secondhand canoes, ID of poly vs Roylex

Although I’m mainly a flatwater kayaker, an inexpensive canoe could be fun. From time to time used canoes are listed in the local Trader, the current offering is an “Old Town canoe with paddles for $400” No other details. About 25 miles from my home.

Is there any definite way to find out if a “plastic” canoe is made of polyethylene vs Royalex without going to see it in person?

Does the color of the boat indicate the material, i.e. is it true that polyethylene boats are the same color inside and out while Royalex boats are two different colors?

It’s always good to know what questions to ask, without giving the seller the idea that they might have a “valuable” boat.



model number
Ask for the model name & number and then go on-line with a google search.

Most of the Old Town models were built with only one layup, be it polyethyene (PolyLink), Royalex(Oltonar), or Fiberglass.

As far as color differences I would say it’s true. Though maybe there are Royalex canoes that have the same color inside and out. If you can find out the model name Old Town’s website will tell you all about it.

Not true…
unless I misunderstood you.

My Old Town Disco is red on the outside and the ply on the inside is beige.



Why not just ask the guy…
what material it is made out of? If he is the original owner he knows that Roylax is more valuable then poly.



I think the name of the canoe will give you the answer: The Discovery Series canoes were all polys; The Camper and Penobscotts were royalex; etc. The only one that I know of that offers both is the Charles River. However, the royalex version is designated as “Charles River RX”, while the poly boat is just plain “Charles River.” Furthermore, the Charles River RX is 3" longer at 16’ 3" compared to the 16’ poly version.

I suspect, however, that this boat is either a Guide or an Ojibway. Both are poly boats.

The colour is different inside and out on both types.

As others have listed you can tell by the models. The poly “Superlink” Discoveries (now Kineo) are quite common.

Models not mentioned include 2 of the same hull: the Appalachain (Royalex) and Scout (poly).

Take a spin through OT’s website for more info.

In terms of “value” I find poly canoes re-sell for only a bit less than Royalex, no real difference in mind, though I too much prefer Royalex.