Which Mohawk Nova 16?

-- Last Updated: Feb-21-12 11:01 AM EST --

Can you tell by looking at a Mohawk Nova 16 canoe if it is the Royalex (RX) model or the R84? I know the R84 is about 6 lbs lighter but wondering if they are marked as such?


I would look for something “different”
about the outer skin and how it is wearing. Royalex has a thin outer vinyl skin that looks “greasy” where it is rubbed, and that, if worn away at the stems, reveals the whitish ABS structural layer. An R-84 canoe will have a completely different outer layer, but I can’t describe it properly. It will wear “rough” at the surface where vinyl tends to “buff” because of its softness. R-84 coating is stiffer. Harder. Some owners complain that the R-84 layer wears too fast, but that’s probably because it isn’t slippery and “greasy” like vinyl.

Somebody smarter will come along and explain better.

How to tell if it’s R84
There are no markings on a canoe which will tell you the material it’s made of. Saying that, the HIN can tell you the material if you call us here at Mohawk and have a canoe from a year when the records took note of the material, which most of them did.

The primary difference between an RX and R84 boat is the outer material. In Rx the material is PVC, in R84 it’s an acrylic. The outer layer of ABS in an R84 boat is also marginally thinner, (approx 0.01") but other than that it has the same material.

If you are trying to ascertain the material just by looking at the boat than R84 is matt in finish whereas RX is more glossy. It’s damn hard to spot the difference, until you’ve spent a few years looking at them, in my experience. If you can compare the boat to one you know is RX and can notice a distinct difference in the material’s ability to reflect light then it is probably an R84 boat, or an old RX boat that’s been faded by the sun.

One other way to be sure is if the canoe is anything other than red or green in color then it’s not R84, as we have only ever got that material in those two colors, (to the best of my knowledge).

At the end of the day, the only way to be sure is to call in with the serial number.

Two Good Responses

– Last Updated: Feb-22-12 10:39 AM EST –

I liked g2d's "Buff out" explanation on wear. Having owned a R-84 Mohawk Solo 14, it would scratch similarly to royalex, then "Tear" when scraped deeply instead of "Buffing out" into the inner ABS. It was easy to sand, and fix tears with fiberglass, so I really had no problem with the R-84 version. Back then I think it saved me over $100 bucks and 4-5 lbs, I'd do it again. But now, I noticed the price is pretty similar. I looked to see if I had any old pics to show it. I remember taking some "Before" and "After" repair pictures, just cannot find them. Hope that helps a bit.

Thanks, Sam. That fills in some areas
of ignorance. I see why an R84 boat can be a bit lighter while retaining stiffness.

Thanks guys.

I have a co-worker that has an older Mohawk Nova 16 in green. I need to get a closer look at it and the numbers and see if I can figure which it is. Hoping it is the RX with the rocky and sander creeks and rivers here in Kentucky.

It has only been used a couple times so not many scratches on it. $300, hard to beat.

For $300…
…I wouldn’t be concerned about which of the two materials the hull is made of. Sounds like a bargain for a good canoe.


– Last Updated: Feb-23-12 5:29 PM EST –

I feel somewhat the same way. The R84 could however get torn up pretty quick with the sandstone and rough and rocky river and creeks here in Kentucky.


– Last Updated: Feb-24-12 9:15 PM EST –

I'm buying this canoe. Can't pass it up. Have not had a chance to look at it closer but talked to the original owner and he believes it to be Royalex.

Either way, great canoe. My current canoe is fiberglass and beat up, patched all over the place, broken seat but still paddles fine. This one will handle the rocks quite a bit better.

Appreciate everyone's input.