Looking for input: Adding sponsons to canoe

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by fartsponge, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. fartsponge
    Joined: Sep 2012
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    Location: College Station, TX

    fartsponge New Member

    I'm currently refinishing and repairing an old fiberglass/Kevlar solo racing canoe. I believe it was a homemade, so there's no brand or model to give. I'll try to get some pics up tomorrow.

    I'm considering the addition of sponsons because it's very tippy. This isn't normally a problem, but I intend to use this boat for the Texas Water Safari. My concern is that as I get tired and groggy, I'll be more prone to ending up in the drink. I figure the sponsons would help as my balance gets worse. My plan would be to use a closed cell foam and then glass it in. (I'm already doing some fiberglass work on the boat anyway.)

    Any thoughts on this idea? Would it be too much work, or are there some obvious pitfalls/disadvantages I'm not thinking about?

    *This would be my first time doing any kind of boat repair/modification, so I thought I might run the idea past people who have more experience.
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    How about a band of flexible polyethylene foam along each side, just clear of the waterline ? Might be able to fix it with adhesive too, but research that. Maybe even get it in a colour you like !
  3. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Weight is important for canoe races. Unless you expect some crashes, I suggest you have a go at hollow sponsons to save weight. By all means put a bung in them to drain them, but it will be much lighter.

    The other problem is the performance issue. If they drag in the water, they will slow you down a lot. Even if they are above the water, when you dip one side or the other, they can almost stop you if they are not streamlined.

    My first attempt would be to glue some PVC pipe together, to form a couple of crossbeams (say 50mm diameter) , and two fairly long say, 90mm pipes on each side ( at least 3 ft long) this will give you about 50 lbs of support on either side. Then, cover it all with 6 oz cloth, and plain polyester goo. Its sticks to PVC really well. If you cover it with peelply ( looks like thin cloth ) as you go, you can peel it off once the fg has cured, and save yourself a lot of sanding smooth,

    This should make you a bit safer and not impede the speed.
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