Royalex & Outdoor Storage?

Well, I sure have enjoyed my Vagabond I bought last month. Have two river trips under my belt (about 20 miles total) and 4 trips to the local lake for exercise. On a side note, I notice the royalex sure is prone to rock marks and sometimes I don’t even notice that I’m on the rocks. Guess it’s true that royalex does slide easily over rocks. Currently I have the canoe on wooden saw horses which have been placed to the east of my 6’ high wood fence. I have built two 4’ X 4’ wooden screens on the north and south side of the canoe too (wind protection primarily). This leaves me with am sunshine and no overhead cover. Should I build some sort of cover (would need 16’)? What about tarps, uv protectant you can apply, or any other remedies and/or solutions you wiley paddlers know about and would care to share with me. I am not opposed to building some sort of cover, just not sure quite how to design it (materials, ease of using and, important too, keeping it from looking tacky). Thanks!

You should cover it. It will last longer than you will if you store it out of the UV light.

There is a UV spray on protectant, 303 aerospace protectant that seems recommended by many on this board.

Personally, I’d build a roof over it, or at least a tarp.

Design and ‘tackiness’ are going to be up to you.

Best of luck, and have fun with it.


If you have wooden gunwales, rig the
tarp so that it stands clear of them. The faster they dry, the better.

Also for spectators to this thread, if you have a composite boat (“glass”), that is another reason to not wrap a tarp directly around the hull. I think I hastened blistering on an old Mad River hull by wrapping a tarp directly on the hull. This prevents or slows drying of small amounts of water that have gotten into the composite matrix. Some older resins interact more strongly with water, producing gasses which can blister the gelcoat. (You can check Gougeon Bros/West Epoxy for technical info on blisters. Epoxy is almost immune to blistering.)

Proper shading from the sun is best
A tarp will keep the sun off, but will do little to keep it from roasting in the heat of the day. The gradual deterioration of plastic over time is greatly accelerated at high temperature (one of our local businesses is a cold-storage warehouse, and they store all sorts of products that degrade very slowly over time, even automobile tires), so I assume it’s best to minimize not just UV exposure, but also solar heating, and that means some kind of overhead covering that is well vented. Whether you want to do anything that elaborate is another matter, and a tarp for a cover will probably still be better than nothing at all. I’d guess that some kind of spacer between the tarp and the hull would help, and you may want to do that anyway to avoid getting stains or discoloration from direct tarp contact. That said, I see lots of Royalex canoes stored outside in only partial shade, and for most people that is good enough.

I’m finding
when the canoes get old and beat, Krylon Fusion spray paint is working very well. Until then, use the 303 every couple months.

Seasonal product, according
to Bass Pro Shop. They said hopefully they’d have some 303 in before summer. For now that’s what I’m waiting for. I may stop by Lowe’s and get some corrugated fiberglass or metal and build an awning type cover. Something lightweight yet strong enough to handle hail.

303 sources
You can get 303 at a reasonable price from REI and NRS year 'round. I went to a pool/spa dealer with my friend to pick up supplies for his hot-tub and discovered that they sell 303 for a great price. Score! Most marine and aviation suppliers will carry it as well.


Auto Parts Stores
I have got 303 at Auto Parts chains before, in the wax/cleaning aisle.