After reading the reviews I see alot of you that have We-No-Na Spirits have the Royalex model. Anyone here have a Tuf-Flex or Tuf-Weave model? It’s the fiberglass one thats reinforced. Not sure what its called. I was thinking about buying one but was unsure if it was durable enough for canoe camping and light rapids. If anyone could help out a newcomer I’d really appreciate it. I just don’t want to buy the wrong model and don’t trust the sales people at the local shop. Thanks for your time.
My Voyager is Tuffweave which I
understand is cloth made from fiberglass and polyester.I don’t run rapids , but I hit rocks and boat ramps and it is tough. I have dropped it from standing on end on pavemant and it chipped a little paint. I have also bored holes in it. It is Tuff and saves you $$$ over Kevlar.
I agree with String that tufweave is plenty strong. I’ve had a Prism and a Voyager in tufweave and both of them came away from a solid impact with only scrapes. In both cases there was a rock just far enough under the surface of some murky water that I couldn’t see it. Both times I hit the rock dead-on at cruising speed, high-centered the boat on the rock, and had to wiggle around a bit to get it to slide off. I felt kind of stupid sitting in a boat on top of a rock in the middle of a lake, but the boats weren’t damaged.
Thanks for the replies
I’m pleasantly surprised to hear you say its a fairly rugged material. I was under the impression it was only a little stronger than plain old fiberglass. I like the fact that its only 63 lbs because I’m getting older. My last canoe was an Old Town Discovery 169 that weighed 85 lbs. If I was on an unfamiliar river and I came across some Class 1 rips I was thinking I’d have to portage them and not run them. So the only thing I’ll have to worry about will be chipping the gel coat and not cracking or breaking thru the material. Sound right?? Thanks for the help.
Plain old fiberglass can be very
strong if built by knowledgeable people. Tuff-Weave takes advantage of the unusual affinity of polyester cloth and vinylester resin. (I assume Wenonah uses vinylester, though they do not say.) The solvent for the resin softens and cuts into the surface of the polyester fibers, so that an unusually tenacious bond forms. I have an old Noah kayak made with CAP (“chemically activated polyester”) and vinylester, and the bond is so good that the laminate can be bent double and folded flat like creasing paper without the fibers or laminate breaking.
I’ve Had a Couple Wenonah…
...Tuffweave canoes myself, still have one in the barn that's about 15 or 16 years old. The one in the barn has survived lots of pounding on Ozark streams and being dropped on BWCAW granite, and a couple broaches that I thought would end it's life. Only problem after all these years is the gelcoat is old and brittle and needs a bit of touching up, and the seats are about ready to replace. This boat has been abused more than any boat I've owned (not purposely) and it's still going strong. I wouldn't hesitate to get a Wenonah in tuffweave rather than royalex, and in fact, PREFER their tuffweave to their royalex. Here's a pic of one of my Tuffweave Adirondacks on the Granite River in the BWCAW. Good luck! WW
If you want a 10 year boat, ABS is OK.
If you want a 30 year boat, Tuff Weave is a better choice. ABS eventually gets brittle, and lumpy from abuse. A good composite layup will stay flexible, and is much more repairable.
a sundowner in tuffweave. On one miserable camping trip when my oldest son was being particularly aggravating I would carry the canoe up a shallow rocky stream and let him “run the rapids” . Mostly it scratched the gel coat with no damage to the fabric.
Nice picture WildernessWeb
That’s the same color as the Spirit I’m looking at. The dealer I’m going to said it was always garaged and owned by some people who used it at a local lake and never abused it. It does have some deep gashes in it which worried me a little. I’m going to call him today and put an offer on it after what I’ve read here. I had no idea Tuf-Weave was tougher than plain fiberglass because I know little about the brand. If I buy it I’ll try to post a picture here so you can all let me know if you think I did alright. The salesman said it would flex less than the Royalex model and it was more enjoyable to paddle even though there was only a few pounds difference. Can’t wait to try it now.
My dad bought an Echo tuffweave in something like 1981. It has been beating down rivers ever since. I bought a Vagabond in tuff and love it. I expect to be paddling it 20 years from now.
The one I still have is 'Ol Blue. Here’s a pic of her. I WOULD like to have mine re-gelcoated all over just because it’s old and scarred. But it’s taken a licking and still alive & well! The good thing about the light color is the scratches don’t show as well. Good luck! WW