View topic - Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

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PostPosted: March 27th, 2015, 1:24 pm 
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Hi Folks
For all the right reasons I have been watching the development of Innegra for a while, Its been interesting to hear both Charlie's and Tim's perspectives on the material and I concur completely! Although Nova Craft Canoes is a competitor of mine and is in my backyard here in London Ontario, I'd like to thank Tim Miller for his progression with the material. Trust me when I say this, my hat is off to Tim!!
As mentioned by Charlie there are other manufactures working with this material which is great to see for the industry! Since the closing of Mid Canada Fiberglass last year ( Impex Kayaks, Blue Water Canoes and Scott Canoes) Abitibi & Co has been hard at work! They'll be launching their new web site next week with the same line up of canoes and Kayaks ...... Impex, Blue Water and Scott. What I'm really excited about is that Abitibi & Co is one of those developing their own product line-up with Innegra!
Although the canoeing industry lost Royalex , there are brighter days a head.... paddle hard and keep the open side up!!

Regards; Al Greve
Canoe Water Adventuring

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Last edited by Alan Greve on March 31st, 2015, 6:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 28th, 2015, 2:18 pm 
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The new Nova Craft "Tuff Stuff" boats seem quite attractive in my opinion. A really tough hull that is stiff and relatively light. In a sense, it seems like they represent the benefits of both composite & royalex boats in one. To my mind, a 16' Tuff Stuff Prospector would be the ultimate "Swiss Army" canoe - a very versatile tandem tripping boat for sure. The type of canoe that you'd want on a trip that involves a variety of paddling environments. It could also be paddled solo with the right skill set if need be.

If I was looking for a do-it-all canoe right now, this would be it.

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PostPosted: August 15th, 2015, 1:51 pm 
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We're what, 3/4 of the way through the bulk of the 2015 paddling season?

Have we learned anything new, in a practical on water and tripping sense, about this new material and layup? Is this a royalex replacement?


I'm in the market for a tandem whitewater tripping boat and am still leaning towards picking up a used royalex hull, but...


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PostPosted: August 16th, 2015, 10:16 pm 
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rosseau wrote:
I'm in the market for a tandem whitewater tripping boat and am still leaning towards picking up a used royalex hull, but...


I'd say go Royalex if you can if rocks are part of the fun.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2015, 9:32 am 
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One of the objectives of advancing canoeing skills is to miss the rocks. That said, the co-mingled Basalt/Innegra is spiffy looking and does not show muddy feet like Keblar and seems to be holding up well. Because it is currently available in an 8 oz fabric it makes a heavy boat.

Innegra/Carbon, a 6 oz fabric, is lighter and stronger but carbon is $50/# and glass/ Basalt is closer to $10/#. That will all change in future as carbon lowers in price and the various Innegra iterations change from basically experimental goods to mainstream products, also at lower prices and in full width, 50-60", goods.

The performance advantages of composite hulls might suggest a bright future for paddlecraft. SUPs, Kayaks and canoes with C/I and B/I are being well received by the public this season.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2015, 11:06 am 
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I've been watching this for a while, hoping that a reasonable price could come about. Let's be realistic....a royalex hull was always somewhat of a dog to paddle, but the price, combined with the long lasting properties made it a hit, particularly for school clubs. Five years ago, I bought three new NC royalex prospectors for my school club for 1699 each. I think I got the last royalex canoe in Thunder bay in February, a 17 foot Haida, for 1799.

As it stands now, I'll probably have to go back to making replacement canoes for the club, as the market has taken a very steep climb in price. At 64 pounds the royalex NC prospector was a weight that most high school kids could single port.

I'd say the real challenge is finding the royalex replacement at the same price point. If that can't be done, then it's not really a royalex replacement, it's just another high tech canoe.


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2015, 10:18 am 
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RHaslam wrote:
I've been watching this for a while, hoping that a reasonable price could come about. Let's be realistic....a royalex hull was always somewhat of a dog to paddle, but the price, combined with the long lasting properties made it a hit

I'd say the real challenge is finding the royalex replacement at the same price point. If that can't be done, then it's not really a royalex replacement, it's just another high tech canoe.


I look at a “replacement” for Royalex with two views. One is the consumer view of a reasonably priced, reasonably durable, reasonably weighted canoe for the masses. Something lighter and more easily repairable then poly while less costly than composites.

The other view of a replacement for Royalex is something in sheet form that would allow manufacturers to continue using their existing RX ovens, molds and equipment to continue making canoes in the same method.

With the development T-formex having nearly sunk Esquif (if that was the reason) the latter view seems increasingly unlikely and the hole in the middle, between poly and composite canoes may be a permanent void.

I suspect that market forces are also at work in maintaining that void. The popularity of canoes took hits over the years from rec kayaks, sit-on-tops, fishing yaks and most recently stand up paddle boards.

A novice canoeist interested in daytripping a lake or river will buy a poly canoe and an enthusiast will find a composite canoe suited for their needs.


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PostPosted: September 4th, 2015, 11:35 am 
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For those of you that are upset about the abuse of the canoe, it is par for the course for any product launch. I worked for an outfit that spent a day at a car manufacturing plant. That day hundreds of beautiful Camaros were coming off the line in all their various manifestations and with various option packages. They were beautiful cars. We were invited to check them out and use and abuse them as we pleased, because at the end of the day they were all going into a crusher. There was nothing wrong with these cars. However, manufacturing them was part of the process involved in "certifying" the assembly line - making sure the cars did not have flaws, and that it was safe for the workers on the line.

It has been awhile since I read this thread and I only have time to do a quick scan again on my mobile, so these questions might have been brought up. I am wondering if a Royalex boat would have wrapped on the rock the TuffStuff boat wrapped on, or would it have slid on the rock or pinned without wrapping? If they could make a gel coat with that wonderful, waxy and slippery quality that Royalex has, that would be great. Also, how much pressure does TuffStuff take before it wraps? Again, would a Royalex boat have wrapped under the same pressure?

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2015, 7:38 am 
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darp wrote:
I am wondering if a Royalex boat would have wrapped on the rock the TuffStuff boat wrapped on, or would it have slid on the rock or pinned without wrapping? If they could make a gel coat with that wonderful, waxy and slippery quality that Royalex has, that would be great. Also, how much pressure does TuffStuff take before it wraps? Again, would a Royalex boat have wrapped under the same pressure?


That, and how greasy is Tuff Stuff? A royalex boat slides over rocks and to a certain level repairs itself leaving a scuff on the surface. Charlie I know you are proponent of better paddling skills but it's always that pillow rock just under the surface in tannen coloured water, which you can't see, that grabs your boat. As well out west and up north the gradient rivers with rocks everywhere and an apron at the bottom of a rapid where there is no clear route just a less boney one. RX is great in those situations. I wonder about tuff stuff.
Hugh

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 4:11 pm 
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I am really curious what people with more experience wrapping boats/ dealing with the paddling said boats in the field feel about the video. I think it is great that they are trying to wrap it but I was really hoping for more detail in the video and really am curious how it compares (positive or negative) to Royalex. I am not concerned about little rapids on a mostly flatwater trip. I am curious how boaters feel about it as a material for a whitewater boat (hence why I had tried to start a new thread in that sub forum - sorry for that misstep).


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 6:52 pm 
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I have long felt that composite canoes are much tougher than many people give them credit for, and that too many folks considered Royalex to be some type of indestructible wonder material. I have heard many express the opinion that only Royalex or polyethylene boats were suitable for whitewater boats.

Royalex in fact has been rather susceptible to severe abrasion damage when used in shallow, rocky bottom whitewater streams. It is very common for them to erode through into the foam core. I personally know one excellent whitewater boater who was going through four Royalex hulls per year.

Many high-quality whitewater canoes have been made using exterior layers of S fiberglass and interior layers of aramid. I personally have three composite whitewater canoes (two S 'glass/aramid and one S 'glass/Spectra) and I have many friends who own them. They are perhaps more likely to crack upon hard impact than Royalex boats (although I have seen plenty of cracked Royalex boats) but cracks in composite boats are easier to repair, and they are more resistant to abrasion.

I don't know if hybrid Innegra/basalt is going to have any great advantages over aramid for whitewater canoes but I suspect it will fare at least as well although it will probably be a bit heavier.


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 7:14 pm 
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Pblanc - the video just wasn't enough for me to get a good idea - I do not have experience with composites - the amount the boat was able to move at the end of the video seemed like a lot for a wrap but the way the video was set up it was really unclear if that had to do with the wrap or one of the other things. I'm curious if those with experience with this type of boat could comment better on their experience post wrap.


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 8:09 pm 
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pblanc wrote:
I have long felt that composite canoes are much tougher than many people give them credit for, and that too many folks considered Royalex to be some type of indestructible wonder material. I have heard many express the opinion that only Royalex or polyethylene boats were suitable for whitewater boats.

Royalex in fact has been rather susceptible to severe abrasion damage when used in shallow, rocky bottom whitewater streams. It is very common for them to erode through into the foam core. I personally know one excellent whitewater boater who was going through four Royalex hulls per year.

Many high-quality whitewater canoes have been made using exterior layers of S fiberglass and interior layers of aramid. I personally have three composite whitewater canoes (two S 'glass/aramid and one S 'glass/Spectra) and I have many friends who own them. They are perhaps more likely to crack upon hard impact than Royalex boats (although I have seen plenty of cracked Royalex boats) but cracks in composite boats are easier to repair, and they are more resistant to abrasion.

I don't know if hybrid Innegra/basalt is going to have any great advantages over aramid for whitewater canoes but I suspect it will fare at least as well although it will probably be a bit heavier.



As someone who has worn out a few Royalex boats I pretty much agree with everything in your post. The hard impact (other than in the nose) is one area where Royalex boats seem to me to more resilient.

My feeling is that the popularity of Royalex was as much a function of their relative low cost as performance. The options at that price point are heavy fibreglass or poly, neither of which I would want to own.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2016, 11:03 am 
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Some here may have seen BeaV's vids at the BWCA boards (Bob Vollhaber), on a marathon trip along the BC coast and into Yukon/Alaska and then the Bering sea... he paddled a composite canoe designed to be durable, a Kruger Sea Wind. IIRC, made mostly with many layers of Kevlar. All that dragging and banging over river rocks says something about composites' durability, at least for expedition use.

A long time ago on the boards here, a poster by the name of normhead (I believe he was banned at one point but never mind that) wrote that after buying an Evergreen Prospector in Royalex, it was paddled down the Petawawa only once and large portions of the outer layer of vinyl had been torn off by rocks. Doesn't sound typical but maybe the Royalex was still soft after production and needed to age a year to harden up. Anyway, the Petawawa matched normhead's character, both were abrasive.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2016, 12:28 pm 
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Ignoring some of the previous post :wink:

All Royalex was not the same. The thickness was spec'ed to what the manufacturer wanted. And there was some bum stuff out there too. Delaminated. Some thin stuff.

The point that I hope people notice is that all layup schedules are not the same within a given fabric.. You can lay up Kevlar well or not so well. Good luck finding schedules. Usually they are relatively kept in the closet.

That's kind of why I am OK with using composites in mild moving water. I know they are well built. Paul of Colden told me how he made mine.. too bad I have the memory of a flea.

FT down memory lane :rofl:


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