cracks

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I'll take a completely uninformed stab at this. The bottom wear looks like a history of being dragged up onto shore, or across the lawn etc. Probably not too big a deal, if you're okay with that. Those cracks look like someone has sat on the gunwales like a handy seat around a fire, with the canoe propped on edge, rather than table flat. That's just a guess. Unless of course, there was a single catastrophic mishap that caused it. In any case, I doubt it's from normal wear and tear. This seller's attitude that he was going to wait for it to leak before repairing it, might be a clue as to it's care.
 
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I believe that is a royalex canoe, while your's, if I recall properly, is polyethylene. Poly canoes are pretty robust. Mine is probably close to ten years old and has seen a lot of hard use. I have never stored it in doors or covered it. It has lots of scratches on the bottom from dragging it across rocks, portages, driveways, but they are just superficial. That canoe will probably outlive me. I have seen royalex canoes fade when left in the sun, but the poly one seems unaffected by exposure. That's my two cents anyway.
 
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I don't think any OT 158's are royalex. $360 for that mess? I wouldn't give $36 for it. I don't know what caused the fissures, but I suspect a lot of flexing has happened and will happen with that boat. I have seen a lot of $350 canoes recently in far better shape.
 
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Steve is right. The Disco 158s are all three-layer poly, not Royalex. And the cracks almost certainly occurred as a result of stress or impact. I might possibly pay $36 for it though. Especially for a run with a really awful carry out in which you prefer to just leave the canoe at the take-out.
 
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"This is my best canoe that I use all the time."

Wow ... I'd hate to see his beater boat.
 
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That is definitely a poly boat, not royalex. I have to respectfully disagree with the suggestion that poly is more robust than royalex. Actually, my experience is that the opposite is true. Both are pretty darn robust. Royalex is a bit tougher, holds its shape a LOT better, and it is lighter. On the other hand, I have never seen a poly boat with cracks like that. Weird.
 
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No denying that royalex holds its shape better, my poly boat oilcans like crazy. However, I have seen cracks in royalex and i have also seen boats with the outside layer almost completely peeled off. I have a very old mad river Royalex boat that has been sunbathing for around ten years, the same amount as my poly boat. Poly boat is still red, royalex is sort of orange. When running white water in the "new" fashion (banging off rocks, sliding over rocks, running over trees and varied obstacles) the poly boats seem to slide off non-water items better than royalex too. In other words, they're slipperier, if such a word exists.

However, given all those comparisons, it is still safe to say that the canoe in question is done like a three day french fry, and ready to be turned into an eternal planter, or whatever it is old poly canoes do until the apocalypse.
 
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To each his own.

My mind casts back to the afternoon when we were standing on the banks of a river in the NWT. We had unpacked the float plane and watched/listened as the plane disappeared over the horizon at the start of our three week adventure. The instant the sound of the plane faded away all six of us ran to claim the rented royalex canoes over the single poly canoe. The trip had not begun and already we had a group dynamic issue to deal with! Not one of us would voluntarily agree to paddle the poly boat for three weeks in the NWT. The end result was a rigidly enforced daily boat rotation system.
 
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Looking at the photos of that canoe; I often wonder what's up with people who can't be bothered to clean it up a bit before trying to sell something? I bid on and got a shotgun that was offered on a site kind of like e-bay. The photos were sharp but the gun had all kinds of encrusted dirt and debris, really made it look awful. I looked and looked and it all just seemed to be dirt but it was hard to tell; got it for a song and it cleaned up to be a great old 870. I know if the guy had cleaned it up it would have fetched a lot more.

Just thinking and wondering, Rob
 
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Poly boats probably are somewhat more resistant to color fade because with polyethylene the powder itself is pigmented so the color goes through the entire outer solid layer whereas with Royalex the external color comes from a relatively thin lamina of pigmented vinyl.

It is certainly true that both Royalex and polyethylene boats crack and the cracks may be through and through, limited to the external solid lamina, or limited to the internal solid lamina. Solid polyethylene boats are definitely more resistant to abrasion damage IMO. I suspect three-layer poly boats are as well. As for catastrophic damage, I would be hard-pressed to pick one over the other.

Royalex has changed over the years. In the late 1990s OHSA regulations mandated a change in formulation of Royalex, or so the story goes. It is widely believed by the whitewater boating community that Royalex was never as tough after that. Also, back in the 1970s and 1980s boat makers were specing very heavy Royalex sheet for their boats. Those boats were heavy (nearly as heavy as three-layer poly) but very tough. I have seen Blue Hole OCAs back from the 1970s that had seen extensive whitewater use and still looked to be in remarkably good condition.
 
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What causes this? Sunlight?
I would guess the culprits are probably age, UV exposure in storage and maybe some abuse.

I don’t know when OT first manufactured the Disco 158 – probably at least 20 year ago, maybe more. I don’t know how the seller stored the boat – given the amount of crud on the hull almost certainly outside and unprotected.

Take a large piece of polyethylene, leave it in full sun for 20 years and then maybe walk around on it while one end is bridged on a rock or take out landing. Listen to the cracking sounds.
 
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Mike - The disco was first made in 1984. From what I've been reading, sounds like sunlight breaks down plastic more than anything. Take a plastic milk jug, set it in the closet for 20 years. I'll bet it will still be like new (sorta). Set one outside in the sun over summer and it will crack easy.

I'm willing to bet the canoe sat in the sun too many times, placed in the water with 4 kids jumping around in it (how long do kids' toys last?). I'd crack too. Now the canoe has sentimental value to the guy and he thinks its worth a lot.
 
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Well Mepilite, I believe I understand sentimentality about as good as anybody but if that guy really thinks that much of the canoe maybe he ought to take care of it, and get his kids a old rubber tire to jump on. And he says that it's his best canoe that he uses all the time? You'd think some of the crud would have washed away by accident if nothing else.

The next thing we'll hear is he wants to charge for the compost included with the canoe.

By the way, what kind of canoe did you wind up getting?

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Well, I was riding along with you all in the back of this conversation bus, right up until the s word got spilled. Sentimentality is a funny thing. Just yesterday I was trading e-mail musings with a brother of mine, and we were getting all gooey and teary eyed over fond memories about some old family cars we'd been cursed with. Our Dad handed down to his sons cars that should've been towed to the scrapyard. Instead, they became our means of youthful escape...provided we always carried jumper cables, wore sensible walking shoes, and enjoyed a weird sense of humour. It's funny how the memory plays tricks. Dents become dimples, rust is remembered as rosy blushes, and "prone to stalling" is now fondly called "prone to forgetting to idle". One car I/we drove had a rusted out rear end, which mean't we had to keep the trunk lid closed or the whole back end would bottom out. If luggage had to be tossed in the trunk, we just jacked up the rear until we could get the trunk lid closed again...no problem. Another leaked exhaust fumes so bad, my brother drove with windows down, and kept a running conversation with any backseat occupants, "just to make sure they were still conscious".
I'm not sure if our old Dad was doing us favours, or just keeping us busy. In any case, we were grateful to have those cars, but embarrassed to drive them. So I can relate to this fellow selling his worn out canoe, and perhaps feeling fondly about it. If the price were right, say a fraction of the asking price, it might be tempting as a bargain. But, take it from me; be prepared for any eventuality, and have a good sense of humour. You might need it.
 
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Nice remembrance of things past, Brad. Now, I know I've got a selective memory; but really all my old clunkers would allow me to work on them. And I did and did again and then away we'd go. The wheels went 'round. All these later day modern cars require some magic box that only the dealer has; operated by some smirking mechanic who ought to be charged with 'grand theft auto repair.'

Curmudgeon Rob


maybe it's my cranky gland??
 
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Nice remembrance of things past, Brad. Now, I know I've got a selective memory; but really all my old clunkers would allow me to work on them. And I did and did again and then away we'd go. The wheels went 'round. All these later day modern cars require some magic box that only the dealer has; operated by some smirking mechanic who ought to be charged with 'grand theft auto repair.'

Curmudgeon Rob


maybe it's my cranky gland??
These cars I mentioned were a couple of the good ones. I've actually driven worse. I once had a Renault 5 that had rusted and broken so badly, the engine compartment was nearly separated from the rest of the car. When going over rough roads, it felt like I was driving a caterpillar. I never left the city with it, or took it across railway crossings...just in case. Yup, I/we did some half arsed vehicular surgery on these cursed cars, just to keep them moving, albeit momentary and intermittently. Nowadays I stand under my van, with it up on my mechanic's hoist, and ask questions and over cups of coffee, compare holiday plans with my trusted auto mechanic. He's worth whatever he charges me. I never want to go back to "building my character" by driving those old clunkers again.
As far as this old clunker canoe for sale; I believe it could be a fun fishing/swimming platform for a cottage or camp (for the right price). It will never be vivaciously speedy and sexy, but could be dependably sluggish and solid. At the very least, in the hands of kids and grandkids, it just might build some character. (Sheesh! I'm sounding more like my Dad every day. Get a haircut. Get a job. Go ask your Mother.)
 
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