Royalex paint/ coatings

Does anyone have experience with painting/ coating the bottom of the hull to cover existing wear and prevent future wear. I have just sprayed it with Krylon Fusion but had the idea that maybe a wheel well/ underbody paint, roll on bedliner, or plasti dip type product might be a possibility. Looking for a cheap do it yourself project. Thanks

painting Royalex
I have known a couple of folks who used truck bed liner on their boats. It seemed to me to add a good bit of weight for dubious benefit and didn’t look that good.

A 2 part marine polyurethane paint such as Interlux Perfection will be tougher than spray paints, but it too will scratch and is much more complicated to apply.

What are you trying to accomplish? I doubt any coating, short of epoxying on a layer of fabric to the hull bottom is really going to add much in the way of structural strength. If you have areas in which the outer vinyl layer of Royalex has abraded off exposing the ABS then you should cover those to prevent the ABS from UV exposure. Any paint will work fine for that.

In my view, the best course of action is to mark off a 3 inch water line around your hull bottom. Find a nice, level, flat surface on which to put the boat and prop it in place using a carpenter’s level to make sure it is level. Use a little block of wood 3 inches in height and a Sharpie and mark around the hull perimeter. Mask that area off and spray the bottom.

Yes, the paint will get scratched off. When it becomes cosmetically unacceptable, just remask and repaint.

If you ever need to repair significant damage to your hull bottom, paint is easily sanded off. Any goop you apply to the bottom is likely to complicate the repair.

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DIY yes, but cheap and easy, no.
My 1998 MR Royalex whitewater boat, my primary boat for all purposes, is wearing through the vinyl skin in various places on the hull bottom. I use spray paint of various anti-theft colors to protect the exposed ABS from sun. No paint stands up well to that sort of wear, so I expect to re-spry now and then.

In the spot most subject to wear, the square foot of hull right under my solo pedestal, I skimmed off the vinyl and applied a two layer S-glass/epoxy patch. It has worn like iron for several years. Not light, not real easy to do, and not recommended for large areas.

For paint, removal of the vinyl, scrupulous surface prep, and professional application of high quality automotive or marine paint would add a bit of hardness.

I’ve never been attracted to rubbery, tacky, heavy, thick truck bed liners. Seems like a good way to get a hull to stick on a rock, until water current folds it double. Glassing wide areas of the exterior is also heavy, which is why I don’t recommend it.

Spray paint, go paddling, spray paint, go paddling…

Krylon Fusion. Very tough paint, made for plastic, last long time, wear resistant. I use it on my OT Discovery. Rocks will barely scratch it.

Royalex outer surface is vinyl
I have had good results with quality spray paint because the outer skin of royalex is vinyl, NOT PLASTIC. Big difference in paint adhesion because vinyl is much better at paint adherance than plastic. It won’ t really add any abrasion resisrance but WILL add some UV protection and depending on your skill, it will greatly improve the looks, especially above the waterline when paddling

vinyl repair
Yes, vinyl. Search Google for: vinyl canoe repair.

There are kits…maybe Wenonah ?

Vinyl contact cement on a prepared surface is extremely tenacious. Imagine a kit has microballoons mixed into the cement.

I painted TEETH on muh Rendevous bow with Krylon. Doesn’t wash off.

Don’t like Krylon
I painter a boat with Krylon and the paint flaked off very easily. Others say they had good results with it, so maybe the problem was in my application. I lightly sanded, them rubbed the boat down with alcohol. Seems like that should have worked, but I had poor results


pricey kits
caveat on the kits

Google Images has a page:

Alcohol removes grease before painting and removes paint after painting.

I may have used denatured alcohol…???..but painted in the desert at around 90+ degrees. Usual waiting time for evaporation here is more than 30 minutes and with a rough surface, a yellow bird hairdryer.

Painting with Krylon Fusion
I have used Krylon Fusion in about 10 or 12 different colors on a variety of hulls including polyethylene, composite, and Royalex. I have never had it flake off, so I expect Chip’s issue was one of surface prep. It is possible, however, to sometimes have a bad batch of paint. I have not had this experience with Krylon Fusion, but I have with other paints.

It is true that the outer layer of Royalex is vinyl, but the areas which are most important to protect with paint (or some other opaque coating) is the ABS plastic that has been exposed as a result of the outer vinyl abrading off.

My experience with Krylon Fusion has been generally good. Opinion varies on just whether Krylon Fusion is more durable than other paints. My experience suggests that the “Fusion” variety of Krylon is a little more durable than the regular Krylon spray paints, but not a very great deal more durable.

Alcohol is not that great a degreasing agent, I find. If I am going to spray a hull bottom, I would minimally first go over it with a scrub brush using warm water and Dawn dish washing detergent, then rinse well, and then wipe down with denatured (or isopropyl) alcohol. If the hull is really dirty, I might first use a general purpose cleanser like Simple Green, followed by the same treatment. It is certainly important to make sure the alcohol has completely evaporated before spraying the hull.

Vinyl surface prep
Yes, that’s the routine for surface prep. Using alcohol for cleaning a bicycle chain leaves the chain greasy but paint thinner or Simple Green removes grease n dirt. The use alcohol removing the Green or paint thinner.

I use paper towels, with some criticism, for final alcohol wipe downs using a clean paper for each new area or succession of wipes.

Home Depot has an extensive cleaner aisle with explanatory backup on the internet. HD sells a industrial strength green abrasive pad for taking off the outer oxide degraded layer of paint or plastic/vinyl with the alcohol wipe.

Wenonah manual advice
Wenonah’s canoe manual

Concerning scratches: The color of a Royalex

canoe is not impregnated throughout the

material but is a surface layer. Therefore,

scratches will reveal a different color.

Minor scratches might be polished out with

automotive products such as “polishing compound”

or ”buffing compound.” Because these

are mild abrasives, be careful to avoid polishing

through the entire color layer.

Another way to repair scratches is using

paint. We offer spray paint to match our

Royalex colors. First sand the surface with

very fine sandpaper, paint it, and allow the

paint to cure overnight, then apply a protective

product if desired.

If you have scratches deep enough that you

wish to fill them, sand the area with fine

paper, fill the scratch with an epoxy putty,

then sand and paint as described above.

Because Royalex canoes are quite flexible, the

fasteners that secure various parts may

loosen. Check and tighten them periodically

royalex white water canoes are bottom line, disposable.

Maybe everyone already knows GFlex but if not, you should. The 655 is thickened and you can spread it to fill voids and dents. The Rust-Oleum 2X ultra cover works very well after that. Good solid satin finish!

Spray painting a boat to ‘fix’ scratches/wear is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ “repair”. Krylon etc will do nothing to fix scratches. Rx boats have a lifespan. You need some kind of epoxy either by itself or with fabric to add life (and weight). Save the Krylon money for a new boat.

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