Royalex -Tuff Weave - differences?

Excuse any misspellings, did a few searches and as a newbi (will always be a newbi) there was a lot of different info, here’s what I would like to know.

13-15ft solo canoe to be used once in a while in class I and possibly class II overnight trips.

I’m not kneeling because of knee issues and wonder if such a boat in Royalex can be found in the low 40lbs?

Also read a few nice things about this Tuff Weave? Is it just as bump resistant than Royalex?

Thx, signed confused

Some thoughts for you
but … first pass, the closest thing that I can think of that comes close to meeting your listed requirements is a Mohawk Solo 14. It’s a light weight Royalex (R84 or R-lite or something) that a number of fairly good paddlers that I know have settled on as their primary solo. If you can find one it might be a good choice.

Next: Tuffweave vs. Royalex: Tuffweave isn’t all that light, but it is darned strong My '91 Tuffweave Rendezvous is my choice for low water & log bashing. It is also a great mild whitewater tripper. With an Ok skill set either is probably fine for most canoe camping rivers.

That brings up skill set, risk tolerance, and your definition of Class II. I’m probably an intermediate paddler with whitewater experience. My risk tolerance drops considerately when I’m carrying camping gear. As a newby there is a good chance that your biggest concern with a lot of class II drops that I have seen is how rough the portage is.

Thx for info will check into that boat, didn’t think about a portage figured the boat can take a few bumps and everything including me stays in the boat (hopefully)

I have zero whitewater experience, just was thinking about those scrapes and beaver dams that one encounters in the NE sections of the NFCT.

Please keep suggestions coming, thinking waterspyder will chime in soon, last time he told me about a boat I bought the one he was looking at first, hehe.

If you’re not kneeling, and you’re
not Verlen Kruger, then you could be in danger in ww with a canoe full of gear, or empty.

Kayaks can be managed well in ww from a sitting position, if one is sitting very low. Solo canoes paddled sitting, in ww, are quite a bit harder to manage in class 1-2+.

I don’t think a lot of people understand what class 2+ can mean. The Nantahala rapids are class 2-2+, except for Lesser Wesser. I never, never see any solo canoeist looking safe and competent on the Nanty when paddling in a seated position. I would not do it, and I can run the Nanty in my sleep. I do know some expert canoeist/kayakers like Wayne Dickert who could run some canoes down the Nanty, seated, without gear. But I think Wayne would refuse to run a wilderness river he had not seen, seated, in a canoe full of gear.

Kneeling makes ww paddling SO MUCH easier. If you truly can’t kneel, I think it may be time to do some goal re-assessment.

And on Tuffweave, Royalex, and Kevlar,
It depends on the layup. Tuffweave uses a cross weave of polyester strands and fiberglass strands. Vinylester resin, the resin most used by canoe makers, bonds exceptionally will to polyester and to FG, as long as the glass is properly coated and fresh. (Age and humidity degrade the coating, until the resin protects it.)

The best affordable Kevlar layups available now are from “Kaz” at Kaz’s laminate uses two outer layers of S-glass (more if you ask, fewer if you want to shave weigh), and two inner layers of Kevlar. Some other makers get more durability with more weight by using more polyester layers, and fewer Kevlar layers. Kaz is a racer. He wants good strength, good stiffness, and good durability.

In my opinion, Wenonah makes a mistake by using all Kevlar layups. The only all Kevlar layup I have resists tearing, but gets beat to a mushy grave because Kevlar lacks compression strength. The SSKK layups of my two Millbrooks are more durable by far, and they don’t fuzz on their outer surfaces. But Wenonah does not make many ww layups.

Can I suggest that you are having what we call an “Adjustment Reaction” in DSM-IV terms because of the probable demise of Royalex? If you want a strong, light, stiff canoe suitable for some ww, then find someone who will make what you need. Western Clipper, Hellman, resurrected Bell, or Wenonah Tuffweave. Forget Royalex. Even if you can find one used, it will be too heavy for portaging. Bad knees, heavy Royalex? I don’t think so.

g2d, thanks for your input. Maybe I’m not really thinking carefully and mentioned WWII water to easily. Probably more like low water levels with scraping on the bottom and the occasional bumping into some smaller rocks, my fault for not being to specific.

I have a Rapidfire boat that I’m tough on but don’t want to keep bumping into things and scraping it up. Also have a 12 Pungo that I use a lot but wanted to do more canoeing, like sitting up and seeing more.

Appreciate your help, thanks.

Just a point of clarification; when you say you won’t or can’t kneel do you mean ever at all, or just for any extended period of time? Tripping on class I water with the occasional class I+ to II feature (as G2D says, classifications are quite subjective and geographically varied) would likely mean you could be seated most of the time and only kneel when necessary. We call that the paddler’s secret handshake and it works quite well on the right river. Would that be possible for you?

I don’t want to sound like I’m in some
sort of kneeling elite. Kneeling has always been hard, the lower the harder. I’ve sometimes used a kneeling pedestal in the TV room to keep my knees and ankles more adapted to kneeling. Now at 71, I have to consider that long periods of kneeling might cause thrombosis.

I kayak maybe 10% of the time, and I’ve wondered whether the elements of ww kayak seating (molded seat, hip blocking, thigh hook support, foot location by carved blocks) could be adapted to the higher canoe sitting position. I think it is likely they could. Maybe there is documentation of the body and limb control measures Verlen Kruger used in his open sea canoes.

At the other extreme, it always makes me chuckle to see newbies who have just climbed into a rental Wenonah before chasing wild game in the BWCA. Often they have their knees way back, up in their faces, lolling from side to side. How can they imagine that anyone could sit like that for a full day of paddling? Why didn’t it send them back to the outfitter for instruction?

Having repaired both Royalex and
composite, I can say I would rather repair minor or cumulative damage on Tufweave. If damage is major, send some pictures and we’ll speculate.

NFCT and Tuffweave
I would not hesitate to drag a tuffweave canoe fer beaver dams, I also wouldn’t hesitate to try and run them either, I find great joy in trying to run beaver dams.

As far as class II goes you might want to pick your battles.On the NFCT a lot depends on the water level. A Tuffweave canoe would be an excellent choice from the start up until Permanant Rapids on the Saranac River below Saranac.(map 3)

There are lots of rock garden class II rapids after that that are going to bang up your canoe. If the water is low and the rapids are long you may not want to paddle them with Tuffweave. Let me know what sections you are planning on doing and I can give you a better idea.

Thanks acre, did the old forge to long lake section a few years back with some friends, relaxing 4 days, lots of fun except when hauling my 64lb 17ft poly kayak, eek! Sine then bought a Rapidfire for other sections…oh yea, forgot that i did the upper falls to axton landing and did that other section (forgot name) near axton landing to the road. Excuse my poor memory.

Last year I went to the VT side really far north and paddled from a campsite near Champlain a few miles inland, very pretty section. Drove further west and saw the river leading back into Champlain was pretty rocky (mid August). That’s why I was thinking about picking up a good used RX boat for those types of sections. I do have a Wilderness Pungo 12ft but I would rather work on canoe skills. Do you paddle there often?

The Missisquoi is a good example. You can get a pretty good idea of the conditions by looking a the Abby Rapids as you drive, check the NFCT map. If the water is at a decent level I would not hesitate to paddle it in a composite canoe. At low water I wouldn’t.

The Missisquoi would be a great section to paddle, you can scout much of it from the road, keep an eye on the map as you paddle to make sure you don’t wander into anything unexpectedly.

The border to Enosburg Falls is pretty mellow with a couple of easy rapids that can be carried is needed. Enosburg Falls has a tricky little secton after the put in below the bridge and then Abbey Rapids. Abbey Rapids is easy class II in normal conditions. After the Sheldon Spring carry there is another tricky section around the corner below the put-in 1/4 mile down then easy paddling until the East Highgate carry. After that it’s quick water to the lake except for the carry in Swanton.

check Google Earth for pictures.

You can carry around everything. If you plan on doing it post on the NFCT message board for current conditions. There are a couple of guys who live up there and can give you current conditions.

Was there!

– Last Updated: Apr-04-14 5:33 PM EST –

acre, that's where I paddled! Started by a campsite (more like seasonal nice trailer homes)right on Lake Champlain and paddled that river for a few miles. Saw nice wildlife and deer along the river on the left side, some type of wilderness area. I doubled back, packed up and drove over to the dam to continue the paddle but changed my mind. The paddlle was a little boring because the cars were driving along on the right side of the river. That's where I turned back. This is bringing back some good memories. Next to the campground was a cow field, they walked right up next to the river, very cool. Drove west for quit a few miles after that checking out the river. Then it was time to drive south on a terrible, did I say terrible, gravel road that was under repair for 10 miles! Awful!, Came out near Smuggler's Notch and made a pit stop further south at Ben and Jerry's! I had a wonderful time both on and off the water! I love VT!

ps, what type of boat do you like for sections with the low water, figure a nice used many ideas, its crazy! If you paddle over there let me know, would love to go out with others from the area.

Different backgrounds
I’m chuckling right now.

“Next to the campground was a cow field, they walked right up next to the river, very cool.”

In my neck of the woods (“the dairy state”), that’s not exactly unusual, and it’s actually the kind of river we usually try to avoid. I guess it all depends on what you are used to!

I understand the chuckle, it’s cool…being from NYC and 53yo I’m so lucky that I can get out and enjoy the great outdoors. And the same goes here when people visit the city and are amazed at the things I see daily, no biggie for me. I hoping to see more of that dairy state from the water this summer, oh yea, forgot, we paddled Otter Creek last June and crossed over the lake and camped below the palasaides, wow! Saw a few eagles flying around, the crossing a few days later was not fun, choppy, windy and we used open boats not our touring kayaks, scary. Maybe one day we can give each other a tour of their area, be well.

Having paddled lots…
of Royalex solos, I think you would be perfectly happy with either the Mohawk 14 or the Wenonah Vagabond. Both are kinda vanilla canoes, but will handle low water class II. To me there is a big difference between a big, high volume class II rapid and a small, steep, low volume class II rapid. I wouldn’t take my Vagabond loaded on high volume class II, but I’ve taken it on small, bony class II creeks quite a bit–too much, actually, because the bottom of my original Vagabond is beat all to hell so I bought another one last year, keeping the old one for the really bony creeks.

As for kevlar or glass or composites versus Royalex, I’ve also got a glass solo that I sometimes use on some of those bony creeks–I use it on the ones which have long, dead pools, because it’s faster and tracks better than the Vagabond. It basically takes about as much punishment as Royalex when it comes to scraping rocks, but doesn’t do as well in really fast water when you hit a rock hard. On the other hand, it’s easier to repair.

I think you would do fine…
In any of the 14 foot RX solo boats. A lot depends on where you put the seat. I have a Yellowstone Solo, and with the seat low (4” seat drops), it is pretty stable while sitting. Set the boat up for kneeling (2” seat drops), and it gets pretty tender while sitting. I don’t think I would run class II sitting with a load, but that is why you bring the portage cart.

got something!
This was so crazy, but I found a Wenonah Vagabond 2009 used for app $500…will cost another $120 for gas and tolls. Put down the $ and will pick it up next week, now I want to take some ACA paddle classes and get out on the water. After a few seasons of paddling I understand why paddlers have so many different types of boats. Thanks for suggestions.

Will keep in touch next time I visit the “Dairy State.”

Saw pics, small damage, just not used to buying a boat with scrapes, weird feeling…

Gotcha beat!
Last fall I bought a 2008 royalex Vagabond from a young couple in Savannah GA who bought it new thinking it would be a good family canoe for lazy water!? HMM I guess that having only one seat didn’t catch their eye! Anyway it has the wooden gunwales and all they needed was a little preservation to look new. I did have to hand make new end-decks out of oak which took about two hours and rewebbed the seat but for $200 I think it was a great deal since the hull is in excellent condition. I really love the boat and I bet you will too!