Hey all new here and need advice. Just recently purchased a couple of entry level canoes (poly) just to get my family (2 adults and 3 children) on the water. I have been doing my research trying to decide what canoe would best fit us. Thought I would have some time to make a decision but now feel pressured to buy before all royalex models are gone. What are everyones thoughts? Will Royalex be replaced or another company pick it up in the near future? Have my eye on a couple of OT Trippers that’s about 8 hours away from me. I just don’t want to rush the decision.

the machinery to make the sheets of Royalex is old and needed to be redone.

Polyone decided that the cost was not worth the investment. So Rx is dead. I have not heard of any other company wanting to buy any of the Polyones “assets” with regard to Royalex.

Old Town is supposedly coming out with an improved poly LT9000. lighter than what is offered now.

They still mention Rx so I wonder how much inventory they had ordered from Spartech/Polyone ahead of time.

Royalex is gone for good

You might read this thread:

We will have to wait and see if Esquif pulls this off. Even if they are able to bring a “Royalex replacement” to market, there is no guarantee that other makers will buy and use it.

Roto-molded three-layer polyethylene boats have been around for quite some time now. Over the last few decades I have seen maker after maker claim that their new polyethylene formulation is the strongest, latest and greatest, super-duper stuff.

Polyethylene formulation has been around for a long time also. I would expect that any new PE formulation that Old Town comes up with will result in a modest weight savings at best. The only way that triple dump poly hulls are likely to approach the weight of Royalex hulls is with a significant reduction in material, and also strength and durability, IMO.

If you can get 2 OT Trippers in good
condition, I would recommend doing it. Yeah, they’re heavy (I owned one), but it’s an outstanding tandem design for lake and rapids.

They are new. I called Old Town and they do not have an inventory left on Trippers. I called every dealer I could, closest tripper I found is about 8 hours away. I know very little and have even less experience, so I was hoping to put this decision off for awhile.

Lots of boats
I would not feel to pressured to jump at a royalex canoe just for the sake of the finality of the death of royalex. There are gonna be plenty of used royalex boats on the market for many years

Better to get some Tufweave. Royalex
slowly stiffens, and if banged around, there’s hidden damage in the ABS, under the vinyl. I speak as one who has removed the vinyl for repairs.

Buy used
You can find many used boats for the price of a couple of new ones.

Unless there is obvious damage (cracks and holes), I wouldn’t worry too much about buying an old royalex boat. A boat stored outside will deteriorate faster than one stored inside, so that is a potential red-flag - especially if the colored vinyl layer is worn off the bottom or the ends. You will see the greenish ABS layer that is more susceptible to damage from the sun. You are more likely to see that in a whitewater canoe.

Other than that, go for it. There are lots of good used tandem canoes for sale.

what type of paddling do you plan on?
If you want to fit you, your wife, and three kids in one canoe, you are looking at a big canoe that will be very heavy if it is made of Royalex.

If you plan on paddling mostly flat water lakes and/or easy rivers, you would probably be better served by a good quality composite tandem.

You can typically find such a boat used for the same price, or sometimes less, than a new Royalex boat.

I buy to keep. I have boats going back
to 1980 and before. I do have one MR Guide Solo, used for $400. But I can afford to buy new.

I have looked hard at the composites but keep coming back to durability. Nothing I do or have is really sleek and fast. We would be looking at 2 canoes for my family. Kids are 10,11,and 12 now but time passes swiftly. Probably 99% of the time fishing tackle is taken along. Most of our outings are in the headwaters of three rivers near us. Lots of shoals and small water between deeper pools. So we need a canoe that I’m not afraid to drag through or grind through. Although were not ready for it, there are some class III near us as well as lakes. Even if I bought many hulls for every type of water, there would be places on our typical float where each would be inefficient. Therefore, I guess I’m looking for that tough, jack of all trades, master of none type of boat. And that’s all right for us. I too buy to keep, and don’t mind spending the money on quality that will last. Just seemed that for what I think I need, Royalex was the best choice.

Thanks all for your comments. My original question was on the fate of Royalex and I think that’s been answered. I didn’t want to buy a box of $30 Twinkies that will never be made again just to have them re-appear on the shelf in a couple of months. Think I have made a decision to buy the canoes if the price is not too overly inflated. If so, I guess I’ll take my chances down the road with used canoes. Now that I think about it, Twinkies and Royalex canoes may have the same shelf life. Thanks again.

Don’t kid yourself…
…royalex doesn’t hold up to dragging over shoals any better than fiberglass. In fact - it is demonstrably less wear-resistant. The only significant advantage rx has over composites is that you can wrap it around a rock, and rx (if not too old and brittle) can be stomped back into paddling shape.

why cant they keep making royalex? i know the company was bought out, but why do they want to shut the royalex plant down?

There is no money in it
The equipment that molds the sheets is old and worn out. It’s not deemed a good investment to replace it

This has been discussed on several threads

KYed, if you want durability similar to
Royalex, you have to find composite builders who know how to provide it.

Western/Clipper does a glass/polyester/vinylester layup that is similar to Royalex for ww durability, and more repairable.

I have a c-1 made by Phoenix in their “Fiberlastic” layup, vinylester resin and (mostly) Nylon. It has lasted longer since 1980 than competing poly Gyramax c-1s, and is more repairable.

P.S. Composites makes polyester cloth and vinylester resin layups that are more durable than any S-glass/Kevlar layup I know, and more durable than Royalex of similar weight.

Durable composite is out there, but lack of market demand has limited what you can find.

past tense
the line was shut down months ago. Royalex sheets are already a thing of the past, except for the builders who still have some, and that supply is going fast.

It’s dead.


– Last Updated: Sep-04-14 9:31 AM EST –

You must have missed it, but as has been pointed out before when this topic came up, the original maker of Royalex had high hopes that it would be used for all sorts of things, including replacing sheet metal for automotive bodies. That hope never came true, and the only thing Royalex was used for, at least in recent times, was making canoes. I would guess that supplying canoe builders for all those years was only reasonable because they already had the machines and at least they could produce *some* income with them, but apparently that income isn't great enough to justify buying new equipment. If Royalex were being used to make car bodies as originally hoped, there'd probably be many plants making the stuff.

Well, I bit. Reel me in. Purchased the two trippers and will pick up Saturday. Maybe I spent too much, but dividing the costs of canoes and fuel to pick them up by 250 (ten years at 25 outings per year)yields a cost of about $14/outing for family of 5. Not much when you think of it that way and I hope to get more than 10 years service from them. As far as the debate between Royalex and Tuf-weave, someone else will have to solve that one. Thanks for the comments-see you on the water.

and have fun.