Royalex and osyter reefs

I am thinking to get a royalex canoe because of the weight advantage. I will use it mostly on flatwater but I will go down to the coast a few times a year where has shallow water and osyter reefs. Can royalex stand the sharp osyter reefs? Thanks.

How Much?
Minor scrapes over the oysters with a lightly loaded boat should be no big deal. On the otherhand, if your dragging a heavily loaded boat over the oysters much of the time, maybe aluminum would be better. Or you may want to consider installing skid plates.

I used to have a fiberglass canoe and used it a fair amount in the Texas coastal bays. It scraped around on oyster shells a fair amount, but it was never a concern. I doubt that my royalex boat would be much different in occasional contact with oysters.

Oyster Reefs
Like Osprey I have paddled both a Wenonah Champlain in Tuff Weave and a Roylex Penobscot 16 in some of the Texas Bays. My penobscot suffered some really deep and long slices from reefs, while my Champlain made an awful screeching sound , the damage was fairly minor, just a shallow gel coat scratch. The tuff weave seems a bit more durable to me, but this is my experience, yor milage may vary.

Oyster encounters
Years ago, I paddled a Royalex Perception canoe in the tidal marshes of Georgia. Encounters with oysters left long deep scratches (into the underlying foam) that are still noticeable. A lot of scraping would leave a pretty sliced up boat.

poly boat
I have a poly kayak that is used in the Texas bay. My kayak has the same long and deep scratches from the osyter reefs. The poly material is really thick though. So deep scrathes don’t seem to be a problem. But I don’t know how thick the royalex material is in a canoe.

For oyster beds the best material is…
aluminum. Really aluminum is the only sensible choice if you are going to be messing around in the shallows over oyster beds. A heavily constructed fiberglass boat would be a distant second best. The vinyl skin on a Royalex boat is soft and very easily cut. Royalex is for whitewater where it displays superior resistance to impact damage.



oysters and barnacles and roaylex
After 6 yrs of heavy use in S. Florida, with lots of encounters with both barnacles on seawalls and pilings and oyster reefs, my royalex boat is still very serviciable. It looks like hell, with lots of scratches, but it is still holding up well. If appearances are important to you, OT makes a repair kit that you can use to repair scratches and dings in royalex. I have not tried it, so can offer no advice on how it works.

weight advantage
Royalex isn’t superlight,neither is aluminium but aluminum is best for oysters.

Lemon and a bit of tabasco are best
for oysters. Have we factored judgement and competence into this? Does one have to hit oyster beds so often that one is driven to paddle an aluminum boat?

cook a few hundred lbs of oysters in one

i went with rotomolded
for my new canoe i went with the rotomolded poly. It’s basically the same material as our sit on top kayaks. I’ve had situations where i ran over a barely submerged oyster bar that i couldn’t see. Other than some scratches there were no problems. that was a consideration in my canoe selection. haven’t tried the canoe on it yet though (not that i seek out oyster bars to run into). i seek out oyster bars for fishing! :wink:

Royalex use
Royalex is heavy, it tends to “ash can”, it suffers more damage from abasion, and is more difficult to repair if it suffers major damage than a layed-up canoe. In addition, it cannot be formed into the same fine entry lines as a layed-up canoe of the same ostensible model.

Royalex’s main claim to fame is relatively indestructable if it is crashed into (or bent around!)rocks or dropped from heights in ways that would break up canoes made with other layed up constructions. And if deformed from such accidents, it can often be pried back into some semblance of its original shape again.

If you are paddling flat water you will be plagued by all of Royalex’s disadvantages without benefitting from any of its good qualities. Sharp objects will cut through Royalex’s surface skin easily and require repairs that will be unsightly at best. A lay-up with gel coat would only scratch from the same mishap, and if you decided to expunge it in the name of cosmetics, applying and rubbing down a coat of gelcoat repair material on the area will make it as good as new.

I agree with others: for your purposes any material would be better than Royalex.

Caveat: Aluminum has abrasion advantages, of course, but aluminum canoes are heavy, noisy, icy in cold water and rotisseries in the sun, and intrinsically less efficient to paddle because they, like Royalex, cannot be formed into the same fine lines as a layed-up boat.

Where in South Florida?
Just curious, I live in West Palm Beach.

About once a year at the Palm Beach Fishing Club the subject of fishing out of small boats comes up in a lecture. Many stories and many photos over the years prove to me that aluminum is the only material that really stands up to oyster beds for small water craft. A guy in a Klepper had to re-skin his boat. When he got out to try to walk out of trouble, the oyster beds actually cut through his shoes. He was in real trouble. This sea story came with pictures to verify that it happened. Another guy chewed up a perfectly nice Kevlar Wenonah in one day! Again this story was presented with pictures.

Some guys use a Ghennoe (sp?) down here and like yours this is a boat that is able to stay afloat given this abuse, but they look like hell after a while. Save your Royalex boat for the whitewater where it has a definite superiority.