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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is Royalex still the material of choice for light weight in an upper-end canoe? I had an Oldtown Tripper 20+ years ago when my kids were young that was a dream for one-man loading. I sold it like an idiot, realized I couldn't live without one and bought a used Crosslink3 (plastic) Discovery. It's a battleaxe but weighs at least 20 lbs. more and is shorter to boot. At my age, it's time to upgrade...light is good!
 

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I'm not a canoe guy, you might want to message Catawba or Chieflyin when you get enough posts. They love their canoes.

But there's a resource at www.paddling.net. they have a canoe buyers guide, listing all products, weights, capacities, and list price.

What you consider an upper end canoe may vary... Many of these go in the $2k range. Kevlar or carbon composites seem to be the light weight product of choice.
 
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I have an Old Town PACK canoe. I really like the light weight of the royalex. It's perfect for floating, but the flex of the hull does remove some of your paddle work input if you are trying to paddle up/float back. Doable but more work than plastic for sure. On the plus side though it kinda "oozes" it's way over rocks or logs instead the slam and bounce action of plastic.
 

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I have a good friend with a old town royalex and he just sold it and got a kevlar hull (forget what kind)...he told me it was the best out now. That might be one guys opinion though
 

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Royalex is the hands down best for running rivers. If you are mostly on flat water, Kevlar is also a good choice. Either way, you're talking about spending some money.

Used boats pop up on craigslist occasionally, but they usually move very fast.

What size are you looking for?


-Jeff
 

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On the plus side though it kinda "oozes" it's way over rocks or logs instead the slam and bounce action of plastic
You got that right! I run a Pack and that is one of it's best (among many) features. Great boat.

Used boats pop up on craigslist occasionally, but they usually move very fast.
Bought me Pack on CL for $350. Only been used 10 times on a lake and was perfect. Heck, every now and then even a blind hog finds an acorn. God smiled on me that day.

Royalex is the way to go. Better pull trigger soon cause the ONE company that makes royalex is going out of business or so I hear.

If you do get a royalex (or any material) boat and plan on floating rocky rivers with lots of shoals...take it a pro and get skid plates put on it. Royalex is tough but them rocks have no give at all.

Good luck with your boat choice.

And no, I do not baby my boat. It has been thru hades in 4 states over the past 5 years. They will have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers.

My skids before and after...



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fish Whisperer,
Got my wish list on the Kayak/fishing forum here. Will probably list my Discovery 158 this weekend on the classifieds.
 

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Royalex or ABS is still the material of choice I think, if you are running rocky rivers and bouncing off rocks etc. My Old Town Tripper is still going strong after about 35+ years and it is excellent for 2 big guys. I finally put skid "plates" on it this summer. But, it has gotten "heavier" (but still weighs about 77-80#) so typically my first choice for paddling is either a Bell Yellowstone or a Bell Morningstar...both about 62# and 15' 6"...so a good bit lighter than the Tripper. But Bells are no longer made. And, as you may find out, there may be no more Royalex/ABS being manufactured.... There are still some new Royalex boats in stock....but perhaps soon you will only find them in the used boat market. A new 16' Royalex Mad River Explorer is selling for $1839 suggested retail. A lot of guys love their Old Town Packs...in Royalex or the slightly heavier plastic version... a little heavier but several hundred dollars cheaper.

Kevlar boats are light and fast but even more expensive. Perhaps not the best choice for rocky rivers... But the couple of guys I know who have bounced them off rocks say they will take some rocky abuse...with only a crack or two....hmmm. I'd probably still pick Royalex or one of the "3 layer" plastics that Old Town, Mad River etc. are using...if you are planning on river use most of the time.
 
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