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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bump to catch the weekend folks.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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

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Discussion Starter #9
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/anglerboater/1999/julaug99/fibergls.htm


Yeah, by our own Fish and Boat Commission.


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

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Discussion Starter #10
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".
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

blue, anything you don't want resin stuck to apply a layer of masking tape. the resin wont stick to it. you can make forms and such with paint sticks wrapped with masking tape
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Tough day today.

Hot!!!


In my infinite wisdom, I decided to suspend the canoe between to saw horses. That to eliminate any set having the hull on the saw horses would produce. Just another stress point.

Prepped the cross hull strips and the hull of the canoe. Cut the f-glass before hand. Everything was ready to go.

Oh yeah, my f-glass wrap of the one strip last night. The thing that I thought would bite me this morning - it did. Stripped off the f-glass - about an hour. Tough stuff.

So all cleaned up and ready to go. I laid in the front f-glass where the old strip came out. Here the wood in the keel was showing through.

A few layers of woven roving, and I set in the aluminum strip. Fit like a glove. A few gaps, but not bad.

Did the same with the back. Laid in the woven roving and set the strip. Off by an inch on one side and the radius was off.

Quick recovery - laid in another strip of woven and prepared to a dry out.

Meanwhile back at the ranch..

Remember those handy reinforcement strips I added yesterday...


Long story short, I managed to adjust the radius and length on the strip. Of course to lay it in, I had to wait for things to set up - sand, wipe down and then install. This one had far bigger gap issues so I pre cut some strips to build up the areas.

It was going real good to.. then the cup I was using melted. Had to have been the hot sun today. End of story is, I get the strip set, but not all the fill in as planned. Close though.

I also have a nice pile of resin in the center of the hull. Even though I took my gloved hand and scooped a lot out. One would never think a 1/2 cup of resin would go so far. Heck, not even a half cup.

Going to let everything set and cure for a day or two. The boat is covered and out of the way. Then in to sand down the resin pile and rough for the next step. But waiting for a cooler day for that.

I also need to get more woven roving. That will take a few days to have shipped in.

On a good note. The wood in the keel looks ok. So I have a six inch hole on the keel to fill. Might be a good place for some f-glass putty and then glass over. Still have lots of minor cracks to cover on the outside hull.

Already planing on hull finish and color.

No pic today.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Updating a bit on this project.

I found out the hard way that high heat and high humidity are not good for resin... so after losing several batches due to that, work slowed over the summer.


In the last couple of weeks I resumed the work.



The hull strips were installed with resin under and cloth over the top. Tough gig on this. the cloth wants to fill and stay filled with air bubbles. Takes a lot of time and effort to cover metal.

Sanded and got ready to fill several gaps I had. If you read back... remember I said I suspended the canoe? Well when it wasn't suspended - the hull changed shape just enough to cause a problem. Instant gaps. Imagine that....

I went to West Marine over lunch one day and got some resin filler. Forget the name of it right now. Basically milled fiberglass - very fine with additional chemicals to strengthen it. You mix your resin per standard, then add this thickener until it is like peanut butter.

So I filled the gaps and also the 1/4 rise the thickness of the metal created. it took three or four sessions to get it all.

Problem was, even in the consistency of peanut butter - it ran off the slopes. So, I spend a lot of time forming and reforming the resin over the work areas. It takes a lot of time for this stuff to thicken up... and until it is nearly ready to "set" it runs.

Just like the video said.

This stuff sets HARD. It sands alright, roughening it up for the next application or for fabric is easy, but it is hard. It for sure adds structural strength.








I was of course trying to cover a large area as well.

Once done to my satisfaction, I covered the new supports with roving in separate pieces. Then I covered both together. I then covered the entire bottom (inside) from seat to seat covering all areas I had disturbed. 7' long and 40 " across at the widest part.

The inside was done except for paint.


On the outside -

The keel had a six inch hole in the very center of the keel. Then there were other places all gel coat was missing and the fiberglass gouged.

I used a one side repair method ( see the PFBC link above). Basically cut thin cardboard, cut and bent it until it fit in the area. Apply resin and let it set - then install it in the hole to act as a form for the repair. Of course using resin to set it in place.

Built up the hole from there. After several layers of roving - it was basically up to level - but not exactly the right shape - close but...



Having already prepped the other bad areas, I built them up as well. Then covered the main repair and those areas with roving and then lightweight cloth.

Once again, the vertical surfaces caused problems. Vertical surfaces and corners seem to suck air in. You keep working the areas as the resin drys. Once very tacky set it again and walk away... Do one or two and you get the idea and when to do what.

The keel repaired, I finished the initial 12 x 6 hole that started the whole thing. The one side repair was more than likely water tight, but didn't fill 100% on several small areas. Sand and grind to open the area and glassed it. Then over covered the entire area.

After that, I noticed that it had a low spot to boot. More of the peanut butter method. Though in this use it was exactly the thing for the job and went in fast and easy - and level.






Last thing was to cover the entire hull or nearly all of it with a single covering of glass. There were several larger gashes through the clear coat and many lesser ones. I could have patch worked the repairs. I knew I wasn't going to get into the gel coat repair business.


So at this point, I am one sanding away from floating the boat and doing a leak test.

Painting will wait till next spring. Painting - yes..

It is getting Rustoleum Truck Bed liner on the entire in the water area on hull. Not to expensive and used widely by others for the same purpose. Adds toughness and protection - but keeps some flexibility. or so they say..

I will be painting the inside and outside of the boat as well. Just a top coat marine paint or similar.

Hope to get it out on the water for the test this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Had one more piece of cloth to go in the last picture.. happened Tuesday of this week.
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Looking good Bluetick. I know what you mean regarding the humidity. I was using a Boaters Choice Resin to seal marine grade plywood. I started back on Memorial day, and some of it is still tacky. I blame my problems on the humidity. It could have been a bad batch I mixed. I'm looking forward to how this all turns out. Good luck to you.
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Looks good and you seem to have made sound structural repairs with out adding too much weight. The hull looks to be in line and shaped symmetric so it is a good repair. A good wet sanding and about 4 coats [lightly wet sanded between each] of marine top coat will make it look mighty fine.

I restored my 1958 Old Town wood and canvas in 2000. It is time to sand and repaint the bottom again.
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Plan on using Rustoleum Truck Bed Liner on the bottom. Seems to be the thing to do now. Tough enough to help protect the bottom - though not foolproof.

Inside and above the water line will get top coat paint.
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

I'm sory I didn't just paint above the water line and use shellac on the bottom like the maine guides did. Took all season for the shellac to ablade off. I wouldn't be thinking of having to wet sand the bottom to repaint...
 

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Re: Canoe Repair Project STARTED w/ PIC'S

Bluetick said:
Plan on using Rustoleum Truck Bed Liner on the bottom. Seems to be the thing to do now. Tough enough to help protect the bottom - though not foolproof.

Inside and above the water line will get top coat paint.
I was just goin to tell you to use truck bed coating on it. My brother did it and so far works great. Can get certain types in colors also.
 
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