Is Royalex Gone Forever?
Mike and I bought our first canoe about 27 years ago and it was an Old Town Discovery made from Royalex. We still have that canoe and we’ll probably never get rid of it as it has sentimental value. In spite of the age of the canoe it’s in great shape thanks to the durability of Royalex. This durability that is especially popular for whitewater canoeing may be a thing of the past as the people who supply royalex to canoe makers announced in August they were going to close their plant in Ohio.
Royalex has been around for quite some time. The first canoe constructed of Royalex was reportedly built by Maine’s Thompson Boat Company in 1964 and later Old Town Canoe company began making lots of royalex canoes. Some of our first trips as owners of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters were outfitted into the Boundary Waters with Old Town royalex canoes. We still have a number of royalex canoes in our fleet but these are made by Wenonah. If no one purchases the rights to produce royalex from PolyOne in Avon Lake, Ohio then royalex may be gone forever. See article for more information.
It won’t be necessary to go back to birch bark and aluminum canoes thanks to the large selection of composite canoes already available. My guess is someone will come up with a material comparable to royalex and maybe even better.
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