May not be in production now
Mohawk’s website hasn’t been updated since the demise of Royalex. I haven’t heard if Mohawk might be making these canoes out of some new material or if they were forced to stop production until a new process/material is available to them. In any case, all that you say will only apply to boats gotten on the used market, as new ones, if available, would be very different.
May not be in production now
In '93, I wore canvas shoes with outdoor
carpet glued to the soles, to wade and swim all 25 miles of the Chattooga Headwaters. At that time we were not allowed to paddle the Headwaters.
Those fuzzy soles were key to making good progress. Fortunately for all, river snot was not on the Chattooga in '93, so I didn’t spread any.
As I look at my no-felt water shoes, I see lots of siping and folds and nooks and crannies where invasives could lurk. I think training fishermen to thoroughly dry, and perhaps to bleach-treat, their shoes may be necessary, and that might work for felt soles as well. Are felt soles really that much worse than other soles, or than the rest of the shoe or boot?
You are correct that there are various ways that regular water shoes can potentially spread invasive species, but a shoe sole that’s essentially a sponge will be soaked with water after use, unlike one that’s solid rubber. It’s not a matter of felt soles being the culprit while other types are not, but they definitely carry a lot more water, and short of a thorough chemical treatment, would be virtually impossible to clean, while solid rubber can just be rinsed (and more easily treated chemically, if the laws ever go that far, or for anyone who does so voluntarily (bleaching sounds like a good idea)).
what is it that you want to experience?
It sounds a bit like you to want to remain close to the tailends of rivers/creeks that begin in the mountains/woodlands and paddle what other people like...y/n? Just take some lessons in craft(river/WW kayaks and/or OC-1s or smaller canoes of standard design) that are comfortable in moving water. Renting/lessons will build up your skillset, offering more choices... Do yourself and the world a favor, take some lessons in a few types of watercraft.
You need to see my solid rubber water
shoe soles. They are full of molded in grooves and pores. I am picking mud out of those recesses all the time. It usually does not rinse out, even with a strong spray. I have to assume that my solid rubber soles are very capable of spreading spores and slime.
You should expect makers of water shoes to mold grooves and pores into the soles, because it makes them perform better. Same as the siping on car tires.
Felt will remain the worst case, but if they’re serious, they have to just get everyone’s water shoes out of the water.
Not sure hunters are paddlers…
We had two separate incidents around here last year involving duck hunters – both described here:
No mention in this article about the use of PFD’s either as the cause of these accidents or as a preventative measure. Too bad – it’s a missed learning opportunity, but it probably speaks to the mindset of most hunters. I was paddling in the Pawtuxet Cove a week after the second accident and saw a duck hunter (no PFD, no cold water gear) motoring out into the open water of Narragansett Bay. He must have made it back - I never saw anything in the paper.
Still, it’s probably not fair to compare a duck hunter in MI in late November to an easy flatwater stream in GA. Having said that, I fall into the camp of always wearing a PFD – no matter how shallow the water or how warm the teperatures.