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Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?
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Author:  agford832 [ November 19th, 2014, 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

I wonder what it weighs,the guy grunts a bit picking it up :D...or if you can repair it yourself.Interesting anyway......

Author:  Stajanleafs [ November 19th, 2014, 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

You beat us to the share! :lol:

A 16ft Prospector weighs 59lbs, so roughly 5lbs lighter than Royalex. Nova Craft has developed an all new Gel Coat for TuffStuff, so there should be a greater colour variety available for those wanting something unique.

We had a fun day at the drop. That thud when it hit the ground (hit a piece of rebar too!) was something else!


Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ November 19th, 2014, 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

I know it makes for good video but I'm not sure how much this proves. Wouldn't a large light boat reach equilibrium very soon?

I think a better test would be dropping it from a lower height with weight in the boat.

Author:  recped [ November 20th, 2014, 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

A nose dive instead of a pancake landing would have been more impressive!

Author:  Peter K. [ November 20th, 2014, 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

The real test is wrapping a boat. Will it break and/or tear or deform and then "remember" its previous shape?

Author:  DougB [ November 20th, 2014, 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Taking a page from the Old Town playbook.
I wonder about abrasion. Unfortunately I suspect it's still going to stick to rocks.
Patiently awaiting T-Formex.

Author:  chris randall [ November 20th, 2014, 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

An interesting test would be to place it alongside a large fixed upright. Tether one end and place a winch on the other then pull!

To be fair I think this looks like a great material, but for the majority of recreational paddlers the issue of surviving a major cataclysmic failure is irrelevant. What will be more important is how much or how little routine maintenance do they have to do. Folk like plastic boats because they can neglect them. Even though repairs are pretty straightforward on composite craft people just don't want to or have no time to do them. That will be what makes or breaks any new material.

Author:  Charlie Wilson [ November 20th, 2014, 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Bottom line:

It's bi weave Innegra/Basalt that is available to every other composite boat builder from BGF and Textronix. 2015 will be an interesting year sorting this new, combined, material out.

Throwing boats off buildings is, like beating on them with hammers, so wildly different from real life damage as to be useless information and cause us to question the sources of such "tests". We all thought OT was insipid when they pitched an RX hull off the roof forty years ago. That period of time has not validated the test.

That said, maybe Swift will drop an Innegra/Basalt hull from DY's hot air balloon? Naw, probably not.

Author:  MartinG [ November 20th, 2014, 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Fun and impressive!

Author:  Nova Craft Canoe [ November 21st, 2014, 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Excuse me but I can not resist any longer. To say that the demos are meaningless in real life is not accurate at all. In the composite industry there are a number of standard tests that engineers use to select material to match the application. Some of them are Impact dart test, flexural modulus and elongation to breaking point.

Different materials are compared using these tests all the time. When Royalex was discontinued we sent a sample of Royalex to a materials lab to find possible replacement materials that might replicate it's remarkable characteristics. This lab is owned by a PhD scientist with many years of experience in the materials field. We were looking for an alternative thermo-formed plastic but none was found. However he did some tests with what has become our TuffStuff material and found the characteristics to be similar, not quite as good in some and actually better in other tests.

With this information we started experimenting with the material and at each stage the response was "wow that's tough stuff".

The first test is elongation to break which is demonstrated by bending the laminates in the vice. The Basalt/Innegra is clearly superior. When you hit something hard in your canoe the material is forced to stretch as it is loaded with the impact. If the impact is great enough to stretch the material beyond it's elongation limit the fibers break. That is why Royalex stands up better than aramid boats on impact. From the test it is plain to see that TuffStuff is also far superior to a standard aramid layup.

Flexural modulus - this test is how well a material resists bending when placed under stress. In real life this would translate into whether your canoe oil cans when paddling through waves or stays stiff and efficient. The test of John and I standing on the canoe clearly demonstrates this. Even under heavy pressure (or 2 fat blokes as a UK forum member lovingly expressed it) the hull remains very stiff. In real life this is immediately evident in how efficient the TuffStuff canoes are in the water compared to Royalex.

Impact dart test - a set weight is dropped a set distance to show the force it takes for the material to break. The hammer and sledge test demonstrates this nicely. It will take way more than slamming the boat with an 8 lb. sledge for the boat to fail. In fact it hardly marks it. In real life? Anybody ever hit a rock or drop your canoe on a big root?

Another materials test is called destructive testing. How much force is required to destroy the product. The big drop test is an attempt to show this. Even after a fall of over 100 ft. the TuffStuff Expedition canoe was still more than sound enough to paddle. In real life this is always a concern on trips. If something catastrophic happens can we get home. I think everyone can agree that this test demonstrates a catastrophic impact to the canoe and it survives.

One of the big questions that keeps coming up is what will happen when it wraps around a rock. My guess is it will be a lot harder to wrap in the first place because the bottom won't cave in as easily. But if it does wrap, once extricated it will still be usable. I'm sure it will happen, if it hasn't already, and we'll have videos to show. So stay tuned.

Are these tests somewhat sensational? Sure but from what we've seen after 28 years building composite canoes, TuffStuff is a pretty sensational material in the composite canoe market. Just maybe that's why these tests haven't been shown before for other materials. They don't stand up.

Now is TuffStuff a replacement for Royalex. Like a lot of things in life the answer is yes and no.

Yes - It is very strong and extremely difficult to get the material to fail. A very robust boat can be built that is lighter than Royalex. It is stiffer than Royalex so it performs more efficiently in the water.

No - It takes longer to manufacture so it costs more. From a manufacturing point of view it does not replicate the efficiency of forming Royalex. Believe me if and when a vacuum formed Royalex replacement hits the market we will be all over it.

Finally, let me just say that after 28 years in the business I have not seen a composite material like TuffStuff. I have never hit a composite canoe with a sledge hammer, two of us big guys have never stood on the bottom of one and we have never ever contemplated throwing one off the warehouse roof. The idea comes in my head and everyone says " that's crazy " but it has passed the test every time. I would take one of these TuffStuff Expedition boats down any whitewater river I've ever been on
with the utmost confidence.

If your still reading, sorry for the long winded post. It's not likely I will post on here again but sometimes so called expert opinions need clarification. If you have any questions about TuffStuff or any other Nova Craft product please email us at or me personally You'll find us easy to talk with. Thanks for listening.

All the best, Tim Miller

Author:  Canoeheadted [ November 21st, 2014, 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Please post again.

Information sharing is what it's all about. (for me at least)

Thanks for sharing. (everyone)

Author:  agford832 [ November 21st, 2014, 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Excellent info,thanks. I have never wrapped any of mine around rocks but have ground down and gouged them all.If they're fixable from this type of "abuse" sort of like my old trusty fglass one,I'm interested.The light weight is certainly appealing too.

Author:  HOOP_ [ November 22nd, 2014, 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Now that video is worth watching twice! I like it! The physics of a free falling canoe is also fun to see. Reminds me of the famous Bill Mason NFB canoe drop in the film "Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes", where the boat fell in the same way, open side up! (and there was a dummy paddler strapped in too!).
One of the greatest films of all time IMO (and a great soundtrack to sing on a trip!)

I will have to disagree with Charlie – dropping it from a 6 story building is useful information, highly realistic: As we have all seen in the above mentioned film (and linked below), you never know when you'll just be paddling along, have a glacier 1 mile thick instantly form underneath you, perching you up 1 mile high, and then instantly melt! Happened before, might happen again, can't be too careful. I am glad that if this happens to me, I now know I can actually ride a falling canoe pretty darn good, (and remember to low brace when you hit!). See what happens in the famous NFB film starting at time 4:12, and then wait for it.....

Author:  littleredcanoe [ November 22nd, 2014, 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

Dropping a canoe off a factory is nothing new. And I agree with Charlie.. I wish the video illustrated more of what Nova Craft Canoe wrote about.. I think that was Charlies criticism.. not that the material is meaningless but the video is.

Whoever thinks Charlie is not familiar with Innegra/Basalt is badly mistaken. More than one builder is going to use it.

He has a long thread on it on another site.

Author:  Mihun09 [ November 22nd, 2014, 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nova Craft Tuff Stuff.Royalex replacement?

That would be this thread at ... nnegra-s-h

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