royalex canoe in cold weather?

Any problem transporting a royalex canoe in sub freezing weather? I heard of a person who had one “shatter” when it fell of off his car in very cold weather.

Tie it down.
Probably best to tie the canoe to the car. This should prevent shattering. I have never had a problem, but have heard that if one allows water to freeze between the decks and the hull the gunnels may crack.

Have a good trip.

This topic ahs been discussed a lot so look in the archives for other opinions.

Yes Royalex gets “smaller” when cold so it can pull away for the wood gunnels. Just like a basketball shinks in cold weather so does royalex.

MAd River suggest removing screws on bow and stern ends as well as loosen screws on inside of gunnels a few turns etc.

I had my boat CRACK even though I abided by MR’s warrenty rules and MR did not back up their warrenty and wont to anyone f.y.i. It not their call even through they say in their warrenties.

SO to make a long story short…loosen screws!!!


Suburban Legend.

wouldn’t think it would be a problem
I’ve had a royalex Novacraft canoe out when the temperature was around 10 degrees and didn’t have any problems at all.

my dagger
reflection sits in a snowbank for 5 seasons now. I don’t touch it but no issues thus far. Bouncing it on the tar might be a different issue.

Mad River Guide,
I store it in my workshop which is usually heated but sometimes not. Wood Stove!

Royalex hull and vinyl gunnels.

It has traveled down the highway on my roof rack when the temps were below 20 degrees. Many is the time I’ve crawled out of the tent and found frost on the canoe. I don’t let it fall or fly off the vehicle because I figure it might break it. Falling off a vehicle is not a warranty issue as far as I know.

The real factor may be the AGE of the
Royalex canoe. The ABS layers, which provide the strength, are rather flexible, even mildly ductile, when the canoe is new. You will see people commenting about how their new Royalex can be dented by lashing the boat really hard with ropes… certainly my MR Synergy showed this softeness and flexibility when it was new. I think it very unlikely that an ABS canoe in cold down to 10, even 0 degrees F is going to “shatter” if dropped, as long as the boat is in the first five years of its life.

But ABS, and other plastics such as vinyl, gradually undergo spontaneous hardening with age. After a number of years, the plastic may be significantly less able to take a shot. I remember when a friend of mine was lowering his OLD MR ME canoe down the steep slope to the Upper Conasauga at Chicken Coop Gap. It got away from him and slid about 30 yards to run directly into a tree. The stem split all the way down where it hit, and inspection showed that the ABS layers appeared to have shattered in a brittle fashion, rather than showing the ductile tearing typical of a new Royalex canoe. I am quite confident that if my similar MR Synergy had hit the same tree at the same speed, the gunwales and front thwart might have been sprung, but the stem would not have split.

If it were possible to heat an old ABS canoe slowly to the point of softness, and then let it cool slowly to normal temperature, this would anneal the ABS to restore its ductility. This is what can be done with iron which has become crystallized and brittle, and I have often done this with old sheets of vinyl or Kydex to restore workability.

A royalex canoe
will shatter if it falls of of your car regardless of the temperature. The speed of the car is much more relevant. At speeds of over say 25mph, temperature doesn’t come into play.

Don’t know if this is relevant or not
I grew up working the masonry side of the construction business. We used the white ABS plastic buckets for a lot of things. When they were empty, we often tossed them down from the high scaffolding unto whatever was below, often cubes of brick or block.

Even on the coldest days, I never ever saw one of those buckets shatter, break or crack.

I used to deliver
paint that came in those 5 gallon buckets, they use to crack in the back of the truck when it was cold. Dropping a 2 lb bucket off of a roof is probably different than dropping a 65lb canoe off the roof of a car at highway speed

by all means
I’d take all appropriate precaution to avoid dropping a canoe off the roof of a car at highway speed. My royalex boats have never seen that kind of use in any weather so I’m really not in a position to comment on it.