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Thread: Souris river resilience/abuse question

  1. #1
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    Default Souris river resilience/abuse question

    Hi,

    After 10 years of being in my possession my Royalex Swift Dumoine currently looks like it had quite a lot of abuse (which isn't surprising, with the amount of (ab)use I gave it ).



    There's also some delamination of the vinyl toplayer involved:


    I'm now seriously getting to grips with the notion that this canoe will not be amongst us for very long anymore and looking at what options I have for a replacement.
    If Swift would make a suitable replacement (Royalex alternative like T-formex or the NC alternative Tuffstuff) I wouldn't think twice and get me another Dumoine. Swift however only does "traditional" composite hulls and I have the impression that this isn't up to the way I will continue using this canoe.
    Already having to look away from Swift I'm considering all options and one of the options would be to get a Souris River Prospector shipped this side of the globe.

    Souris river are lyric about the resilience of their layup but will it be enough? This canoe will see a lot of rocks from close up, not because I paddle a lot of high grade white water but more because the rivers I paddle (especially with a loaded canoe...) are often rocky and just have little water most of the times. And every now and then there'll be the (not so) occasional f*ck up of going down a drop and hitting something because I didn't see it or wasn't able to hold my course.
    Something like this:


    Or getting stuck twice (because we didn't want to line the canoes and I thought I missed my ideal line the first time) going down this:


    Any members from the northern American continent here with hands on experience with Souris river canoes in potentially disastrous (canoe integrity wise) situations? Are they as good as they claim? I don't mind an occasional repair but should then at least be able to continue my trip with the application of (if necessary a vast amount of) duct tape.

    I think I already know the answer (something along the line of responsible use of the canoe, considering the qualities of the materials used and what it was designed to be used for, which for kevlar-epoxy is not bashing rocks) but it's always good to get a second opinion.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I had a Souris River Quetico here in Scotland until recently.

    Never took any significant damage BUT pretty sure it would not survive the (ab)use that your Swift Dumoine has shrugged off.

    Not even close .....

    That said - it was a lovely canoe in all respects !
    I like canoes ......

  3. #3
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    Hi Digger. Your Dumoine looks fine to me...maybe you should just keep it and paddle it until it sinks, then repair and repeat.

    I had a Souris River Jensen Solo 16 but never smashed into rocks with it. I believe the unique thing about the Kevlar/epoxy lay-up is that it will flex a lot without any damage, so the boat does not try to resist rocks...it flexes...kind of like a sturdy inflatable.

    I included a link to some reviews in case they help you. You might also contact Souris River to see what they say. I will say that they don't make specialized boats, they make very practical hull designs intended to be used by Canadians in wilderness conditions.

    https://paddling.com/reviews/manufac...-river-canoes/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    [...]
    Any members from the northern American continent here with hands on experience with Souris river canoes in potentially disastrous (canoe integrity wise) situations? Are they as good as they claim? I don't mind an occasional repair but should then at least be able to continue my trip with the application of (if necessary a vast amount of) duct tape.
    [...]
    I am interested in the answer to this question too, but I am afraid that logic dictates
    that Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) canoes can be made _almost_ as strong as Royalex canoes,
    BUT
    then they will not be much lighter and will cost a whole lot more money
    OR
    they will be a lot heavier and cost more money...

    Dirk Barends

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytripper View Post
    Hi Digger. Your Dumoine looks fine to me...maybe you should just keep it and paddle it until it sinks, then repair and repeat.
    I'm not dumping it yet. If I don't find a suitable replacement I will repair it. I saw some thread from ezwater about patching royalex with glass and epoxy. The dents and scratches are most visible but in some places the vinyl is wearing thin. If needed I'll just patch those (and the blisters in the picture) when they wear through and then see how long it holds.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytripper View Post
    I will say that they don't make specialized boats, they make very practical hull designs intended to be used by Canadians in wilderness conditions.
    That's also my impression. They will take an occasional beating and take you back to civilization (?) but they are not designed for proper abuse.

  6. #6
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    My thoughts would be to go for something like an Esquif 17' Prospecteur in T-formex. I am, of course bias as I own one myself but it was bought for the exact same purposes you have indicated you might have - rocky, shallow white water.

    I'm not sure what the availability is in Europe so this might be a non-starter for you but I'd certainly do some investigating if I was you.

  7. #7

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    options are from cheap to expensive:
    a royalex boat from mp. maybe not the best shape, not doable.
    new high end pe boat venture and sileverbirxh make boats that come close to rx.
    tformex from esquif
    composites either tuffstuff or ineergaboats soruis rivers
    from those swift and northstar are the eisiest options northstar in reading uk wswift in austria
    Propper writing in English. How do you do that? with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language.
    Sorry for all the mistakes.

  8. #8
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    Well Digger, I think Swift makes some very charming boats. I have a Shearwater solo and an Osprey solo. There is no other boat with the same personality as either of these solos. So if you know that you love your Dumoine, check out the details of the Expedition Kevlar layup on the current Dumoine...it looks like absolute state of the art for a composite boat meant for abuse...even proper abuse as you say. The composite version should be a touch more responsive/faster than the Royalex version so it seems like you'd be guaranteed to love the boat.

    I think your assessment of the Souris River, layup is spot on. The other thing about SR is that they are light...so my Jensen 16 Solo was both tough and also 29 pounds (13 kg). So an impressive combination of lightness and toughness for some people's needs.

    http://www.swiftcanoe.com/dumoine-rivertouring

  9. #9
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    I've seen Expedition Kevlar in action on rocky rivers and Scottish lochs with rocks and portages, and I don't think its what Digger is looking for in this boat, though it is a superb material to paddle and not easily actually broken. It does get chipped quite a lot on rocks, so needs regular cosmetic repair and I think Erik is looking for something more "paddle and forget", like I do.

    For me, then, T-Formex would be worth looking at Erik. As well as Equif, Wenonah Prospectors have reached the UK in T-formex, not sure about your side of the channel. I suspect though, the Esquif P16 would be better suited to you both. Hope all well!

  10. #10
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    Mal - are you talking about the latest Expedition Kevlar lay-up with basalt/innegra as describe on this link? I don't know much about these new lay-ups. the Northstar site claims that their version of the lay-up (IXP) outperforms Royalex. I had a Swift Osprey in Expedition Kevlar in the 1990's but the lay-up was not the same as the current Dumoine. I'm just trying to make sure Digger is aware of all options. It concerns me that anyone might have to order a boat without test paddling it!


    http://www.swiftcanoe.com/canoe-laminates

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytripper View Post
    Mal - are you talking about the latest Expedition Kevlar lay-up with basalt/innegra as describe on this link? I don't know much about these new lay-ups. the Northstar site claims that their version of the lay-up (IXP) outperforms Royalex. I had a Swift Osprey in Expedition Kevlar in the 1990's but the lay-up was not the same as the current Dumoine. I'm just trying to make sure Digger is aware of all options. It concerns me that anyone might have to order a boat without test paddling it!


    http://www.swiftcanoe.com/canoe-laminates
    Searching for where Swift is going after the demise of Royalex I found the following quote:

    In the end, Bill Swift from Swift Canoe, summed it up best... "As we know now, Royalex is not going to be available after this coming year. We have an interesting take, in that many of us learned how to paddle carbon canoes, kevlar canoes, and cedar canvas at camp. When we paddle those canoes, technically we really finesse the rapids more, we scouted the rapids more, we looked at hitting the eddies, we tried to miss all the rocks. With Royalex, we feel it has taught us in a way, not to be a skilled paddler, so we can crash down the rapids." Swift is developing a new material (composite) that is going to have a lot of the strength characteristics of Royalex. It will be more expensive, but Swift feels that the beauty of their design, is that it will bring the skills back to paddling.
    My first kayak was a polyester slalom kayak that I took into the French Alps and learned how to go around rocks instead of over them and still feel like that made me a more skilled paddler than other people in our club who started out in PE boats.
    The canoes that I have taken onto moving water have all been PE (Old Town) or Royalex (Mowhawk, Swift) and felt comfortable because I had to relearn how to negotiate moving water with an open canoe and with a partner knowing that the canoe could take a blow.

    Maybe the time has now come to go back to start and learn how to paddle again. Not an end, just a new beginning?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytripper View Post
    Mal - are you talking about the latest Expedition Kevlar lay-up with basalt/innegra as describe on this link? I don't know much about these new lay-ups. the Northstar site claims that their version of the lay-up (IXP) outperforms Royalex. I had a Swift Osprey in Expedition Kevlar in the 1990's but the lay-up was not the same as the current Dumoine. I'm just trying to make sure Digger is aware of all options. It concerns me that anyone might have to order a boat without test paddling it!


    http://www.swiftcanoe.com/canoe-laminates
    AH, no, an older version. Not that old, but 4 or 5 years at least.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytripper View Post
    [...] the Northstar site claims that their version of the lay-up (IXP) outperforms Royalex. [...]
    Yeah, but how much lighter then Royalex would it be then and at what cost?
    That is the problem here.
    I am sure that Swift wouldn't mind building a Dumoine in a custom whitewater kind of lay-up, if one specifically asks for it and is willing to pay the (high) price for it, at a possible weight of 30 kg?

  14. #14
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    Yep, no argument from me canonymous. It's 64 pounds so just about 30 kg and new boats have gotten crazy expensive.

    Digger, it must be nice to be able to say with confidence that you know how to miss obstacles. I've made a few mistakes now and then. The local rivers here is southern Michigan are right near record levels...so my daily upstream paddles with the dog have been shorter lately because I think the current is well over 3 knots.

    So coincidentally there was a discussion on Royalex repair on another forum today so I thought of your Dumoine. It's nice when everyone seems to agree on the proper repair approach. Or, if you live near any boats shops they might be able to patch up your Dumoine at a reasonable cost.


    http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/view...p?f=20&t=46720

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