Need advice on canoe please

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Tree, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Tree
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Location: Maine

    Tree New Member

    Picked up a free canoe on the side of the road today. It's 12 ft, wooden, but no ribs(?)

    The finish is worn on the outside and I can see canvas in places, which looks good, although a few places it looks bubbled or lifted off the wood beneath. There was a wood rail on the bottom down the middle which is rotted but I could replace easily

    The inside the varnish is flaking but the wood appears solid, although there are two small places that look like it might leak there.

    What's the quickest cheapest way to get it in the water? (pond not white water)

    My daughter is home for another two months and we live across from a pond. I don't think the canoe is a classic antique (although it has rawhide webbed seats that look solid) and it was, you know, free.

    Any advice greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Post a picture or two
     
  3. Tree
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Tree New Member

    inside canoe.jpeg
    This is the inside-no ribs, doesn't look like it ever had any. wood looks good but varnish (polyurethane?) flaking, Seat frame discolored but I think it's solid? stern canoe.jpeg

    The canvas is worn off at both ends. I believe the dark spot in this photo is a small nail. Also shows how the canvas is exposed in places. Shows the end of the bottom rail which needs replacing-the middle fell off. Screws with inside nuts to attach. I have some good cedar I could replace it with, although the strip is 8 feet and my pieces are 5 feet so I would have to splice it if I used my cedar. Not sure if this is a skid rail or support?
    canoe under.jpeg

    This is maybe the worst news. I have put a piece of the rotted rail crossways to highlight the warping. It appears to be in the canvas, since the inside wood is smooth. This crack is about 3". On the inside, it is just slightly discolored there. Further down is a smaller crack like the one shown, with warping on the outside running lengthwise on either side of the rail.

    While it would be nice to restore it, I would really like to get some use out of it this summer while my daughter is home. We initially just thought rustoleum on the outside, but the bubbling/warping concerns me, and I am wondering if painting now would makes further repairs a nightmare.

    Thoughts?
     
  4. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    You sure that is canvas? Looks like fiberglass to me.

    Do not paint that until it is repaired.
     
  5. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    If that is glass, you will need to do some glass patches.

    Get us a bigger picture of the whole boat inside and out plz.

    First, make sure the hull has basic integrity. See if the sides wobble really badly. A minimum amount of integrity is sort of required to bother with it.

    If it passes that test, you can repair this with sandpaper, fumed silica, some 6 oz fiberglass, and epoxy.

    When you fix this type of thing; no loose materials are really kept. All loose stuff must be sanded or chiseled away. For a glass patch, plan on about 4" all around any visible or known problems.

    That warpage is not a big deal.

    I might be inclined to add a glass tape over thixo down the midde.

    The seats are peeling pu or varnish.
     
  6. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Delamination of fiberglass is the biggest problem and hardest to fix.

    How bad is the delam?

    This looks like a fiberglass on wood canoe to me. I don't see any canvas.
     
  7. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Good find.

    If it passes FG's suggested structural test and those splits don't go all the way through letting water in...

    Take it out and use it.

    BUT
    The damage will worsten until it is properly repaired.

    No canvas
    6oz fiberglass cloth is failing. White or blisters should be removed. Any loose should be pulled off. Sand and patch or cover with a full new layer of 6oz and epoxy.

    Dark wood is rotten and will grow unless it is cut out and replaced.

    It has a sacrificial raw wood keel.

    Scarf joints are welcome

    Come back if you want specific pointers .

    Good luck
     
  8. Tree
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Location: Maine

    Tree New Member

    Thanks for your speedy replies!

    I know nothing about fiber glass. I thought that is what it was initially. But when I looked up wood canoe it came back canvas and wood so I thought that is what it was, since I could tell there was a covering of some texture over the wood.

    Thanks for being kind haha!

    The sides are very sturdy. the raised areas on the bottom of the canoe give when pressed. Do those areas need to be removed?

    (If so best process?)

    To patch the crack, what do I need to do to prep it before the patch? Is that delamination next to it?

    Will try and get more pix up shortly.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Looks like construction is wood strip covered with fiberglass. The strips of wood are almost certainly glued together. They may or may not also be nailed together. Very likely it was amateur built.

    Any signs of fiberglass on the inside? If the fiberglass is in good condition, not delaminating, and it is covered with paint or varnish in good condition then you may need to look carefully to detect a layer of fiberglass.

    Wood canvas construction is completly different. Transverse flat ribs, longitudinal planking which is not glued together, and outside covered in canvas (or sometimes fiberglass).
     
  10. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    A few questions to be better able to focus on your needs.

    I'm assuming you have little to no fiberglass experience.

    What are your wood working skills?

    What arsenal of hand tools is available?

    What level of beauty are you hoping to achieve?

    How carefully will you use the canoe?

    My household beats the snogg out of boats. Our wood canous need FG patching every few years.(they get drug across lots of gravel and barbed wire)

    Quick fix for the split:. Poly-sulfide (not silicon) caulking covered with duct tape.

    Permanent fix requires cutting out the rotten wood, replacing it with new and covering with epoxy saturated fiberglass cloth.

    The raised soft spots are blisters. The FG cloth is no longer glued to the wood. There's a bubble filled with either air or water. Remove them by stabbing with a knife and slicing away the loose cloth. There probably will be some rotten wood to replace in the blister. Replace the cloth with new.
     
  11. Tree
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Tree New Member

    The sides are sturdy. The bulging places on the bottom give when pressed. I read up about repairs, I don't think the drilling and filling method would work in those places since they seem brittle. So, do I remove the bulging places then patch?

    Do I overlap the cloth patch onto the old cloth? and the places where the cloth is showing but is tightly adhered, can I just go over that, and if so, what product should I use?

    Thanks!
     
  12. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    If the glass is tightly adhered then it can safely stay. Remove all paint or varnish. Presealing with epoxy will prevent the blister from returning. Overlap two inches with 6oz epoxy saturated fiberglass. Squeegee out all air bubbles. The cloth should appear transparent, the wood's grain easily desernable. An extra coat or two of epoxy will fill in the weave of the glass and prevent slpinters from the edges of the patches. Coat any raw cloth with epoxy until it's weave is filled. If it doesn't turn transparent then it goes to go.
     
  13. Tree
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Tree New Member

    I built the house I have lived in for twenty years but consider myself a rough carpenter. (Basically did the whole thing with a skilsaw, a level and hammer)

    Pretty much zero experience with fiberglass but I have taped sheetrock and caulked a lot of stuff and glazed windows and patched the roof so some general applicable skills.

    I picked up a palm sander today (I have to admit I hate sanding but daughter has volunteered to do it-it's like nails on a chalkboard to me)

    saws: skilsaw, handsaw, box saw, hacksaw, jigsaw; screwdrivers, chisels, draw knife, drill (basic stuff.)

    Don't really care how it looks as long as it floats, although I wouldn't mind if I could fix it up nicely.

    Don't plan on dragging it especially since they re did the pond access with cobbles. Will carry it with help. (grown kids are great)

    Plan on just the pond when the surface is like glass. It can get a little chop in wind-it's about a mile long, shallow and narrow (basically a dammed stream with old mill at one end)

    I am worried about the blistering-if I apply slight pressure I feel cracking, so more water would probably get right in there. I don't think the wood is rotten because it doesn't show on the inside. Maybe just impact caused the delam? The crack in the photo is the only place where it looks like water got in and just a sliver of dark wood there on the inside. Really hoping I don't pull the old cloth and find rot and have to get into replacing wood!

    When I replace the cloth I have removed, is it just an overlappipng patch-since most of the cloth is firm?

    The whitish places where the cloth is showing-do I put a coat of epoxy over them?

    What do I apply as a "finish" coat?

    I think I will also need to sand the flaking finish on the inside-what should I use to re coat that?

    Thanks!
     
  14. Tree
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Location: Maine

    Tree New Member

    Do I sand off the old varnish or use varnish remover? Is that just for the area to be patched, or remove all of it? Also, if I put a coat or two of epoxy on the places the cloth is exposed but not blistered, what should I do to prep that area first?

    The last sentence-I shouldn't be able to see the wood at the end?

    Thanks!
     

  15. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Glassing is not difficult, but:
    1. Work in well ventilated area.
    2. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when working with resin and hardener.
    3. Wear a dust mask and eye protection when sanding.
    4. Don't use chemicals near open flames or electric sparks(motor brushes,etc.).

    Have fun.
     
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