Vinyl vehicle wrap for flexy hulls?

In reading reviews of royalite/R84 canoes, I keep coming across reports of excessive hull flex. Has anyone tried the boat or vehicle wraps on these and would that possibly tighten things up a bit?
I just thought if I could add some hull stability and ride in a sexy brook trout hull, everyone wins…or at least I do.

I don’t believe that Royalite (R84) is inherently more flexible than Royalex. Both have a considerable degree of flexibility which was felt to be an advantage in a whitewater canoe hull.

The only difference is that R84 substitutes an acrylic inner and outer pigmented layer for the vinyl inner and outer layer of Royalex. But vinyl is itself more flexible than the ABS that is the structural material of Royalex and R84 so the addition of a thin vinyl layer did virtually nothing to diminish flexibility.

The main thing that influences hull rigidity for any given material is hull thickness. And both Royalex and R84 was tailor made in different thicknesses according to manufacturer’s specifications for specific canoe models. And the whole point of R84 was to offer a somewhat lighter option than Royalex so it is likely that manufacturer’s speced thinner sheet for their R84 models to keep the weight down as much as possible. In that case, the R84 models might be more flexible due to the thinner sheet.

I do not think that applying a vinyl wrap to an R84 hull would do anything to reduce flex but I have never heard of anyone trying it.

Vinyl wrap is VERY stretchy which is why it works to apply smoothly to vehicles. It would add zero structural integrity to anything.

Take this from somebody who has not only applied vinyl to vehicles but who was a construction electrician for years and wrapped many miles of vinyl electrical tape onto countless surfaces.

I don’t know about that. It does need to be properly applied to a clean surface. I recently spent a lot of hours being passed by the same vehicle on the interstate with the flapping wrap graphic.

I worked at a shop that did vinyl work for about four years. It will do nothing to improve the rigidity of anything. All vinyl must be applied to VERY clean surfaces. A speck of dust or grit trapped under a vinyl logo, on a banner, a vehicle, a boat, anything, will show and cannot be repaired. Its a do-over situation if that happens.
The old standard vinyl like you see on most company vehicles or, for example, co-op propane tanks comes in a wide variety of colors and each color is applied separately - with careful attention to alignment, much like is done in silk screening on fabric or in multi-color block printing or litho. Each color comes on a roll with a waxed paper (or sometimes a plastic) backing. The design is made on a computer and sent to be cut on a computer controlled machine that is similar to a drafting copy machine, but uses blades instead of a pens. The pressure these blades apply to the vinyl is controllable and must be set so it will cut through the vinyl but not into the paper backing. The portion of the vinyl that is not part of the design is then peeled away (Process is called “weeding”) and a layer of transfer tape is (smoothly please) applied over the design and centering registry ticks are put on the tape to allow accurate alignment when the design is applied to whatever it is you are applying it to. The adhesive between the vinyl and its non-stick backing is stronger than the adhesive bond between the transfer tape (Like masking tape but comes in widths up to three feet wide and of specific bonding strength) and the vinyl. So the design, once positioned accurately, will stick to any clean surface to which it is applied (once the backing is removed) more strongly than it will stick to the transfer tape. Once one color is applied, the transfer tape is peeled off and the next color in the design is applied in the same manner. This older type of vinyl is not “breathable” and so must be applied in a manner that avoids bubbles. Minor bubbles can be repaired with a pin prick, but a major bubble usually results in a crease and is grounds for a “do-over”.
The vinyls that are used for vehicle wraps is clear, comes in larger (ours was 52", if memory serves) width rolls and the design is printed on them by a machine very like a computer ink jet printer but with many more rechargeable color cartridges. Ours had 22, if I recall. (Because of the size of the rolls, if you want to print out, say a 2 ft trout or an orca design to be applied to something, you’ll want to print A LOT of them to make it worth while. One doesn’t intentionally waste 52" vinyl on a single 2’ design… Less a worry with traditional non-printed vinyl) The printing process with vehicle wrap is even more prone to dust problems than the application process. This type of vinyl also has backing paper and the application process is similar. Vehicle wrap vinyl is more flexible and is “breathable” (Yes, it actually has little microscopic holes in it so air can escape through it…) so bubbles are less of a problem. Working with patterns that large, though, makes initial alignment really critical. A degree or two off and things can go bad pretty fast and any mistake is a large one, though the stretch of the vinyl can save things if they haven’t gone too far amiss. Heat from a heat gun (be VERY careful about over heating) allows the vinyl to mold itself around rivets on a panel truck or trailer - or perhaps a kayak…

But all this is strictly cosmetic - there is nothing structural about it. And I don’t think I’d want to use this anywhere on a boat that might get scratched in normal usage. Cosmetic improvements that look worse than nothing if they’re damaged aren’t really cosmetic improvements.

Thanks everyone. Just a brainstorm I had this morning while looking at a royalite hull. Thought I was first in line but seller sold it without letting me have a look…