The ultimate Material
for rugged canoes
When the manufacturer of Royalex ceased production in 2014 Esquif saw a big oppourtunity. With 18 years of experience making Royalex canoes we knew we could respond to paddlers needs for a durable, reliable and superior canoe. Esquif’s T-Formex material to the rescue! A superior material for your favourite canoeing adventures whether you are looking for a Touring, Whitewater, Whitewater Touring, Fishing, or Hunting canoe.
What is T-Formex?
T-Formex is a high tech ABS plastic laminate, specially designed for products that require structural memory and a resistance to abrasion and impacts. These characteristics make it the best choice for canoes. When we produce T-Formex we build it in sheets and these sheets of material are baked in an oven. Check out the size of the oven we use. If you look at the sheets from the side you can see it’s like a “sandwich” of materials. You can see the layers of the “sandwich” or laminate in the photo. The foam in the middle which provides floatation and rigidity, the vinyl which protects the foam and adds more structural integrity and finally the proprietary outer layer that gives you your abrasion resistance and your UV resistance. Once the sheets are baked we lay the sheet on a mold and press it into the shape of the canoe. The added advantage of building the sheets is we can decide if a sheet requires more material or reinforcement for its intended use. For example the T-Formex sheet we build to produce an Avalon is not going to be the same as the sheet we build for a Cargo or a Rangeley.
Why Choose T-Formex?
T-Formex is durable and reliable whether wilderness tripping, fishing, or just spending a day at the lake. You can have confidence and feel safe whatever paddling adventure you are on. The material is inherently buoyant and that’s because of the foam in the laminate or “sandwich” that we mentioned above. This is a real safety feature. Should you capsize your canoe and it fills with water it won’t sink to the bottom of the lake. That same foam also acts like an insulator and is not a conductor of cold like we remember from the days of aluminum canoes. Additionally, T-Formex has superior structural memory and abrasion resistance which will give you confidence when pulling your boat up on shore or should you hit a rock. In the unlikely event that your boat takes a tumble while you are loading it onto your vehicle, not to worry you can just pick it back up and be on your way, no worse for wear. We could show you a photo of us shoving it of a roof-top and it would survive the fall but that’s been done before and how relatable is that?
In comparison to other materials namely 3-layer and thermoformed (single layer) canoes, T-Formex is superior. It does not suffer from the impact of heat and uv rays which can result in the deformation of the hull (oil canning) and T-Formex boats are lighter and stiffer making for better performance on and off the water. While T-Formex is not as light as composite (fiberglass or Kevlar) canoes the benefits as noted above far out weight the minimal additional weight.
In comparison to composite materials like fiberglass and Kevlar, T-Formex gives you a durable and reliable material that is not limited by where you will be paddling and the type of water you will paddling. It has a higher abrasion resistance, structural memory and is inherently buoyant.
Here are a couple of photos that show the durability of the T-Formex.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the warranty policy?
At Esquif we are committed to providing you with the best product possible. Our Warranty Policy is 3 (three) years from original owner’s date of purchase and covers manufacturer’s defects. Our warranty does not include normal wear and tear or abusive use. Any product deemed defective will be repaired or replaced at Esquif’s discretion. The customer may be responsible for shipping costs.
You don’t need to register your product. If submitting a concern that you believe falls under our Warranty Policy contact the authorized Esquif dealer where you purchased your boat, providing appropriate documentation ie) images, serial number, and proof of purchase (your original copy of the invoice). We will then work with the dealer to take the appropriate action.
If you have a concern with your Esquif product we want to hear from you. We will do our very best to remedy your concerns and have you on the water again.
2. What colour is T-Formex available in?
Go to the CANOES page and select the model you are interested in, scroll down to the specs and you will see the stock colours available for that particular model.
Should you wish to order your T-Formex canoe in a non-stocking colour please contact your nearest retailer for pricing information. For example, the Prospecteur 16 stock colours are red and green but for an upcharge you can order it in yellow if you want.
The Rangeley Series is not available in any colours other than stock colours.
3. Can I store my T-Formex canoe outside?
We highly recommend storing your canoe inside and off the ground, but since that may not be possible here are a few tips to ensure your canoe is in good condition the next time you want to head out on the water.
- Do not hang your boat from grab loops or carry thwarts.
- Spread out the weight of the canoe over its entire length whenever you store it.
- Do not lay the canoe down on its side on a flat surface for extended periods of time.
- Do not store near a heat source, like a furnace or water heater.
Cold Weather Storage
- Do not store in a spot where snowload is a possibility. Snow is very heavy and we have seen hulls damaged beyond repair from snowload.
- Wood trim canoes – there are a variety of opinions on cold-cracking. During extreme temperature fluctuations T-Formex can expand or contract and you can get cracks running down from the gunnel where the wood trim is screwd in. T-Formex will contract at a different rate than the wood trim which can cause severe cracks in the hull. We suggest backing-out screws to the first thwart beyond the bow or stern thwarts to prevent cold-cracking. Leave any seat hangers or thwarts in place.
- Ideally, you are better off storing your canoe in attached and insulated, or heated and weather proof storage.
- Remember to store your canoe off the ground and on the gunnels.
Warm Weather Storage
- Store out of direct sunlight. UV rays will, overtime discolour the hull and degrade the material.
- Remember to store your canoe off the ground and on the gunnels.
4. What kind of maintenance is required for my T-Formex canoe?
Other than proper storage is indicated above you T-Formex canoe is relatively maintenance free. We do however recommend the following:
- Clean canoe with a mild dish detergent and water
- If you have wood gunnels refinishing is recommended. This should be done based on the amount of use and exposure your boat sees. This for most recreational users is done annually. Clean and then lightly sand and refinish with thung oil.
5. Can I repair my T-Formex canoe?
Yes, although your T-formex canoe is very durable you may have hit that rock coming down the river one too many times and now you have a small dent in your bow. These small dents can be left as they provide no structural concern but you can also remove them fairly easily.
- Make sure the affected area is clear of the skid plate material
- Boil water about 1 gallon and put it inside the canoe around the affected area.
- Let sit for 10 minutes
- Take a hockey stick or a piece of wood that is rounded that can match the interior of the canoe so to speak and push out dent.
- Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for a total of three times.
- Consider adding skid plates to your bow and stern.
6. Can I install outfitting in my T-Formex canoe?
Absolutely! We recommend using Vinyl-Tec 2000 which is a one-step vinyl adhesive that creates a chemical bond between your vinyl d-rings and the T-Formex. If you don’t have access to Vinyl-Tec 2000 specifically you can use any marine grade vinyl adhesive.
For installing your foam knee pads we recommend you use a marine grade contact cement.
Prepping canoe surface for installing knee pads or vinyl d-rings
In order to install the knee pads you need to figure out where you want them placed and then trace a line around them, you will then need to prep the surface area. You can use 150 or 200 grit sandpaper to slightly rough up the vinyl where the knee pads will be glued. After sanding, clean the surface using a little alcohol and a clean rag.
Brush a thin even layer of contact cement inside the knee pad outlines and on the back surface of the knee pads. Make sure you go right to the edges. Let the surfaces dry as per the instructions on your adhesive. When dry, re-apply another layer before carefully placing the knee pads into position and apply pressure over the entire surface area to remove any air pockets and make sure there is a good bond.
7. Are skid plates on the bow and stern necessary on a T-Formex canoe?
No, however installing skid plates provide extra protection to the parts of the canoe that see the most abrasion and possible impact. You can order your canoe with these installed, easily install them yourself or your local retailer may be able to install them for you.
Skid Plate Installation:
- Trace skid plate cloth on bow and stern
- Sand T-Formex with 40 – 60 grit sand paper
- Clean surface with a wet rag, it is critical that there is no dust between the hull and the Kevlar cloth. Let surface dry completely.
- Prepare epoxy
- Lay cloth
- Remove bubbles