Royalex field repair kit?

-- Last Updated: Feb-24-16 11:51 PM EST --

What is a good Royalex field repair kit, and how should it be used? Something that lasts till the take-out and a more permanent repair.

Other canoe repair items you would take on a remote trip?

On a Royalex Boat…
…most “Field repairs” will be on seats, thwarts, etc. I keep a small pouch with assorted nuts and bolts and a couple wrenches the size of the bolts on the trim, a small screwdriver, and a multitool. With my roll of Gorilla tape I’m good for most anything that will happen.

In several decades paddling I’ve never had a royalex boat or a friend have a royalex boat needing extensive repair to the hull even when wrapped.

Duct tape
Will make just about any repair that you’ll need on the water. Never paddle without it!

Gorilla tape, maybe G Flex
West Systems G Flex epoxy is available in small kits with 4 ounces of resin and 4 ounces of hardener for around $25-30 from NRS, Jamestown Distributors, and other vendors. This is something that you might consider taking on a remote wilderness trip just in case.

However, to get a good bond you would ideally need to bevel the edges of a crack and clean it well with a solvent like denatured alcohol, then dry it and have it reasonably warm (at least not cold) to have it cure within a practical time frame. West Systems also suggests pretreating the ABS of the Royalex by flame oxidizing the surface with a propane torch but lists this treatment as optional. I have used G Flex on Royalex without preoxidation and gotten good bonds.

Certainly, the great majority of canoe injuries that one is likely to encounter can be dealt with using Gorilla Tape, even through and through cracks. You may also want to take some solvent along so that you can clean the hull surface well, and even some means of warming the hull to get the tape to stick securely if you are paddling in very cold temperatures.

If tape will do the job, I would use it and defer a permanent repair until you get back home.

Gorilla tape, cloth?
is there only one kind of Gorilla tape? The Gorilla duct tape? I thought there was something better than duct tape, some other Gorilla water proof tape, or 3M, maybe?

pblanc, I take it you don’t think fiberglass cloth would really be neccessary and to just use epoxy alone, should the tape not suffice?


jaws of life ? yawl canoeing thru Syria ?

the nuts n bolts/vinyl-rip stop repair tape/ is the way to go.

actually holing royalex would prob mean a serious hull deformation.

there is a piece of boiler/bridge plate steel facing narrow edge upstream on the Yakima…but rare.

duct tape. duct comes in a variety of prices…see 3M for the upscale. Home Depot sells tape for $12-15…buy that tape.

is there a goo pourable into a royalex hole backed by duct would harden in 10-15 minutes ? like super fast silicone gasket ?

Plumbers Epoxy
go to home depot and look in the glue/epoxy department

you want something designed for plastics and water

I have used it to patch scrapes and to make a sorta skid plate to cover some wear on the stem - that has lasted maybe 10 years or so - some has chipped off when I hit a rock, but easily replaced - it cures white though, if that bothers you - it can be sanded and painted

its a two part putty, just pinch off what you need, knead and roll to mix, then press into cuts or whatever

this is one I have used on my royalex boat - have also used the stuff to field repair a water filter that had a crack that prevented suction - works fine now. It would work to repair a lot of stuff.

also, if a repair kit, I bring some thin flexible wire - with a punch or awl of some kind, you could poke holes along a big tear in a boat and sew it together with the wire, then cover the repair with the epoxy - that would work for a large tear, better than duct tape

field repairs
Personally, I would do the minimal amount of repair in the field as would be necessary to keep the boat in one piece and reasonably watertight and defer as much of the repair as possible to a later time.

I have repaired quite a few canoes, Royalex and other materials, but regardless of the make-up of the boat, I have found that a poorly done, “quick and dirty” repair nearly always makes doing a proper repair difficult or impossible.

I could envision a circumstance in which a very long through and through crack could weaken the hull sufficiently that it lacked sufficient rigidity and in that instance I might be inclined to try to fill it, or partially fill it with epoxy. But I suspect just backing up the crack repair with a lot of Gorilla Tape would be sufficient to make it back home.

For structural repairs to Royalex using fabric it is best whenever possible to remove the outer vinyl to allow bonding directly to the ABS. This generally requires the use of a good chisel and often quite a bit of sanding as well. It is probably best to flame oxidize the ABS prior to bonding whenever possible, and the surface needs to be clean before laying on cloth. It is hard for me to imagine doing a repair like that in the field.

Good Stuff
I like it and have used it quite successfully on royalex hulls…at home. I just cannot imagine a royalex hull needing repair bad enough it couldn’t be done at home, though?

Royalex may dent, but it’s very unlikely you’ll hole it. That’s why it was and is so popular.

Bill H.

Punch through
I’ve only seen a hole punched through a royalex hull twice. One was caused by a piece of rebar in a rapid below the site of an old dam. Nickel size hole right between the knees. The other was an old 2x6 which managed to nail itself to the bottom of the hull. Both were easily fixed with gorilla tape. I think it’s easier to fix the original hole at home then try to re-fix a hasty river epoxy job to make it look presentable. Later some g-flex with added pigment made a strong clean looking repair. A gorilla tape repair will last multiple trips if you don’t have time to fix it right away. If you have a seat instead of a saddle some para-cord is handy to do temp fixes on hangers etc.

Those Are Some Scary…
…close calls, especially the rebar between the legs! Once I had a friend slice his royalex boat on an old car just under the water. Didn’t need repair on the river, though. The ONLY repairs I’ve ever had to do on the water had to do with trim; broken seats, thwarts, and yokes.