Royalex wear. How to patch?

Sorry if this has been covered before but a couple of searches haven’t got me what I’m looking for.

I just got a good deal on a 00’ OT Penobscot 16 in Royalex. The boat is in general VG condition but does have about 8-10" of wear through on the bottom of the stems. It was a pond boat so the wear was from dragging it up the beach. Not deep, just through the (green) skin so as to show white. So, is the a simple way to cover/repair? Should I install “bang plates”? If so, who makes a decent but inexpensive set? Can I make my own? (I’m pretty handy.) Not looking to spend a fortune but don’t want it to get any worse. (

BTW: The boat will still be used as a lake boat again and rocks are a given. It may see Class I or II a few times in the rest of it’s life.)

Any and all advice appreciated. This is my first plastic boat repair of any kind.


Cheapest solution is just to paint over
the exposed ABS areas. Any good quality spray paint is fine, perhaps Krylon Fusion. This will have to be repeated occasionally.

Another option is to dissolve ABS pipe in acetone or another solvent and paint layers onto the exposed blue-green ABS. You can build up the thickness with patience. Make sure the acetone evaporates completely with each painting or it will soften the ABS.

My own solution is to apply about 3 concentric layers of bias-cut fiberglass, largest layer first, using epoxy resin. S-glass is best, its harder and stronger. Makes a much cleaner and lower profile skid plate than Kevlar felt.

I don’t have anything good to say about Kevlar felt skid plate kits, except that they are pretty easy to apply. No one makes boats out of Kevlar felt, but E-glass and S-glass are considered to be excellent outer layers for canoes.

Thanks- I was wondering

Actually, I was thinking about just wrapping a 4-6" wide glass tape over the edge but was unsure of what resin to use. Is West or SYS 3 epoxy going to bond to Royalex or do I need something special?

It will bond well with normal prep.

– Last Updated: Jul-16-10 7:43 PM EST –

Both West and System 3 will wet out glass cloth easily.

A problem you may encounter is if you want the glass to follow up the curve of the stem, then the glass may not want to lie flat over the contours. That's why bias cut glass patches are used. They are cut so that the fibers cross the axis of the boat at 45 degrees. Bias cut cloth has a wonderful ability to adapt to curves. But you might then need to use 3 or more concentric layers.

Bias-cut glass and West epoxy…
…have worked well for me too. Make sure the surface is clean and dry. You can wipe it lightly with acetone to prep.

If the exposed white layer is very small in area, you can buy a lot of time by simply applying a thin layer of West G-flex with black pigment mixed in (after the same prep). The pigment helps the epoxy weather the UV exposure better, although regular application of paint is better still. Don’t ram your stem up the banks and it will likely last a long time.

best not to use FG pre-width tapes …

– Last Updated: Jul-18-10 10:16 PM EST –

...... for what you are thinking about , especially woven or stiched edge types ... in tapes , the woven or treated edge will give you a difficult time getting it to lay down and conform to the stem curve , because it's a compound outside curve ... also that woven edge on tapes will be thicker than the main field of the cloth (makes a lump around the perimeter (not so good for what you want) .

Just cut (sharp scissors work fine) your own strips out of the biax (45* non-woven) or (45 degree weave) in whatever cloth thicknes and weave tightness you want (called weight in oz.) ... a lighter cloth and tighter weave will unravel less around the edges as you wet it out and handle it ... good to cut a couple or more cloth pieces the same size so you can build them up , one on top the other during first build up (called laminating) , you can do this all at the same time as long as the epoxy resin "hasn't" cured and still has a tacky surface (called a chemical bond) .

You don't have to use biax especially if you are using light cloths , they are pretty flexable when wetted out ... biax will just be a little more cooperative .

It's a good idea to use a peice of wax paper (or seran wrap) to put over the resined in patch and fair it out to shape (trowel , fingers (wear disposable gloves) , squeegie or roller over wax paper) ... this keeps the mess and sticky on the underside of the wax paper , and the tape will jeep the squeezed out resin from getting any place except the on the tape (just be sure to tape area is good and wide) .

Remember , after you apply the resin mix and cloth and it cures ... it will be mostly transparent . You can add a color agent to the resin mix to give it some color (follow ratio recomended on color agent bottle) .

Cut your cloth to the size you want , measure it and mark and tape off that same area on your stems ... scuff that inside tape area where the cloth will be added with course sand paper (60 grit is good) ... then wipe with acetone to clean and dry area .

The tape will also aid in keeping the epoxy off the rest of the canoe around the added cloth ... when the newly applied resin and cloth are tacky to the touch (a bit harder than just gelled) , remove the tape , tape around again a litlle bigger than the patch and add another coat of epoxy as a weave fill coat ... just think thin and build up in layers of cloth and epoxy ... you can sand the hardened (cured) surface to your liking (and paint for color match if desired) .

Remember , if you wait till expoxy has cured and then want to add another layer , then you should wash area off with hot soap and water to remove amine blush which forms on hardened surface ... scuff up again after wash , acetone again and build some more if desired .

Use the acetone to clean up still wet or tacky resin from where you don't want it .

Good to have a small piece of smooth plywood to pour your mixed expoxy out on (don't let it stay in cup because it sets up (kicks off) much faster than when spread out thin on a board) , besides , the ply gives you a place to lay the cloth on for wetting out .

Put epoxy on stem area first , then wet cloth and lay it into wetted stem area .

You'll only need to mix up say about 3-4 oz. at a time , have two flexable clear plastic mix cups (like you can get at places such as West Marine) that have oz. marks on them , so you can mix more right away if you want to .

Excellent advice -all

– Last Updated: Jul-17-10 7:54 AM EST –

We'll I'm seeing that there is no immediate panic to get this done. Great. I'd like to paddle my new toy. Still, I think it will be a good fall project. As for the applying of the materials, I'm pretty comfortable. I'm experienced with epoxies and cloths as have built several small boats (including my beloved 14.5' MicMac cedar stripper). I also live within a short drive of one of the marine industries bigest boat building supply house so access to resin and various cloths are simple. It was the royalex prep and bonding issue that scared me. Thought I would need some exotic resin.

Thanks much to you all for your responses.

Old Town - Krylon hunter green paint
For the record, just touched up those two (1/2" x9") spots as a temp fix. I have to say that Krylon Satin Hunter Green is about as close a match as you could ask for. Seems to be adhering well too. We’ll see how long it lasts.