how will your
lower abdominal wall stand up to lugging a poly canoe to and from your car?

Also, at best a polylink canoe is “somewhat” repairable. Epoxy will stick to it for “a while.”

Royalex is lighter and much more repairable.

How durable is royalex compared to polylink? I have a disco and a guide, they’re very tough and get a lot of abuse on these bony Texas rivers. But like you say they’re heavy, especially at the end of the trip.

Royalex vs. Superlink

– Last Updated: Aug-21-08 10:30 PM EST –

Quote = g2d
"The real question is, how will your lower abdominal wall stand up to lugging a poly canoe to and from your car?

Also, at best a polylink canoe is "somewhat" repairable. Epoxy will stick to it for "a while."

Royalex is lighter and much more repairable."

Yeah, but the problem is I can't find a Royalex boat in that size class in my area. All the etailers who carry the OT Pack want the full MSRP of $800 plus around $200 to ship it. Dick's of course has discontinued it in favor of the Discovery 119 (Kay-Noe) Superlink model.
The reason I didn't pounce on that closeout Pack at Dick's in the spring was because the guy at Buffalo Canoes talked up their quality and said they're comparable to Old Town or even better and that they'd have no problem building me one. Well, that was back in May and I've gotten nothing but excuses since then and I'd like to do some flatwater paddling this season. I have cold weather gear but my 40 year-old body doesn't tolerate it as well as it used to. :)

Well, I will say that a Pack or similar
small canoe might be acceptably light in polylink, and might be less likely than a larger polylink canoe to get damaged in a way that would be hard to repair. A smaller polylink boat might have a stiffer bottom. (The only OT polylink I ever paddles was a rental Discovery 158, and even though the boat appeared not to have been abused, the bottom oil-canned upward and hurt both glide and handling.)

This Discovery 119
has a keel from bow to stern and it looks pretty stiff. The possible downside I see to that is that’ll be the first place to wear through from shallow shoals and launches. I guess I could just walk the inches-deep areas.

This is probably a dumb question, but I’m experienced in buying whitewater kayaks and not at all with canoes. What about using the polyethylene sticks that go in a hot glue gun for repairing PE kayaks? Could those work?

Thanks again!

Different "poly"
My knowledge is weak, but here are a few things I have heard:

  1. There is linear, and cross linked polyethelene used for boats. Linear (Coleman kind) is less tough, but can be welded and recycled. Cross-linked is tougher, but cannot be welded or recycled.

  2. Very little sticks to poly. It is slippery.

  3. Spectra is a form of linear polyethelene that is extruded and then woven. Spectra is very strong, but doesn’t bond very well to epoxies.

  4. Poly is pretty abrasion resistant, but not as flexible as royalex, so it will be more likely to crack in a catastrophic situation (wrapping, flying off car). In practical use, it is just heavier.

Don’t know about that
"epoxy sticking for a while" comment.

being concerned about repairing my disco, I put a couple of test swatches of epoxy on my stern to see how they held up about 5 years ago. Other than some normal scratching an gouging they are still intact.

Another point is that my Disco has twice the mileage that my Royalex boat has on the same rivers and same river types and the Royalex boat is already worn through the outer material and is into the core in several places and my 15 year old Disco has yet to show that kind of wear. Paddling on the low rocky rivers of TX and OK, that is a testimony. Weight is definitely a factor, but that why I have a trailer.

Thanks again
for all the advice. What about my paddle? Will a 196cm whitewater paddle work well with this canoe?

Well I
pulled the trigger and bought the “Kay-Noe” (Discovery 119). I ended up getting it for %10 off and it was only $359.99 so I definitely can’t complain.

The funny part:

The seat back was missing one screw (no biggie) but I tried to get $40 or $50 off for it. The store manager showed up and said “no way” and was pretty terse (almost rude) about it. So, my buddy and I carry it up front and the asst. manager up there wanted to show off for the girl he was working with and told her to “take 10% off for them having to carry it up here themselves”. I said “thanks!” and then waited to laugh at the store manager till I got outside. :smiley:

Buffalo Bound
Well, I’m headed to the Buffalo to try out the Discovery 119 this weekend, heading out tomorrow. I’ll give my impressions of it when I get back. The first thing to happen is going to be a “Padz” on the seat. The molded seat seems comfy but is ridiculously slick. I can’t imagine how they expect someone to paddle it without added grip.

paddlinpals… There are better
epoxies now, such as the new flexible West epoxy. However, experience in the whitewater community, where so many of us have poly kayaks and c-1s, is that epoxy fixes do NOT hold up under high stress. They are more likely to last in regions of the hull that are not flexed or extended severely.

I would echo Eric Nyre in saying that a good plastic welder can bail out owners of linear or HTP boats. Crosslinked poly is not a common material these days. Jackson Kayaks is using it, but that’s not what you have.