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Looking for opinions

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Looking for opinions
Have the opportunity to purchase a Bell Canoe in the Angler model. About 14' 5" long. Thinking its a Royalex model . Anyone have any experience with one or have owned one in the past. Can,t actually get a look at it for a while as its making a migration from florida to my neck of the woods. Bell Canoe is now defunct and evidently Royalex is no longer produced due to niche market although so far I haven,t seen any real negatives to its strenght.
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Re: Looking for opinions In reply to
I dont have any information on that particular canoe but I think royalex was considered one of the best materials for canoe manufacturing. I've read many articles lamenting the fact that the company quit making it.
It appears that the demise of royalex had nothing to do with the canoe market.


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LAYOUT BOAT...a hole in the water that one fills with donut crumbs and empty shell casings.
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Re: Looking for opinions In reply to
I myself am not an expert but a good friend of mine is. When I was recently asking him about "quality canoes" he mentioned that in his opinion Bell made some of the finest. The disappearence of Royalex has been lamented by the canoeing fraternity since it was discontinued.

It's not a lot but it's all I got.

Best of luck
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Re: Looking for opinions In reply to
roy brewington wrote:
Have the opportunity to purchase a Bell Canoe in the Angler model. About 14' 5" long. Thinking its a Royalex model . Anyone have any experience with one or have owned one in the past. Can,t actually get a look at it for a while as its making a migration from florida to my neck of the woods. Bell Canoe is now defunct and evidently Royalex is no longer produced due to niche market although so far I haven,t seen any real negatives to its strenght.


My experience is with the kayak market. Royalex is tough, withstands a lot of scrapes and impact but is hard to paint and to glue or seal to the material. It is also heavy as in physical weight to strength ratio. I can't say anything in regards to life span of the product especially if or when stored where UV can get to it. I have a royalex kayak which has hung in my garage for the past ten years, seems to be in the same condition as new with the exception of a scrapes on the bottom.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Looking for opinions In reply to
Bell canoe made a bunch of canoes that are much admired by serious paddlers. They were especially known for purpose-built solo canoes that were seaworthy and fast. Royalex is a fantastic canoe material though Dave is right that it is hard to paint. I've had luck repairing small dings with JB Weld, and there used to be a 2 part epoxy putty specifically for Royalex that I could get from Old Town. I assume that with Royalex off the market, the repair putty is gone, too. I've also put on skid plates over worn spots on bow and stern with 2 part epoxy and a few layers of fiberglass. None of them have failed. I assume you could repair a crack or tear the same way, though I have never done it. I've had one of my Royalex canoes since 1995, and I bought it used when it was old enough that all the wood gunwales, seats and thwarts were rotten and needed to be replaced. I'd guess it dates to at least the late 70's. It's still going strong.

I do not know the "Angler" model from Bell. Personally, I'm a big fan of 16-18 foot canoes with some rocker and a shallow arch or shallow V hull. They are more versatile--track pretty well on flatwater but maneuverable enough for rapids--and carry two people and gear when needed, but are still small enough that one man can car top them and paddle them solo. 14.5 would be a nice solo canoe, but too small to be comfortable as a tandem I'd fish or shoot from with a partner. I also spend a lot of time on salt water and big lakes, where a small canoe feels REALLY small. If you were mostly on puddles, in the marsh, or on small streams, the smaller size might be an asset.

OTOH, I am known to be particular, and there are piles of short, wide, flat-bottomed "sportsman" canoes on the market that many posters here love. These tend to feel more stable, and are more comfortable to cast from, but can't handle real weather and waves like the bigger and more seaworthy boats can.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Looking for opinions In reply to
Royalex is fine stuff. I have a Mohawk Solo 13 (also now defunct due to Royalex plant closing) that weighs 44# naked. It is skinned in Mossy Oak. I'll be using it tomorrow and the next few days on our early teal/wood duck season.

Royalex plant closure was a big factor in the demise of the top end canoe market. Supposedly there's a suitable replacement coming to market now but it was one of the few plastics that epoxy and epoxy putties will stick to.

As long as the hull hasn't been abused it should serve you well.