Royalex layers question

Are there some layups of Royalex where the colored vinyl has something white as the next layer, before hitting the greenish ABS layer? All of the wear spots on my own RX boats go right from the vinyl (red in my case) to the blue-green ABS.

I’m looking at pictures of a used boat with a little stem wear, and some of it shows white while some shows greenish brown (though the white could just be flash glare). Another boat (again just pictures) has lots of missing vinyl, and the exposed plastic all shows white.

Finally, I once demoed an Esquif Blast at NOC, and the wear on its chines also showed white instead of blue-green. This makes me think some RX might use white ABS instead of blue-green, but the boat with both colors showing has me totally confused…

a lot of them have white
If you were looking at a picture of a used Mohawk Solo 14 on craigslist, if it’s the same one I saw, I didn’t like the way the white had turned a faint golden color. Seemed like the ABS may have gotten a lot of sun.

I thought of you when I saw it, since you said you were looking.

When the outer green on my Penobscot
gets scratched, the inner surface is a off white.



Those old “Oltonar” Royalex Old Towns,
you know, the yellow ones with the light aqua interiors and tan vinyl rails, had a black ABS layer on the outside. I’m thinking the carbon pigment went a long way towards slowing UV degradation.

The outer ABS on my '89 Penobscot is the light blue-greenish color and I agree with clarion that a yellow-brown cast indicates significant UV exposure and, probably, the accompanying embrittlement. That, and/or the foam core is exposed.

these are the pics
Here’s pictures of the hull with the confusing white and green:

I’ve asked the owner if the white is just camera glare - haven’t heard back yet…

And here’s another one I considered, but the guy wants too much for it, considering the bad camo job (covering a failed attempt at painted camo) and extensive boat ramp scrapes:

yep, that’s the one I saw
I didn’t like the looks of the ABS. But maybe I’m missing something explaining why it’s that color, besides excessive sun.

But to me the rest of the hull looks sun bleached too, with water splashed on some of it.

It’s a 1996 hull

– Last Updated: Oct-07-09 4:50 PM EST –

1996 hull, if stored outside, would get pretty faded. As long as the vinyl's intact, I've never worried much about sun exposure on RX hulls, but if those scuffs have been in the sun that long, that's another story.

The other one (with the DIY camo) has been stored indoors, and I have no reason to doubt the owner. He says he only used it maybe 10 times, but he must have scraped it along a concrete boat ramp when putting in/taking out to do that much damage to the bottom in so few uses.

yea, I guess my point was
… that the faded vinyl would be consistent with the possibility that the ABS got a lot of sun.

black absorbs
Just speculating here, but wouldn’t the black ABS be he one to worry about? Like with clothes, where black clothes are warmer in sunlight than white clothes, because dark colors absorb while light colors reflect?

Also, for the record, both of my royalex canoes have had white ABS under the vinyl, no sign of any blue-green material - 1990ish Old Town Pack and 2005ish Bell Wildfire.

Okay, the ABS on my '89 OT is basically
a translucent white with a distinct blue-green tint to it. My speculation regarding the black-pigmented ABS is based on my observation that “UV stabilized” plastic products designed for prolonged outdoor use that I’ve seen have usually been opaque black or grey. The idea, I believe, is that the pigments help to prevent the radiation from penetrating beyond the outer surface. You’re right, I think, about darker materials and infrared radiation. The extreme ends of the spectrum refract in different ways, which allows certain optical coatings to affect one and not the other. I’m also guessing that Uniroyal used carbon to pigment their Royalex because it was the least expensive commonly used black pigment available at the time. I just can’t imagine any other reason for them to have gone to the trouble.

makes sense
Okay that makes sense. So they permeate the entire ABS area with pigment, and any light that encounters the black pigment is stopped there, where it is harmless. Interesting.

Which naturally leads to the question - exactly HOW does sunlight damage royalex? That’s probably a complex physics/chemistry question, but if anybody knows and cares to share, I’d be oblidged.

You can start here:

Some have devoted their entire careers to the study of this. It’s way too complicated for me!

good point
I think I’ll walk away from these. Too bad about the 96, though. I very much prefer older RX boats - way thicker and more durable than the post-2000 stuff.

I’m pretty sure the seller bought it from an estate sale - I was Googling the Chambersburg area to see if he had it listed locally (so I could offer less than the starting ebay bid), and I ran across a recently completed farm auction that included “Solo Canoe” in its list. The current owner doesn’t seem to know much about the boat (he calls it a whitewater boat!). No real point in saying all that - I just enjoy playing detective.