Ever since the end of manufacturing Royalex (read our article "Canadian Canoe Manufacturers Chat about the Death of Royalex") canoe manufacturers have been hard at work creating a replacement. Nova Craft Canoe in London, Ontario just announced “TuffStuff", made from high impact resistant vinylester resin. The 16' Prospector in the following video weighs 59 lbs. which is intended for whitewater wilderness type paddling. There is also a lighter weight TuffStuff version that weighs 54 lbs. for more general purpose canoeing. Send Nova Craft an e-mail to find a dealer near you.
“Our research led us to Basalt/Innegra cloth, a new composite material being used in many different fields including whitewater squirt boats, helmets, paddles, surfboards and even hockey sticks. When the first test sample pieces came out of our composites department, we could tell right away we were onto something special. We decided to move forward and make a few prototype canoes out of Basalt/Innegra and TuffStuff was born, ” Tim Miller, president and owner of Nova Craft Canoe, “Long-term durability will no doubt prove to be exceptional.”
Beyond strength, TuffStuff canoes offer other advantages over conventional thermoformed plastic canoes. They are much stiffer, which leads to greatly improved performance and efficiency. Easy glide motion and faster response are evident after only a few paddle strokes. TuffStuff is also lighter than conventional plastic boats. The Nova Craft Prospector 16’ weighs only 54 lbs in our standard TuffStuff model and the whitewater ready TuffStuff Expedition model weighs only 59 lbs, making it easy to paddle and portage. TuffStuff canoes are now in full production and are available in 10 different models.
Basalt fibre is made of melted basalt rock and Innegra is a fiber consisting mostly of polypropylene. Neither material on its own would provide the necessary durability required, but when they are woven together into a cloth the resulting strength is simply amazing. Innegra is also hydrophobic meaning it doesn’t absorb moisture, which is a big plus in paddlesports.