Will Nova Craft’s TuffStuff replace Royalex in the canoe market? That’s the question on everyone’s mind following the release of an in-house video of the material in action (above).
Subjected to stress tests and hammer blows, the new material, a basalt and Innegra composite, holds up well. “We haven’t been able to put a hole in one yet!” says Tim Miller, owner of Nova Craft Canoes.
This material blend was chosen because it mimics the strength of Royalex, recovering even better in some stress tests.
Miller started making hulls in July and has six 16-foot TuffStuff Expedition Prospectors now out with dealers for testing.
“You can jump on the boat, that’s how strong they are,” says Miller.
Offered in two layups in 2015, TuffStuff and TuffStuff Expedition, the material is considerably lighter than Royalex—the TuffStuff Expedtion model weighs in at 59 pounds, versus 72 pounds of a similar Royalex boat. The regular TuffStuff material weighs 53 pounds and will be ideal for trippers, says Miller.
“I expect it’ll take a while for market acceptance, just like it did with Royalex,” says Miller. “But when people paddle these boats they’ll see they respond better than a plastic boat because the hull is so much stiffer, and that hold up really well under extreme conditions.”
TuffStuff does take longer to manufacture than Royalex—about two days versus 20 minutes—but that won’t translate into a huge price increase for consumers. “We’re looking at the $2,400 to $2,800 range,” says Miller of the new material. “A new Royalex boat might have been $2,050, so there will be an increase, but not much.”
Learn more at www.novacraft.com and look for a review in an upcoming issue of Canoeroots magazine.