Canadian Canoe Routes

Used fiberglass canoe gel coat repair
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Author:  Eneree [ May 6th, 2017, 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Used fiberglass canoe gel coat repair

I bought a used 16-foot canoe in pretty rough shape. I've never owned or repaired a canoe before but I'm planning on going camping to a canoe-in site this summer and figured it would be a project. It's sitting on my car in my apartment parking lot until I can take it to my parents place in a few weeks to try working on it.

Link to canoe photos:

When I was planning out how I might have to patch it before I bought it it seemed like I'd probably have to cut out sections of the fiberglass (how do I know it's fiberglass or Kevlar? Does this matter? I don't know the model or anything.) sand out any bad areas, and then paint over it on the inside and out.

But thenow I realised the red is more like a shell and I think it's actually a gel coat? I didn't even know this was a thing until I started inspecting it. Most gell coat repairs I've been able to find are for pretty small sections. It seems like the coat on this canoe is broken over the entire surface. Its really thick in some areas, and not attached to the fiberglass underneath. I feel like i could chip the whole coat off with a flat head screwdriver or scraping tool because of the loose bond, all the spider cracks, and the flakyness of it.

Apparently it floats as is but I haven't tried it yet. What is my best bet for getting this thing into a solid condition. Can I remove the gel coat entirely? And then fix the poor patch jobs and apply paint directly to the fibreglass underneath like this video?:

He didn't have a gel coat to start with. Will my hull be too weak without the gel coat? Do I need to sand down and repair the gel coat because that is what is currently there?

Also, one of the images shows the aluminum deck plate has a big crack through it. Can I repair this or do I need to get a new one? I'm planning on drilling out the old rivets and cleaning the gunnels and deck plates cause I don't trust the aged rivets. Should I rivet it back on or are there bolts I can use instead? I want to make sure it's safe to hold the deck plates to my car on the highway.

Sorry for the long post, I've been searching for a few weeks now and I don't think I know the right way to fix this up yet. Any experience or pointers you can give me would be very appreciated!

Author:  littleredcanoe [ May 6th, 2017, 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Used fiberglass canoe gel coat repair

Its a gel coat. Buff it with rubbing compound.. then go fill holes .
You might be interested in this rather long discussion. Its never finished ... n-the-hull

Author:  Eneree [ June 8th, 2017, 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Used fiberglass canoe gel coat repair

Thanks littelredcanoe, I looked through that forum and did some more digging.

I took the canoe out on the water to test that it doesn't leak, and it was water tight. Unfortunately it clearly has fractures in each of the supports on the inside of the canoe, and the whole thing was bending in and out along the spine of the canoe. I was kind of scared it was going to split right down the centre.

Anyway, my plan is to buy some resin, fiberglass cloth, and gelcoat from Gelcote International, the local manufacturer in town. I'm going to remove the gunnels, cut out the cracked sections and find out how long the crack on the inside spans (hopefully not the whole spine of the canoe), replace the fiberglass in those sections, sand down the whole gelcoat, fill all the holes, and put the gunnels back on. Also I'm going to use a metal-grade epoxy on the broken portion of the thing that sits on top of the gunnels at either end.

I've been told this is going to be a long job to sand. I'm planning on using a cordless dewalt angle grinder if I can find the right sanding and buffing discs for it, otherwise I'll have to do it all by hand.

Author:  littleredcanoe [ June 8th, 2017, 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Used fiberglass canoe gel coat repair

I fear you put more time and money in than that is worth.. Here in the US that boat would sell for maybe a hundred dollars. You can get a more structurally stable boat for three or four hundred.

The things are deck plates and are the least of your problems

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