UV damage to Royalex

Local dealer has OT Camper that has been sitting outside his store for at least 2 years I know.

The Red Royalex is faded on the side facing the the sun (SE direction, it is on a rack in front of store next to wall)

I am thinking I might get a good deal on this boat but am wary of possible UV/weather damage( Below freezing temps & two ice storms in past year).

Any thoughts?


my experience only

– Last Updated: Jan-03-08 4:38 PM EST –

and I'm sure open to different opinions, but basically if you get a good deal, like the canoe, then go for it. I've got 4 Royalex canoes, none younger than 7 years old, all heavily used or thrashed, and stored outdoors in Connecticut. The sunlight has not caused any deterioration that I can tell, none of the canoes oilcans or feels soft anywhere, except for my sons Whitesell, which has basically been opened up by rocks and patched a few times in its 20 years, and we actually turned a soft spot into a hard spot with some epoxy. A little 303 will bring a shine back and renew the color somewhat, as well as provide UV protection. Another thing I've been doing, as Aaron and I thrash our canoes pretty severely, is to use Krylon Fusion spray paint to make the exterior look really good. Avoid the red though, it seems to clog the can early on, which is why all my canoes are green now.
If the Camper has wood gunwales, I'd check the screws/bolts holding the gunwales in place, as freezing weather will elongate the holes or crack the royalex due to different contraction coefficients.

Wondering what the $$$$ number on this “good deal” might be? That would be the #1 determining factor for me. I would also want to do a real “close up” inspection of the boat, no matter what the “good deal” price was. You need to look for cracks & try to determine if there are any spots that appear to be brittle.

A little fading can be helped somewhat by 303, and a little fading won’t make it paddle worse, or better. Check out the serial number & determine if it is “really” only 2 years old. I’ll bet it doesn’t have wood trim…so that’s probably not a concern, but would be if it had wood trim.


I got a Swift Raven in Royalex
from a Connecticut dealer that had it on the rack outside (but under a barn eave) for four years. It was a very good deal. CT isnt a great place to sell downriver tripping boats I suppose.

Just check it as others have suggested and you should be fine. My boat is OK. It does not have wood gunwales and its stored in an unheated area all the time.

Somewhat near freezing would be a heat wave now. The boat is a tad chilly at minus five now.

I’d buy it if the price was right
I have stored a Royalex OT outisde in Fl for almost 11 years, and every one in the family uses it. It is faded and ugly but structurally still sound and gets lots of water time.

I also have a nice canoe which no one uses but me and it gets the good storage spot!

The vinyl skin on Royalex boats is
VERY resistant to UV. The vinyl may show surface fading, but the ABS structural layer underneath will be fine.

me, too. I’d use the discoloration as negotiating leverage and buy it if the price was right… certainly half price would get me, maybe more depending on how bad I wanted a boat.

HOWEVER, if it has wood gunwales, it’d take quarter price to get me to bite. There’s a good chance they are deteriorated, even if you can’t see it. They can crack on the back where you can’t see it, water can get in, and they rot from the inside out. Further, the differing expansion properties of wood and royalex can lead to problems. And last, and maybe worst, assuming there is no damage, you will still need to maintain those gunwales for the entire life of the boat.


for the input - unfortunately he wouldn’t negotiate much - still wanted $1000.00 for it.

Think I may have found MR Explorer 16 RX on the Classifieds here. Only an hour away. Has IQ System / paddles/ tie downs/ seat backs


Hopefully it will still be there and I can go look at it this week end.