Looking for advice on patching 1970's Old Town fiberglass canoe

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by ltweardy, Jul 1, 2022.

  1. ltweardy
    Joined: Jul 2022
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Virginia

    ltweardy New Member

    HI there! My name is Logan and I am new to this site, and fiberglass boat repair.


    I would like to fix up my dad's Old Town canoe. This is a sentimental project, and I don't intend to hit any big rapids or rocks, if I can get it fixed up. He purchased it new in the late 70's (unsure exactly when). About 20 years ago he covered the whole bottom with a layer of glass and resin because there were several small cracks and soft spots. Unfortunately the canoe spent several years in the sun recently and this bottom layer turned yellow and brittle.


    I removed the brittle layer with a grinder and discovered several cracks. My plan was to remove the busted glass around the cracks, patch up, and take my son fishing. But when I started grinding the first crack I discovered quite a bit more damage than I expected. The layers had delaminated so a small pocket had formed and there was a lot of discolored (brown) fiberglass in between. I kept grinding to get rid of all this, but the whole kept getting bigger and bigger!


    If I keep it up I"m going to meet up with the next crack in the middle of the boat. My concern is I'll end up replacing the whole bottom of the boat (don't really want to do that). So my big question is... is this a lost cause? Should I just patch what I've done, and hang it up for retirement? I"ve attached a few pictures to help show what I'm talking about. Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 1,055
    Likes: 245, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    This situation points up the hazards of sheathing a wooden hull, presumably only on the outside?
    The fiberglass coating has held moisture in, probably counter to the reason it was applied.
    Assuming the hull is still sound, I’d remove all the glass, make the necessary repairs to the wood, and coat it with quality paint, no fiberglass.
    It is a wooden boat, and old, and cannot be expect to live forever without regular TLC.
    Store it upside down, well ventilated, protect it from the elements, maybe you can get some more years use.
     
    fallguy and bajansailor like this.
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 6,210
    Likes: 1,245, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    You know, I totally forgot the inside of the OT canoe cannot be sealed cuz of all the ribs. If you seal the outside, you'd have to seal the inside which is fairly impossible.

    I deleted my comments because I forgot about the inside of the OTs until I read @kapnD
     
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