ROYALEX CANOES: Can Good Used Ones Be Found?

Can good used Royalex canoes be found?

Royalex has been out of production for years for some reason, and I’ve heard Royalex is prone with age to getting brittle and the multi-layer structure to delaminate.

What do you look for when evaluating a used Royalex canoe?

I’m looking to get a mildly capable whitewater canoe so it’s likely to be heavily scratched. How do you tell if the scratches are deep enough to have compromised the hull (leading to delamination?)

Is there any good material now for patching Royalex? How expensive and troublesome is it to do so? I understand it’s not easy to patch Royalex.

You’ve been fed some misinformation.
Royalex is out of production for about seven years because one company made the laminated sheets. Spartech. When Spartech was sold to Poly One the machinery went with the sale. The machinery to produce it was old and in need of refurbishing. Polyone decided not to make that investment and dropped Royalex.
Delamination happened in one year toward the end in some sheets… Sheets were speced by each canoe maker to their wants. So RX was not one specific thickness. Remember what I said about the machinery? Delam never happened because of age. UV degradation in boats kept in the sun sometimes caused brittleness.
Those old 80s boats were very thick RX and while they are all battle scarred unless sun exposed are still very capable. Later boats were sometimes thinner to save weight. Sometimes the thinner floors caused oilcanning… excessive flexion underway. Its fixable.
So delamination is a manufacturers defect and not a product of age. Check for it never the less. Also if you find scratches to the foam inner layer it indicates repair is needed. Repair is NOT hard. GFlex and fiberglass patch.
Make sure you do not confuse Royalex wit polyethlene ( which can be a stinker to fix)

You will get more replies later. Some 40 or 50 RX canoes are doing a big group moving water trip this week… They are out of internet range.

Lots of good Royalex boats around. Age in and of itself isn’t a problem, and neither are scratches unless they go into the foam as Kim said. On an old whitewater boat you will also often see the outside vinyl layer wore off the bottom revealing the ABS layer (usually pale green) below. Even this is necessarily a problem. I have a 1990 Dagger Encore solo boat, and a 1988 Mohawk Whitewater 16 tandem – boat are still rock solid.

What are you looking at?

Can good Royalex boats, suitable for whitewater, still be found?
Well, they won’t drop into your lap , but if you make a concerted effort to find them; you most certainly can.
Pictured are 3 that I found “this year”. Besides those pictured I have 4 other Royalex, whitewater solos, in similar condition.
Think it noteworthy to add; the cost of the boat pictured averages out to about $325.00.
I drove less than 300 miles (round trip) to retrieve any of them.

P.S. Am looking for a Dagger Prophet. :^) Always looking!

Good luck to you,

@kayamedic said:
Delamination happened in one year toward the end in some sheets…

Just curious. Which year? Thx.

@kona said:

@kayamedic said:
Delamination happened in one year toward the end in some sheets…

Just curious. Which year? Thx.

i dont remember(2005 04 0r 06) but Swift had some problems that they did catch… If you buy a known reputable brand you should be fine. Other canoe works no doubt had the same problem and it was caught… You ought to be able to pick out a problem boat after this time.