Last year the company who makes Royalex ©, which is the canoe material I always recommend because of its durability, cost, weight, and overall pleasure of paddling in it, announced that it was ceasing making the material in April 2014.
The company which manufactures it merged with another company and apparently this is a sole source material. There are other similar materials, but the company which makes Royalex ©, is indeed ceasing operation. I was hoping that in the intervening time when they announced their cessation of manufacturing the material and when they planned to stop manufacturing it, that another company would buy the patents or whatever they needed to manufacture it. That does not appear to be the case.
This puts the whitewater canoe industry, outfitters and summer camps at a real loss. The three-layer polyethylene and one layer plastic are heavier and do not retain their shape as well. Some are hoping that this will spur someone to invent new materials to replace Royalex.
So 2014 might be the last year you can buy a new canoe made out of Royalex. That means the cost of used Royalex canoes might increase as they become more valuable to those who love Royalex.
Royalex never attracted other uses of the material so beyond the manufacturing of canoes it doesn’t have any other purposes. It is manufactured in Indiana.
Royalex came to the market in 1978. Before that, aluminum canoes were standard in the whitewater industry. Fiberglass and Kevlar boats may gain popularity, but they still don’t perform as well for whitewater or rental canoes in longevity and low cost.
So if you are thinking of buying a canoe, new or used, this year may be the year to get one of the last Royalex canoes ever made.
Here are companies who make Royalex canoes.
Read about the end of Royalex
Other places to buy Canoes
- Hudson Trail Outfitters (did it go out of business ? – they had someone on Rockville Pike with 70% off, but I never went to check it out)
- LL Bean
- Dicks Sporting Goods – doesn’t carry any Royalex model canoes, only the less expensive types.