removing glue and glued objects from royalex

can “stuff” be removed that has been glued to royalex? For instance, there are a couple foam knee pads on the bottom of my canoe. Bell Royalex. Does the glue used ruin the surface of the royalex? I do not know what glue was used.

I’ve used a heat gun on low to warm the adhesive and a putty knife gently applied underneath drings and have success lifting them off. It was a used canoe I bought and not sure of the adhesive that was used, but I doubt it was epoxy - don’t think heat would work with epoxy

did the glue come off the hull? Was it royalex?

It was Royalex canoe. The outer layer of the canoe interior came off when I lifted the dring, I think that outer layer is vinyl on the interior of the canoe. That revealed the ABS layer.

I’ve seen comments in the past about using a very sharp wood chisel for this. You might scrape off a bit of the outer vinyl in the process, but look how much exterior vinyl you loose during years of scraping over rocks, and it’s easy to envision that this is not a serious problem. Very careful work should keep vinyl loss to a minimum, or even prevent it.

Now, here’s a trick that nobody seems to think of. When using the chisel, don’t put the beveled side of the blade facing up. Put the beveled surface flush against the hull. That makes the lower surface of the blade parallel to the hull, and it won’t “dig in”, and at the same time, the upper surface is at its ideal position (lowest possible slope) for peeling away the material that you wish to remove. If you put the beveled surface of the chisel blade facing up, as almost everyone thinks is proper, the handle of the tool will contact the hull and prevent the lower surface of the blade from being flush with that surface, and now you.'ve got a cutting situation that is terribly difficult to control. Also, some seemingly smart people have told me that the blade is “not as sharp” when positioned with the bevel facing down, but an angle is the same when viewed from either direction, and that idea is just wrong. Cut with the bevel facing down, and flush with the hull, and you can do a wonderful job of controlled slicing.

I’ve removed quite a bit of glued foam from Royalex and other poly boats over the years. I start with a hair dryer and scraper fitted with plastic razor blades to move the bulk of the material. Follow up with Goo Gone, scraper if needed, and disposable dry rag material. Wash away any oily Goo Gone residue remaining.

algae scraper I bough has a handle and replaceable plastic blades or stainless but they are not razor blades might be good. I may try it on my eddyline with mini-cell pad I want to remove.

It can be a real pain to restore an older boat; bring it “back to life, and get it back on the river. But often the finished project is worth the” sweat equity.

Old saddle comes out…

I worked with a dull knife from an Army mess kit and wire pliers to break up old saddle made from open & closed cell foam, wood, and fiberglass. Looked like it had been glued in with some type of epoxy; bad mistake! When most of the saddle was out; I used a mouse sander, the knife, goo gone & alcohol to get out the leftover trash.
I sanded it smooth. When it was smoothed out, “without” tearing the inner layer of Royalex, I cleaned & mask taped the whole area around it. I did the same with the old knee pads. I put in new foam paddling so that my knees & legs, and ankles were all padded.

I put in a new seat & thwarts. A saddle put my center of gravity too high .
Cleaned the hull with Acetone.
Using a quality spray paint, I gave it 3 full coats; each coat was allowed to dry for 3 hours on a 90 degree day.
I had new stickers made & applied them.

More photos will follow.

These photos will give you a decent idea of how the boat turned out


First & second photos from top show it 90% “done”; repainted, and re stickered.
My cost in materials was about 100 bucks. Sweat equity; probably 500; I’m a glutton for punishment…

It’s a feisty little 13 footer (Mad River Flashback model 1).
Already spit me out once, but in my defense…it was the first time I’d ever paddled it, and I got it downstream about 8 or 9 miles before it did. Only 3 other paddlers were brave enough test paddle it. One of them had been in one before, and the other is a lady who is nearly always up for a challenge.


Very nice work, sir!

Yup - no easy way to get foam off - carefully scrape it off and sand smooth. I try not to damage the inside of the boat. Old D-rings can be tough too. If they are firmly attached, I just cut off the webbing and leave the vinyl base. You can glue new foam or D-rings right over them. I don’t have a before picture, but here is my Encore after I removed all the old outfitting - you can see where it was.

Before outfitting

Not perfect, but I was putting new outfitting in over it anyway, so it didn’t matter.

Mike Yee Outfitting


Nice work on reoutfitting.

Do you hire out, pick up, and deliver? I’d pay for any replacement gear necessary, but couldn’t pay for your time, sweat equity, meals, or gas, and I’d want you to take it off your shuttle vehicle when you bring it back, and put it on a rack for me…
I’m a senior citizen, with lots of aches & pains, and have to save money for “more” canoes.
You’re much younger than me, need exercise to keep in top form, and have all the canoes you want already Right?

Pictured is one of the 3 “old beaters”, “an Encore” I picked up this Spring. Only things you’d have to do is pull out the saddle (mounted on industrial Velcro), put in a cane seat, give it a good scrubbing with a bristle brush & Simple Green, wipe it down with Acetone, rinse it 3 or 4 times, and give it a coat of 303. You probably already have all the clean up, fix up, reoutfit/restore necessities on hand. You don’t want all that stuff sitting on a shelf gathering, and not being put to good use.

Remember, to give is better than to receive…
Just trying to help you out…

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P.S. I’d need it done before Spring.

BOB said:

Nice work on reoutfitting.

Do you hire out, pick up, and deliver?

Sorry Bob - I love paddling, but I hate fixing boats. I’ll do my own because I have to, but even then I try to rush it and often end up doing it over. I need to replace the cane seat on my Yellowstone Solo. I bought the cane back in the spring, but still haven’t done it. I either sit lightly (not easy) or paddle the Wildfire (very easy). Having said that, I am pretty careful glueing in foam because I know how hard it is to get off.

I love my Encore, but it is really old school these days. Interesting that you are putting a cane seat in yours. At one time it was a hot playboat, now at 13’ it’s a touring boat. Still, I’d like to see a beginner paddler make that boat go straight. :wink:

p.s. - that boat is in really nice shape - doesn’t look like it has had much use.

Well, it’s not a 9, 10, or an 11 footer they’re using these days. and they don’t make Encores anymore…
So it somehow seems old school; at least to me.

I paddled a Whitesell Piranha, MR Outrage X, Mohawk Probe 12, and Mohawk Probe 12 II.
I think rolling over the top of a 9 footer in my Piranha might feel like going over a speed bump at a very low speed in my pickup.
A couple of years ago, I rolled over the top of a 15’ to16’ tandem (peeled out right in front of me). I got em amidship as they came off a small surfing wave. I had time to do one backstroke.
I turned around to look back, and saw the tandem go down like a Chevy; “like a rock” that is !!!
I didn’t evenneed to do a brace; Piranha just pushed it down, and rolled right over it.
They never even saw me coming…
They had that, “did the sky just fall on us” look on their face.

All was well, all had a good laugh; especially when I found their camera they didn’t have secured, on the bottom of the river.
One of those thank God for spring fed rivers, with clear water moments.


A lot of popular 9 footers now – how about a Millbrook Blink at 8’ 11”


Or the Blackfly Option at 8’ 7”


Even a big boy boat like the Octane is 8’ 10”

Ledges - Harry

I though about getting an Octane, and then I paddled it - nope. If I could buy a new boat right now, it would be a composite Outrage from Millbrook.


Someday - boat envy is a terrible thing. For now I am happy with my Encore. Have a nice Thanksgiving Bob.

Sorry for hijacking your thread Wick.