Canoe Repair Project - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Canoe Repair Project

I got lucky and got a canoe for free. Something that just doesn't happen to me.

Needs a few repairs though.

Fiberglass canoe. I have spent some time watching video's, therefore I am a hazard to mankind the world over...

The procedures and methodology looks pretty straight forward. No real issues there, besides - I have you guys.


I plan on using epoxy resin. Not poly resin. From all accounts, just a better job and less hassles. Hardener and mixing look to be key. Going to use the 3M resin that I can get locally.

All repairs will be one sided repairs. Again, pretty straight forward. The keel repair will take as much preparation as the actual repair.

What I need first off is a good source for the cloth. Standard weight fiberglass in around 6oz and by the yard. Lots of sources on the net, but the prices range widely for the same thing.

Most of the video's suggest mat as an inter layer. Yet, chopped mat is not recommended with epoxy as it will not dry out or cure right. I am somewhat confused with the recommendation for use, but the apparent difference in the material.

Could I - use woven roving as my intermediate layer for strength?

Last I need some PVA.

All this from one source and for free... or at a reasonable cost as prices vary widely.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 01:25 AM
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

Sorry I can not help Bluetick but good luck .

Mike

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

Bump to catch the weekend folks.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 11:58 AM
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

i never matted a caone back togather. only done truck hoods and whatnot. take the video and burn it!
first off resin will NOT stick to paint. remove what you need to patch near with a grinder.
take your matting and cut patches slightly larger' at least 3 per area.
have all patches ready befor you mix the resin.
using a cheap paint brush coat an area with resin , lay on a patch and then recoat with resin. working the resin into the glass. applying all 3 layers in one series but not at once, one then another.
in my experience its an advantage to have the resin set faster than the directions say with extra hardner, over hardner is much better than resin that won't harden.

if you bought it, a trucker brought it
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

Yep, I knew about gringing the paint and having a clean surface.

The side repairs are pretty straight forward. It is the keel that i will need to make a mold (to match the rest of the keel). Pretty much decided to make it out of resin and a layer of cloth. Will use wax paper or mylar as the release. Glue it in and then build back to the heighth of the rest of the assembly.

As for the cloth, thinking of just buying the prepackaged stuff. Most likely will esult in less waste and... a ready supply if needed.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 01:13 PM
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

I have never personally repaired a canoe but know somebody who does it regularly... He claims that by using kevlar instead of fiberglass you will make a better repair that will most likely not have to be revisited in the future.. You may want to try kevlar on the keel as this area is most likely to get further scraping/strikes from rocks and things.

"Where the Law ends, tyranny begins."

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 03:59 AM
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

I was at West Marine today and they had quite a nice selection of cloth and resin. Don't know how their price compaires with others but you may want to check them out if there is one in your area.

Friends don't make promises they can't keep.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 02:53 PM
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Re: Canoe Repair Project

West systems are good stuff, it is the go to stuff at boat yards.




When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Two weeks ago I couldn't wait - so I cut the one bad spot out of the boat and did a first sanding of the entire hull.

Then I started this post.

Project is started.

Two weeks ago I couldn't wait - so I cut the one bad spot out of the boat and did a first sanding of the entire hull.

Then I started this post.


Boat wise, yesterday was a wash.

Today, I started off cutting the inside hull supports out. They were rotted. 1/4" strips of wood that had been water soaked for?????





I was going to sand / grind off the top of the old fiberglass. My neighbor came to the rescue. He had a Feine cutter. Basically a very thin vibrating cutting edge. Made a fine line (see pic) and very controllable without all the dust.











Most of the afternoon was consumed making the two replacement inside hull supports. 1/8" x 1-1/2" aluminum was cut, then formed by hand... using a wooden saw horse as the roll.

In the end, I made two nearly identical strips.. including the twist and angle back to match the hull shape. A vise and a pipe wrench was priceless for getting that right. Funny part was - I nailed it on both the first time.

Also built in a "V" in the center of each for the rise in the hull where the keel ran through. Peak and the counter angles in reverse to re flatten it.

The front strip also took a radius across the entire strip to match the hull.

Very time consuming. Stuff one does in the shop at work in short order - take a lot longer at home. More than once I had it close only to discover that it was unequal side to side or the center peak was off. Reduce the roll low, increase it at the end and invert on the other side.

End result - lots of sweat dropped. Hands sore and black with oxidation and aluminum. But I did it.








Next, I took a bit over a foot of the same aluminum material and stiffened the strips I just made.


Set a start point from the end of each strip. Then took the short piece and matched the roll x 4 times. Sand everything, acetone to clean.

Used Loctite epoxy and applied to the strip and laid in the other short strip. Lots of clamp... fast and let sit for an hour.










While things were setting up on the other side - I cut the f-glass and mixed my first batch of epoxy - ever. The hole I cut two weeks ago is no longer there.





Yes - I had all the f-glass cut and stacked to put in before I mixed the epoxy.

Due to the size of the hole, I used a piece of Mylar taped to the outside of the hull / hole. I thought I had a nice flexible board to use as a backer. no go - i ended up using a piece of heavy cardboard and taped it well. I think it would have made a moon launch ok.

Acetone wipe down - the third... confidence was ok but unsure. I started.

The first thing you learn is wetted fiberglass slides very easy. The second thing you learn is it takes more of the stuff (layers) than what you think. Had to cut some extra layers on the fly. No issues.





So it was done. Back to the next phase. Then I looked - The second thing you learn - wet the stuff down, but be careful of how much you use. It seems that all the excess epoxy pooled in the low spot. Pulled some back up - but it was getting very jelly like.

Might be an issue - but I think not. I have the outside to go over with a large patch or two - planned -

And - I fixed the hole to lay in the strips i made. So the inside hull will be glassed over with a few more layers.

The plan is to sand any high spots or heavy build up - and start on the other layers.

Live and learn.


Last job of the day, grind and file down the small reinforcement strips on the hull supports. That 1/8" looked like a big jump to me. Figured tapering them would make less of a line inside the boat to cover up. 4" grinder, orbital sander and a hand file. Both done rather quickly.

Last job of the day was to get one of them covered in glass.




This did not turn out well. I might be the thing that visits me in the morning. Curved metal and slick epoxy / f-glass is an interesting slime patch. Worked on a strip of wax paper to get release in the morning.

Would have been a great place for a roll of f-glass cloth.

Tomorrow will tell.

One thing about it. Mistakes are easy to repair. Have a grinder and sander.


So the plan for tomorrow is:

Wrap the second hull strip.

Install both of them and glass in,

Glass over the entire center section of hull (inside) where the strips are.

If I have time (due to dry time for the other stuff) - start cutting and preparing the keel for a overhaul.

I also have some smaller gel coat cracks and light cracks that need repaired. Easy stuff there.

The keel - more details tomorrow.


Right or wrong - there is my day. As long as it isn't laying on the ground in the morning - I'm happy.


Oh yeah, a good source of info on this stuff in addition to the many video's out other:

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/anglerbo...9/fibergls.htm


Yeah, by our own Fish and Boat Commission.


The info is invaluable for the novice - and it works!

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

You can see the hole I cut into the side and bottom of the canoe in the first picture with the strip.

Canoe shaped.. imagine that... it was roughly 4" x 12".

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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