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PostPosted: January 25th, 2023, 3:31 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Friend Tom came by to pick up his unique pole paddle. Having left it in my care for a week I couldn’t resist sanding off the grunge and giving it a fresh coat of oil. The DIY craftsman of that pole paddle used some attractive wood. Pretty work, I even shined up the brass tips.

ImageP1180001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Tom brought me a few shop treats. As usual he brought Finn, a West Virginia Porch Hound rescue, and he brought up a new rescue. Bodie the pit bull.

Bodie was found running down the center line of an inner-city street amidst traffic. Tom stopped blocking trafic, opened his truck door and shouted “What’s the *@#$’s the matter with you, yer gonna get hit”. Bodie jumped in the truck and never left. Unchipped, and probably destined for a cruel future, Tom had another rescue and Bodie a better life.

ImageP1220006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Like several Pit Bull mixes I have met Bodie is a snugglebug, who wanted nothing more than to nestle between my ankles, with one beefy paw holding down my foot, assuring that I wouldn’t leave. I take that paw-on-foot action as a huge canine compliment. I may have a new favorite dog.

Tom has a long canoe-dog history. In Monarchical honorifics, Dr. Bob The Lackadaisical, who didn’t give a damn about much. Mobey The Demented, diagnosed as being “So happy he’s just leaky with joy”. Finn The Placid (unless he has other dogs to play with). And now Bodie The Snugglebug.

ImageP1220009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

My favorite photo sequence with Tom and Dr. Bob. Early pre-poling days Tom was double blading down the Gunpowder Falls. Dr. Bob had assumed his customary lookout stance on the bow deck plate, ready to bark out “ROCK”.

ImageEK_0002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Dr. Bob missed barking out a rock dead ahead. One second Dr. Bob was standing tall as a forward observer, next second Tom thumped a submerged rock and Dr. Bob was nowhere to be seen. Tom seemed highly amused.

ImageEK_0003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Mobey, a more active participant, learned swim rapids and recognize eddy currents, using his tail as a rudder. I want to hear Tom’s tales of two-dog poling trips. Lucky dogs, they lead an adventurous life. Perhaps to that two-dog end Tom also brought me a winter shop project, a ’91 glass Explorer.

A brightwork rotted freebie Explorer I regunwaled and refurbished 20 years ago when Tom’s daughters were young, to use as a 3-seat family canoe. His kids went into solo boats, a Wilderness Piccolo and a Curtis Ladybug, and Tom came to love the Explorer as his poling canoe.

ImageP1230013 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I have no idea how it became so beloved; the Explorer remained a three seater, and Tom poles it bow backwards, standing in front of the bow seat with a canoe dog forward for ballast. That’s all well and Tom canine companion good, but between the bow seat and thwart there is only 16” of poler shuffling legroom.

ImageP1230014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Most poler friends have their canoes set up with more walk around room. That 16” space restriction may account for Tom’s “aggressive step outs”. In Tom’s definition it is still considered an aggressive step out if the poler’s bald head remains dry. Falling into the canoe and landing on a thwart has its own NSFW exclamations and terminology.

I did do a stout rebuild many years ago. Full DIY truss hung center seat.

ImageP1230016 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Or DIY wedge drops on other seats.

ImageP1230018 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Two thwarts, and a strap yoke with double D webbing connectors.

ImageP1230019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There are some, uh, peculiarities to that early rebuild. The deck plate painter keepers are crossed in an X. I expect that was my work; it’s not like Tom would ever have installed new bungee cord. I wonder what I was thinking with an X?

ImageP1230021 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Tom took an in-boat poling tumble, aka a “#@^&$ that hurt more than a water landing” and busted a seat hanger machine screw. In a rare moment of DIY canoe repair Tom replaced that broken part. Using a (not stainless) hex head bolt.

ImageP1230023 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That DIY “repair” was done years ago. Sliding that protruding hex head across his 2x4 Quick & Easy van racks eventually gouged a ½” deep divot in the crossbar wood. Tom complained incessantly about that hex head, but never replaced it. Fortunately the van died before the crossbar splinted and failed.

All of the bungee cord is what I installed years ago, now stretched out floppy useless.

ImageP1230024 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Seriously Tom, could you not just pull that bungee tight and re-knotted? OK, that would be a no.

Tom mentioned that he hated the bungee balls, noting that they were painful to fall onto during in-boat poling stumbles.

Also suggested, “Tom, these are scissors, and this is new bungee cord”. Nope, too much work. I don’t believe the “I’d rather be out paddling” or “I don’t have a shop” excuses have much merit when it comes to simply re-knotting floppy bungee cord.

Same with having three seats in a poling canoe. For years I suggested “Just take out the two superfluous seats”. Nope, 16” of poling leg room.

The most important thing before putting the Explorer back on the water is to reinforce the bottom vee, worn thin through the gel coat and well into the glass.

ImageP1240026 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I *think* the black stuff at the stems is Kevlar fabric stem reinforcement; the glass boats out of Vermont had Kevlar partials along the stems. Not sure why is scrapes through black.

Not just worn at the stems, the bottom vee is worn thin along the entire length.

ImageP1240027 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There is some evidence that I had originally installed skid plates and full vee length cloth. Scant evidence remains, literally a few flecks of cloth painted red still attached here and there, almost certainly at the time auto-store 2” E-glass tape and polyester epoxy. At least it peeled cleanly; that’s the only good thing I have to say about E-glass as abrasion protection.

I can do better this time around. A keel length strip of Dynel cloth, 105/206 and G/flex epoxies with spoonful of graphite powder in the epoxy mix will take care of that for vee bottom abrasion years to come.

In full confession as to the quality of that early rebuild I frugally reused the OEM bow and stern seat hardware. . . . so those are carriage bolts. . . . through vinyl gunwales (uugh). I envision those now 32 year old poling abused carriage bolts will be wanked and bent and will be no fun to remove.

Until the “Tom never met a boat that needed washing” Explorer has been scrubbed of storage and highway roof racked grime, stretching back decades, I won’t do much beyond check shop stock for replacement parts.

I’m in no rush; ie I’m not washing it today in the snow. The forecast predicts high 40’s by the weekend. If I’m feeling energetic I might scrub it and wet sand the faded gel coat over the weekend. Meanwhile I could at least weigh the Explorer and ponder how I want to proceed with the rebuild.

ImageP1230010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Ishkabibble, 79.5lbs. An Explorer of that vintage, listed as “fiberglass with kevlar”, including the Mad River OEM standard two seats, yoke-no-thwarts and carry handles was catalog speced at 70lbs.

I can account for the extra 9lbs; ½” thick vinyl inwale full truss or wedge drops on three seats, the bow seat being a crude, heavy DIY home build, two thwarts and two carry handles. Hey, the brightwork survived intact with zero maintenance for 20 years.

How should I re-rebuild the Explorer? Maybe lose the poling superfluous stern and center seats, leaving a single bow-backward seat for poling with dog ballast forward. Lose the stern thwart and strap yoke and add a wood portage yoke at center for gobs of walk around room and a more rigid carry?

Or keep just the solo center seat, add a utility sail thwart and turn the Explorer into a big-boy solo sailing tripper?

Tom poles some river or creek almost every week, and doesn’t trip much; maybe not soloized for big boy tripping.

Maybe a simple kneeling thwart back of poling station? I don’t think Tom’s aging knees and hips would appreciate a kneeling thwart; too bad, I have a couple in shop stock ready to go. For simplicity sake I am tempted; stand tall, or genuflect, your choice.

Not that y'all get a vote, but which way should I go with re-rebuild outfitting? That is kind of a rhetorical question, I’m already leaning in a new and radically different for me direction.

I have a few days to ponder the question. I don’t work on dirty boats, and the Explorer hasn’t been washed in 20 years. I need a non-freezing day for some hose and scrub brush work.


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PostPosted: January 28th, 2023, 1:15 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
I have amended that shop motto to “I don’t work on filthy boats”. The Explorer got no-soap just-plain water sponged down, I was too curious to see what I had underneath the worst of the grime.

ImageP1250005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Even using no soap or scrubbie it was a “blackwater” boat.

ImageP1250006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Tom has his own blackwater stories, a couple involving empty Guinness bottles surreptitiously refilled with swamp water, uncapped with a make believe “Psstt” and handed to him. Tom does not sip his initial gulp of cold beer. Tom has become very attentive when I ask if he’d like a beer. Suspicious almost.

The gel coat work on the Explorer is amazing. 32 years of hard use, starting pre-rehab with rotted brightwork and floppy hull roof rack transported back to the shop, followed years of subsequent poling abuse.

The gel coat has no spider cracks. I keep inspecting it; none. Not even need-to-look-close faint ones. How is that even possible? I’ll give the Vermont era MRC canoes one thing, some of them had fantastic gelcoat work.

That amazing gel coat is worn well into fabric layers at the stems and along the full length of the vee bottom, and in other areas the gel coat is worn thin enough to show the weave of the fabric underneath.

First things first, scrub just the vee. Snowy outside, so in shop situ, and lay a full length strip of Dynel sleeve from stem to stem. Dynel sleeve is available from Sweet Composites.

https://www.sweetcomposites.com/Polyester.html

At $1.50 a yard is was worth getting a lot. Partly because, IIRC, Sweet’s has a minimum order of $25, under that charges a $25 handling fee, so I ordered boatloads of Dynel sleeve last time.

Or so I thought; I used a bunch, and a bunch more, and gave some away. And came up 24” short for a full 16’ keel length. Luckily I had enough scrap left on a previous roll. Two pieces end to end it is, can’t be helped.

ImageP1250007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Dynel sleeve laid straight and even along the keel line with the edges painter’s taped, papered and ready for epoxy.

ImageP1260011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I wetted out the keel line with a black pigmented epoxy mix, painted between the painter’s tape, unspooled the rolled Dynel straight and even as I walked alongside and gently patting it down to hold it in place. Then top coated it two-fabric-layer saturation heavy, with the same epoxy and pigment mix, adding a teaspoon of graphite powder to the black pigmented epoxy on the last pass.

Heavily epoxied, drips stopped running, paper drip mask pulled and waiting full saturation to pull the tape and lay the peel ply.

ImageP1260014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Like the Dynel sleeve a pre-cut length of 3” rolled peel ply is a godsend in this application.

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/ ... eelply.php

1 ¾” wide Dynel sleeve and 3” wide peel ply; too much width of peel ply over the fabric edge will wrinkle pucker when compressed.

I know only one workable way to lay 16 feet of Dynel sleeve and peel ply when working solo. Or even with shop help. Both materials cut-to-length and re-rolled on a cardboard core for ease of installation atop a bed of epoxy. Just start at one end and unroll the material straight between the lines.

ImageP1270015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Yes, that’s a toilet paper roll. See also, with less regular availability, paper towel rolls and long gift wrap rolls, anything you can roll fabric around makes for unwrinkled storage and, for various width tapes or sleeves, ease of application.

I gave that slow-cure epoxy mix an hour+ to seep into the sleeve and just barely begin to set up, pulled the tape and drip catching paper mask, and unspooled the peel ply, patting it down gently with gloved hand at first. Then an hour (or two) of babysitting, repeatedly compressed the Dynel with a hard roller to help epoxy penetrate the two layers of sleeve.

ImageP1270017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The epoxy mixing portion of that task took wayyyy longer than usual. I am trying to go frugal with this rebuild and had various old West System cans lazily put away “Nope, that can is so low the pump is sucking air”. The “almost empty” gallon can of resin had nearly a pint left when drained empty.

Some of those pumps in cans were last cleaned almost 4 years ago. Those pumps were becoming recalcitrant stiff, and that’s when a pump breaks mid-squeeze.

ImageP1270019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Eessh, a simply epoxy mixing job turned into cleaning and replacing various pumps and pouring out the dregs from several almost empty cans of 105/206 into 5-1 ratio marked cups.

Use it up. And clean it out. And hope like hell I got that hand-poured 5-to-1 mix right. I’d much rather use the pumps. I can cheat a by a couple days and mark the newly cleaned pumps 2 - 23

To clean the pumps West recommends flushing the resin pump with a solvent; suggesting lacquer thinner, Acetone or denatured alcohol.

Alcohol has worked well in the past, but I had a can of acetone already on the bench. Pump flush squiring with acetone was a splashy malodorous mess. I’ll stick with alcohol next time. Hopefully next time cleaning the pumps before four years have passed.

To clean the hardener pumps West recommends flushing with hot water – the resin is water soluble – then with alcohol. Gadzooks that was a lot of procrastinated pump maintenance and decanting of can dregs to attend to just to mix a few cups of epoxy. But all of the various resin and hardener pumps are clean are ready for next time, which won’t be long, and I emptied a couple dregs-left cans.

The latter makes me shop-happy; the epoxy shelf was becoming overcrowded with nearly empty cans. I’ve been given the gift of storage room. Although nature abhors a vacuum. . . . .

With the Dynel sleeve repeatedly hard roller compressed under the peel ply it was walk-away time. I can pull that peel ply tomorrow morning. Or, release treated, next week.

Tomorrow morning sounds better. Lots still to do, and the see-how-I-did peel ply reveal is always eagerly anticipated.


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PostPosted: January 30th, 2023, 5:07 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Next morning’s peel ply reveal.

ImageP1280001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Not too shabby. Despite vigorous, repeated hard roller action the edges of the Dynel sleeve still stand a might tall at the ends, and along the more curved sleeve sides. Dynel sleeve always does.

ImageP1280002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Not a difficult fix, not overly time consuming, just finicky. First a little file action on the bitter ends of the sleeve. I want those ends beveled smooth, and presented un-gurgly.

Filing away at the epoxy & graphite powder Dynel proves how abrasion resistant that stuff really is, even with the G/flex bead barely set up a day later it is freaking tough stuff.

ImageP1280006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The duct tape is a sacrificial protector, there to keep me from vigorously oopsie-filing too far into the hull. Which it did, the duct tape was fayed from its sacrificial task.

There is fix for those now bevel filed smooth Dynel sleeve ends, and for a few pockmarked epoxy void areas amidships

ImageP1280007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

A wee cup of G/flex 655 thickened, pigment blackened, and a teensy paint brush.

ImageP1280009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Much better. Mini squeeged that thickened epoxy provided a better beveled edge. Let that side set up and flip the Explorer 180 degrees to epoxy bead & squeegee bevel the other side of the Dynel sleeve.

I’m not sure why I am going to such finicky ends with the Explorer. Maybe just because the amazing Vermont MRC gel coat work is deserving of the effort.

The once worn vee bottomed Dynel strip on the RX reservoir Explorer has proven impervious to cruel launching and landing abrasion, as have Dynel skid plate stem partials on other dragged canoes.

The Explorer’s gel coat, while not spider cracked, is UV scorched. For the last 10 years Tom has left two canoes racked 24/7/365 on his vehicle; a poling canoe and a water rocket (MRC Explorer and Wenonah Voyager).

That was helpful for Get-Tom-outa-the-house with the dog paddling or poling every weekend. And equally helpful because Tom’s racks (before his wife built him better ones) tended to fall over in heap of crushed canoes in wind or snow load.

Jeeze Tom, the missus never built me new canoe racks; send Jane over some weekend, I have needs. That constant roof racked UV and highway pollutant exposure did the gel coat no favors.

The hull needs to be sanded, and get a coat of rolled and tipped epoxy over the worn gel coat exposed fibers. And, later, a couple coats of topside paint. Which means I need to strip off the vinyl bunny, Explorer monikers and Mad River Canoe logos and pin striping before I roll/tip a coat of epoxy. That’s a lot of vinyl decoupage along both sides of the hull.

A Heat gun and a razor scraper usually makes short, intact work of vinyl letters and stripes, usually taking off vinyl frou frou in clean easy pieces. But much of the Explorer’s vinyl stickerage is scraped and scuffed.

ImageP1290013 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And, I discovered, UV baked on brittle. After a few minutes of heat gun softening most vinyl sticker frou-frou will peel off one-piece cleanly.

Well that ain’t happening; the most intact bunny came off in teeny pieces. I decided F#$% that hours of effort action, don’t actually care enough, I’ll sand them and epoxy and paint over them.

ImageP1290015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That was a solid 30 minutes work I had removed one fern. It would take days to scrape every fleck of degraded vinyl sticker off the Explorer. If they leave a ghost image of pipe smoking bunnies and Mad River/Explorer monikers I’ll claim that was just the effect I was going for. “Look, you can only see them if the light hits at certain angle”

That still made for a lengthy spell of RO sanding with various grit pads, over the entire gel coat worn and deeply scratched hull. Gotta do what ya gotta do before moving on to the epoxy and paint coats.

Gawd bless the dust extractor cyclonic action, but I still needed a shower and fresh clothes when I was finished. Exposure allergies from years of sanding gel coat and especially old vinylester resins have itchy-scratchy sensitized me. Wear as much PPE as you can tolerate, you’ll be thankful years later.

I felt so un-itchy refreshed after a shower and change of clothes that I gave the sanded Explorer another clean water & sponge wipe down.

ImageP1290017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

ImageP1290019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Still blackcherry settled sludge disgusting, graphite powder with a hint of burgundy gel coat. T

ImageP1290020 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Tomorrow is forecast to be in the high 40’s, and then freezing for the next week. The Explorer can go outside for a thorough wash and scrub, inside and out.


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PostPosted: January 31st, 2023, 1:42 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
The Explorer is at least now clean. For the first time in 20 years. Tom’s Invasives Transport at your streamside service.

Soapy water and a sponge was good enough for the interior. There was bird’s nest debris stuffed in one stem. Since the Explorer lived on Tom’s roof racks I bet those nestlings had some highway adventures. Tom’s Egg & FledglingTransport at your highway service.

ImageP1290023 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

An aside. I’ve seen that action, wren eggs going splat on the van windshield, and once, still gives me the willies, featherless hatchlings. The windshield wipers and squirter solution horrified my wife, with a van windshield view of the entire incident from the passenger seat. NOOOO, she couldn’t have been asleep for that episode.

I began checking for nests before every trip. Wrens can rebuild a nest in a day’s time. I finally hit on half-deflated Dollar Store beach balls, stuffed and tied in the stems during outside rack storage.

ImagePC100027 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

We haven’t had a nest built in the stem of any canoe since.

The Explorer’s interior weave was covered with caked on mud, dirt and smutch. Other than where Tom stood the interior is in excellent condition for a 32 year old glass canoe. Even Tom’s limited legroom foot placement area is not too badly worn.

For a more thorough exterior scrubbing I used DougD’s Magic Mix; 50/50 Dawn and vinegar (no water) with a Scotchbrite pad. That took off most of the black bleech, even the stuff embedded in the deep scratches. After a final rinse and sponge down the water in the bucket was still clear, so the Explorer was as clean as possible.

That up close and personal attention did reveal a few areas with gel coat cracks. Very faint, nearly invisible spider cracks on one stem, and a more apparent hidden-by-dirt area amidships. Still, impressive gel coat work from MCR Vermont back in the day.

Final hose down rinse. Everything’s better when wet.

ImageP1300025 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Gel coat UV faded and sanded, not so attractive when dry.

ImageP1300026 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The exterior, once completely dry, will get a rolled & tipped with a coat of epoxy, to help fill & seal the spider cracks, followed by a couple coats of topside paint, rolled and tipped. But before then I want to inspect the “brightwork”. Some of which is not so bright.

“Not so bright” as in wood needing sanding and resealing. Not so bright also in that I used a mix of whatever parts and pieces I had on hand a long time ago time.

Bow seat hung on 4” peg drops. Using carriage bolts. Don’t ask.

ImageP1300027 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Center seat hung on 1” thick, 3” deep DIY truss drops with ¼” dia machine screws. Those DIY truss drops may have been oak. Again, don’t ask. There is some excess weight just in the center seat, drops and hardware.

ImageP1300028 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And the “Tom Repair Special” stern seat. Initially hung on shapely wedge drops, but that is the only good thing about it. To wit, hung with carriage bolts, my bad. Tom had replaced two of those carriage bolts at some years ago point. I suspect he crashed down heavily on the back seat rail while attempting to pole with 16” of legroom. Sorry I wasn’t there to see it and offer my condolences.

ImageP1300029 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

One of the carriage bolts he used is a full 2” longer than need be, with no cap nut or thread protector on the long protruding end. It got worse. The other replacement isn’t even a carriage bolt. It isn’t even stainless. It is a plain steel hex head bolt, with a rusty head protruding from a smushed cup washer.

ImageP1300030 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

A rusty, raised hex head bolt that chewed a deepening groove in Tom’s wood 2x4 roof racks when sliding the canoe on and off for many years. He complained about that evil hex head. I gave him the correct machine screws. They never got installed.

If you are thinking Tom’s repairs couldn’t get much worse, wait, yes they can. All the other initial rebuild seats and thwarts are still firmly, rigidly bolted in place. The “Tom Special” stern seat rattles loose and wobbly; the replacement nuts never fully tightened. Pretty work there Tom, pretty work.


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PostPosted: February 1st, 2023, 3:38 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
For new brightwork starters, before taking anything out, I need to see what replacement parts and pieces I have on hand that will fit. A wood yoke should be easy; after installing strap yokes in various soloized tandems I have a pile of removed yokes.

Eh, less easy than I thought; I need 33” for the yoke before sanding and sealing the butt ends. I found a half dozen yokes from 32” to 28”, most of them pristine.

Eureka, the bottom of the pile I found an old 34 incher, one I had started to refinish years ago before saying to hell with it. Now, yes please, I’ll sand and varnish that one thankee very much; it’s the only one I have on hand that fits.

ImageP1300033 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I am, as often, trying to complete this rebuild with as little expense as possible. The center seat is coming out, never to be replaced in the Explorer, but I don’t feel like sanding and refinishing the little used stern seat.

Or the bow seat, which was crudely constructed. I must have used nylon webbing for that DIY’ed seat. Poler Tom may not sit much as he falls over or “aggressively steps out”, but that has become some saggy, uncomfortable webbing.

ImageP1300041 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Notice anything else crudely unique about the DIY seat construction? Clarification later.

No wonder Tom prefers to stand and pole, that saggy seat looks thigh painful. I thought it was Tom’s hips that were aching. Wait, from my limited anatomy lesson the thigh bones are connected to the hip bone.

Dem bones, dem bones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3VYHyZKlvk

I’d really like to find shop stock seats that need no sanding/varnishing/refinishing, or even webbing installation replacing busted cane.

Fingers crossed, which might be made easier because each seat has different hardware spacing for the rails. 8” centers on the bow seat, 8 ¼” in the DIY stern, and 8 ½” centers on the middle seat. I was the very model of inconsistency, if not

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2OcbeGqbpU

Time to see what I have in shop stock in good enough condition that it needs only cut to length with butt ends drilled and sealed. I am not refurbish sanding, sealing and webbing any of the dozen shop orphan seats with busted cane. I’ve been putting off refinishing those busted cane seats and will continue to put it off for years. Maybe someday. When I am seriously freaking shop project desperate.

First needs first. That saggy, kludgy DIYed bow seat has gotta go. I may refinish and reuse the curvy wedge drops, but that seat is the first thing coming out. Time to see what might fit for bow and stern seats, plus a wood yoke to replace the center seat strap.

Not this seat, the right rail spacing is wrong. Not that one either. That one’s too short, and that one’s too long to sacrifice in a tandem And, in a Goldilock’s moment, this one, while not jussst right, will do fine.

ImageP1300035 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That is a new, never installed seat late friend Barry gave me when I bought his Bell NorthStar. I *think* it is a flat Bell seat, with a kneeling comfort chamfered along the front rail edge.

One hide and seek seat down, one to go. Fingers crossed, but I got so lucky with that one I almost don’t want to look for rails with 8 ¼” center hole for a stern seat. Oh my, either of these webbed seats might work.

ImageP1300036 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The dusty one is a flat bench seat with 27” rails, IIRC removed from a Mohawk Odyssey and replaced with a Conk contour.

The double contour is the stern seat I removed from the NorthStar. It *looks* like I can make the Northstar contour seat fit, and it would be meaningful to use both of the Barry gifted seats together on this rebuild. Tom’s ass, this is Barry. Barry, this is Tom. You’ve heard about him.

I will refinish the existing grab handles.

ImageP1300038 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

They are already cut to length and sheerline angles, already sanded varnished and drilled. Yes, there are handles in the molded plastic deck plates. I have never liked picking up a canoe from those plastic deck plate handles, and the wooden carry thwarts serve a crossmember stiffening purpose.

Those are Ravenworks vinyl gunwales without aluminum inserts. New gunwales were the major expense on the initial years ago rebuild. Now I wish I had spent a few more dollars bought gunwales with aluminum inserts, but they are sure as hell not getting replaced.

Note the discolored 2” glass tape running full sheerline length along both inwale edges. The Explorer had been regunwaled once with wood when I got it, and the sheerline was a Swiss cheese of 150 poorly spaced holes. 34 feet of 2” E-glass tape and resin. Ugly, but it has done its job.

One of the previous regunwalers had sloppily oiled or varnished the gunwales. I cunningly laid the glass and resin over those discolorations, so those blotches are there to stay forever.

Time for the old brightwork to come out and the new stuff to be cut, drilled and test fit installed. Before coming back out to seal the newly cut ends and drilled holes.

That part of a rebuild always seems one step forward, one step back.


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2023, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2530
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Out with the old, in with the new. Starting with what I suspected would be the most challenging seat to remove, the “Tom Special”, affixed with a variety of carriage bolts, hex bolts and nuts.

Piece of cake; the nuts Tom installed were far from tight, didn’t even need a wrench or socket, just spun them off by hand. Tom’s nuts had no lock washers. Pretty work Tom, a bowl of mixed nuts.

ImageP1310001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I can’t blame the kludgy DIY’ed seat frame on Tom; that is my early work. Lacking the skills to use biscuits or fancy floating tenons the seat frame was made with struts simply bolted to the bottom of the rails and a short spacer strut screwed in to fill the side the gaps on top.

ImageP1310002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

No stainless steel staples, just brass brads. Gotta love those exposed nuts on the bottom of the seat frame. Pretty work Mike. Pretty, heavy work.

I could reuse the shapely wedge drops for that seat. Those drops were drilled for ¼” hardware, and since that seat is apparently poler fallen upon, or at least hastily gravity seated, I used ¼” machine screws with washers and nylocks.

In an homage to Tom I left the nylocks finger tightened. No reason to tighten any further, all of the new brightwork is coming back out eventually.

I didn’t want to reuse the flimsy dowel drops for the new stern seat, and didn’t want to make new ones. I had just the mixed ticket; plastic Mad River truss drops on 8” centers. Those came out of our Freedom Solo when I installed sturdier wood truss drops and will suffice for this rebuild.

ImageP1310003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

At least the flimsy drill dowel drops would be easy to remove. Wrong again Schmeddley, the bolts did not want to come out of the drops. I had likely drilled the hardware holes in those drops at ¼” diameter, pipe cleanered the holes with varnish and screwed in the ¼” hardware.

That hardware was a bear to remove. I had to secure the dowels from twisting with one pair vice grips and turn the machine screw with another. Those dowel drops, which are actually drilled pieces of leftover wood gunwale, went straight into the trash.

One nice feature with the plastic MRC drops, I don’t need to take them out to varnish the ends or machine screw holes.

ImageP1310006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

It took some finagling to marry the NorthStar’s stern seat with MRC hangers in the Explorer. It was worth it.

ImageP2010008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Double contour, dropped ¼” at the front rail via the sheerline rise, 8 ½” of clearance under the seat frame at center. That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjQtzV9IZ0Q

Before I remove any further brightwork, center seat and at least one thwart, I needed to install the wood yoke to provide some of the soon to be missing lateral support.

The strap yoke is re-usable, just needs new Velcro keepers. I could give it to Tom, and he could install it in his wife Jane’s little used (“No, you can’t borrow my canoe”) factory 3-seat Mohawk Nova 16. That canoe came with a Mohawk strap yoke.

Someone, who shall be nameless, removed it to install on one of his or, not pointing any fingers, hers/theys/them’s own canoe. That installation never actually happened. Maybe I should just give that Mohawk strap yoke to Jane.

ImageP2010010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The vintage thwart went in easy enough, and the re-balance point should be close enough.

ImageP2010012 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I think I’ll just lightly and spar urethane it, leaving the upside stained dark walnut. The revamped Explorer will have a coat of many colors in brightwork shades and hues.

The bow backwards poling stance restrictive thwart can come out, never to be replaced. I will cap the holes with something rack bumpage unobtrusive.

ImageP2010015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Before the superfluous center seat comes out the old glass girl, with non-aluminum insert replacement vinyl gunwales needed one more crossmember. More specifically, an existing thwart in replacement. A new front thwart. Thwarts I have, some virgin uncut/undrilled. (I did check first before making that statement)

ImageP2010018 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

With the sheerline yoke and thwart stiffened the truss hung center seat could finally come out.

ImageP2010017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I’ll cap those gunwale holes as well.

Not a bad looking Explorer tandem with an extra stiffening thwart. I wonder what she weighs now, before resin and topside paint?

ImageP2010016 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Time for another weigh in. 79.5 lbs when I started. Now 71 lbs, with a full length Dynel keel strip, two seats, yoke and an extra thwart. The Explorer lost 8lbs of superfluous seat, drops and thwart.

Before that one step back removal of the newly replaced brightwork I took the yoke out and installed a temporary thwart crosspiece. While the newly cut ends and drilled holes are being sealed with multiple coats spar urethane I will want to continue working on the Explorer flipped back upside down, and I’d like to have some sheerline stiffening crossmember affixed in place.

ImageP2010020 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr


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PostPosted: February 4th, 2023, 2:52 pm 
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The new brightwork came out quickly, with the hardware segregated in marked bins for easy reinstallation. It took some time to find all the correct size and length hardware. Having found all the right stuff once I didn’t want to join that search party again.

ImageP2010002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And this time I didn’t misplace one of the marked bins. With most of the brightwork out THIS is a proper unobstructed poling canoe.

ImageP2010003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Maybe add a kneeling thwart in addition to the yoke for maximized open space. I have a couple kneeling thwarts and angled drops in pristine condition. A kneeler I am not. Nor a poler.

I filled the ¼” holes from the center seat removal using whacahmacallits, “plugs”. I have been down that road before; the last time I found the perfect ¼” plugs for black vinyl gunwales I may have needed four, but I bought a dozen. A little G/flex and a little tight squeeze tap in place did the trick. Smoother and obtrusive than a flange washer and machine screw

ImageP2010005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Black and, unlike flange washers, near gunwale flush.

Two 3/16” gunwale holes to plug, left from the bye bye bow thwart. I could have plugged those using a flange washer and pop rivet, the Explorer needs no more crowding brightwork. But is nice to have something to hand hold while under the yoke other than the bow painter line. With that thwart gone the nearest thing to grab is now the bow seat, and that’s 32” away. Seems like a stretch.

I had two, count ‘em two only, flange washers left. I need to get more, in both 1” and ¾” sizes, but those are another thing in supply chain shortage. Those last precious two were enough; a couple already made 6” webbing loops, machine screws etc and the Explorer had shouldered-yoke hand holds on each side.

ImageP2020007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The Explorer is a touch bow light under the yoke, and those loops should be a decent place to lightly hang one’s fingers, with enough loop length to hold a paddle shaft/grip while afloat.

ImageP2020010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Or hold something; those webbing loops have other possibilities. If proven not useful it will be easy enough to take them out and plug the holes.

The virgin brightwork got the newly cut butt ends sanded smooth and an initial coat of urethane, the yoke, thwart and wedge drops got another inch at the ends where they are held bacterially tight under the inwale. The used brightwork got lightly sanded everywhere and urethaned.

Urethaned brightwork hung to dry in the usual places.

ImageP2020011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

A couple or three/four coats of spar urethane and that brightwork can go back in.


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PostPosted: February 5th, 2023, 1:01 pm 
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It got cold, just in time for the final three (four on all butt ends) coats of urethane. One coat early in the morning and, because I needed some shop warmth, a radiant oil heater seat on low to hasten the dry time.

ImageP2020014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I rotated the brightwork pieces for equal proximity to the heater, and by afternoon they were dry to the touch and I slapped a last coat on all of the butt ends.

Reinstalling test fitted brightwork is always a joy. The gunwale holes are there, the machine screw holes in the brightwork match, the hardware is boxed and labeled at the ready. Time to get screwing.

OK, not really a “joy”; that’s a fair amount of bending over blind seating washers and lock washer and tightening nuts. I wanted everything back in, now, today, but my back started reminding me “There’s no rush, take a break”

As expected everything went back in beautifully. Seats are pristine perfect.

ImageP2040017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

To help keep the seat drops in place on the machine screws – especially with four individual seat drops and only two hands – I use little DIY’ed rubber washers; rubber circles punched out with a grommet kit and center holed.

ImageP1310005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The holes are undersized for 3/16” machine screws and rubber washers require some effort to slide onto the shank end of the machine screws beneath the wedge drops, but everything is held evenly aloft, and the washers compress to paper thin once the nuts are tightened.

ImageP2030015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Not full truss drops, but those individual wedges don’t require the holes to be spaced so exactingly precise, a boon when reusing old gunwale holes. That wedge stoutness will do for any bowman, even an XL paddler seated bow backwards. Probably more resilient to a poling stumble crash from on high.

ImageP2040019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The new yoke and thwart also look good.

ImageP2040022 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The old half-hearted sanding job on the carry handles is not so pristine.

ImageP2040023 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I follow current trends in canoe fashionista. “Distressed wood” will soon be all the rage in brightwork and I have an ample supply. Follow my canoe craft channel on Instagram, and hit the like button.

All those crosspieces except the seats got webbing loops on the shank ends of the machine screws. Webbing I got. Hell, pre-made webbing loops, didn’t even need to make new ones.

There isn’t a lot left to do with the upright Explorer. The deck plates were originally drilled for painter keeper bungees. I’m not sure why I X-pattered that original bungee, perhaps I indulged in some mind-altering substance before running that bungee.

This time, the preferred method; out a hole at the narrow end with a stopper knot at the bitter end, diagonally down to a hole at the wide end, Z’ed back underneath and back out the narrow end, down through the last hole and stopper knotted or cord locked for stretch length adjustability.

What the hell, marine quality woven sheath bungee, and the last of that shop stock as well. I’m making a list and checking it twice.

ImageP2040028 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Hint: Don’t be like some people and stopper knot one bungee end, then try to pass the open bitter end out through a hole at the stem tip from beneath. Don’t be like me; it took me a several failed tries that awkward way to remember that it is MUCH easier to thread the bungee through that stem hole from the top, pull some bungee back out underneath, tie a stopper knot and then pull the knot back tight inside.

Several tries. . . .it was late in the workday.

Much like the scrub-a-dub on the exterior revealing some faint spider cracks, close up inspection of the cleaned interior while installing the brightwork revealed a small split at the edge of the bow float tank.

ImageP2040032 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The Explorer is a week in warm shop-storage, dry as it is going to get for a while. For now I’ll just tape it off the split, slather in/on some G/flex 655 thickened and peel ply it down.

That 655 thickened was additionally thickened. I added a wee bit of my late, great friend Brian’s ashes to the mix. I’m trying to find a way send off a little Brian in every boat.

ImageP2040036 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I made too much G/flex & cremains; the G/flex is pricey, the cremains priceless. Can’t be wasting that. I smeared some #’s where the principal footwear was showing. Anyone poling in this rig will be standing on gritty non-slip Mr. B.

ImageP2040038 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That’s the end of the outfitting. No D-rings. No knee bumpers, no kneeling or heel pad minicell frou-frou. For now, maybe for always, a Plain Jane Explorer. Ohhh, I think I just found the moniker for this re-rebuild.


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PostPosted: February 6th, 2023, 4:43 pm 
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I deliberately, and fortuitously, timed the weather for the sequence of work. Brutally out cold out as I reinstalled the brightwork, it took a while to warm the shop enough to handle cold stainless steel. You can have my cold steel when you can pry them out of my frozen fingers.

High 40’s, warming to the high 50’s as the week goes on. The perfect opportunity to roll & tip a coat of epoxy and later do some wet sanding.

First a wipe down with alcohol, then gunwales taped, with a radiant oil heater set on low under the canoe to capture some warmth inside the hull.

Time to mix, roll and tip out some epoxy. Some “special” epoxy. Not a mix with G/flex or graphite powder, just 105 resin and West System 207 Special Clear hardener.

https://www.westsystem.com/207-special-clear-hardener/

Hurrah, new cans, with new pumps on both. I bought that 207 hardener a year ago, partly because the local purveyor was sold out of 206 Slow Hardener, mostly because I had a new, never used 207 pump. Gotta try that special hardener someday, now seems as good a time as any.

ImageP2050006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Once the gunwales are taped - I’m getting increasingly skilled at that - rolling and tipping out never takes that long, 10-15 minutes per side.

Plain Jane looks much better with just a single coat of epoxy.

ImageP2050005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

So much better that I am tempted to just wet sand, roll and tip another coat of 105/207 and call Plain Jane* good. But there are some glass bare spots with no. little gel coat left showing. Mostly I already have a quart of Topside paint, and a plan, and I’m in no rush.

A couple coats of topside paint will be less expensive than another epoxy coat, and help cover the bare glass patches and shallow scratches.


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2023, 12:23 pm 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
A brief pause to allow the epoxy on Plain Jane to cure, and time for another Tom story.

Just before I commenced the Explorer’s epoxy job Tom’s wife Jane paid a too rare shop visit, showing me photos of her newest work; slabs of oddly shaped/grained wood and tinted epoxy filled tables. The previous dozen she constructed were artistically awesome, and one work in progress is coming out wayyyyy cool. The wood slabs look like four irregular atolls rimmed with cambium layer sandy beaches, floating in an ocean of blue powder-tinted epoxy.

Jane has skills, and vision. And many, many slabs of interesting hardwoods curing. Tom once bemoaned that their shed and basement workshop were becoming dedicated slabs-of-wood storage. Poor Tom.

The last time the local tree guys were here I saved a couple bifurcated sections of a locust tree and cut those forked pieces into 3” thick slabs; attractive yin-yang grained pieces of heavy locust.

And packed them in an empty beer box - good stuff, an empty IPA box - stuffing the folded six pack cartons along the open handle sides so it looked and felt like a case of Victory Hop Devil. Glued the lid shut, told Jane about the contents and sent it home with her, to give to Tom “As a present from Mike”.

Opening the box Tom was not amused to find more damn slabs of wood.

A few weeks later I sent Jane home with a Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale box. Filled with bottles of Lord Chesterfield, I made sure the bottles didn’t rattle, and stuffed a slab of wood at each end, where Tom could peek in at the handle perforations and easily see more @#$+@! slabs of wood.

Jane brought it home as “Another present from Mike”. There was reportedly immediate disparaging invective from Tom, even before he noticed the wood slabs peeking through at the handles. He exclaimed “I knew McCrea wasn’t buying me a case of beer!” and walked away.

Jane replied “Well if you don’t want it I’ll take it”, and opened the box to pull out a bottle of Lord Chesterfield. Jane enjoys an occasional Chesterfield when she visits. So do I. Maybe not “Plain Jane”. Maybe “Sweet Jane”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLW8VKWvWuA

Or “Lady Jane”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XirG-qwMCMc

Maybe not Aerosmith. Tom might find the lyrics disconcerting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqQn2ADZE1A


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PostPosted: February 9th, 2023, 12:01 pm 
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Despite tipping out the epoxy there were a few drips and sags, so I opted to lightly RO sand the hull with a foam interface pad instead of wet sanding.

ImageP2060007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Another alcohol wipe and the gunwales taped again. Deck plates taped first, that will be the last of the tape to come off.

ImageP2060009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Then the gunwales.

ImageP2060012 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

For funsies I timed the tape application. 11 minutes, and I did a really good job with this tape run.

Time to roll and tip a coat of topside paint. I knew I wanted to paint the Explorer, and aside from used shop stock parts and some epoxy a fresh quart of topside paint was going to be the single biggest expense. Pettitt had EZ-Poxy, my preferred topside paint, available in burgundy to better match the gel coat, is $60 a quart.

Rustoleum Topside is $30 a quart, but only available in bright red. Sweet Jane is getting a bright red dress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry_--Y0qsoA

As usual rolled & tipped first one side.

ImageP2060013 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Then the other. Even over a smooth epoxy base that initial coat used up half the quart of Topside paint, always does. Lots of too thin paint coat holidays left visible, also as always with a first coat. A second coat should cover them; I’m hoping to save a little red and not to do a third coat.

I did manage to Jackson Pollock the edge of the shop cart.

24 hours to re-coat, and dry enough to lightly sand.

ImageP2060015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Even delicately sanded in preparation for a second coat I cut through the paint layer in a few tricky spots

ImageP2060003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The second coat went on well, or well enough. I can often eek out a third coat, at least when using better coverage EZ-Poxy. After two coats rolled and tipped with Rustoleum Topside I had but dregs left in the can. There are still a few see through holidays and it could use a third coat, but I don’t have enough left. Meh, it’s paint on a canoe bottom, it’s gonna get scraped and scratched. Good enough.


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PostPosted: February 11th, 2023, 2:44 pm 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Still a little painting to do. A little painting that took nearly a week. I have come to really like the white sheerline stripe and diamond accents on the last couple resurrections of my long ago work.

Reservoir canoe OOSOBO, the ancient RX Explorer

ImageP3190002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Reservoir canoe YARR, the even more ancient RX Mohawk, has that same diamond pattern below the sheerline.

The vintage Sweet Jane deserves a white stripe and some similar jewelry.

Waiting for the second coat of red to dry. Then – good thing I’m fast at it – Gunwales taped again, hull taped for a 6” band of white and lightly sanded.

While those side stripes were getting painted Sweet Jane needed one more stripe. Black paint on the black pigment and graphite powder Dynel keel strip. Ubiquitous Rustoleum enamel, to facilitate future touch-ups as needed. It’s a vee bottom and deep scratches in the graphite & pigment impregnated fabric will show black; the outer coat might as well be black too. Sweet Jane has a dark side.

ImageP2080006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

After a second coat on the white gunwale band and black bottom stripe and I can hang some jewelry.

ImageP2090002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Second coat of white and tape pulled. Sweet Jane is starting to become an attractive canoe, albeit with a backwards color scheme; most two-tone canoes are white on the bottom, to help hide scratches, and colored from the chines up.

ImageP2080008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The second coat of white can dry for a day while a necklace of pendants is selected.


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PostPosted: February 13th, 2023, 11:55 am 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
The black Rustoelum enamel keel stripe required two days to cure, so a light sanding and second coat of black down the center was in order. Tape pulled that Dynel keel strip looks sharp enough, and sans capsize it’s on the bottom.

ImageP2090003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

As before, a few diamonds for the white stripe necklace. The diamond shape is four pieces of tape easy to mask, so several of those.

ImageP2090006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There was temptation to make Sweet Jane magically delicious, with Lucky Charms clovers, hearts, stars and moons. Clovers and stars are too much work to cut out, hearts and moons it is, cut out from wide painter’s tape with an Exacto knife.

ImageP2090008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I was thinking five pendants per side, ten total, but didn’t have enough red topside left to do 2 x 10 coats with any surety. I have leftover Battleship grey, but bleeh, that is best saved for some interior. And a half can of dark green Topside. Green pendants it is.

With assurance that I had plenty of paint I went a little crazy with the jewelry. Nine pendants per side, with three feet of empty white band left at each stem for name and shop Gogetch.

Lightly sanded, alcohol cleaned and ready to paint. My brush work sucks, so even those smallish accents got rolled and, er, not tipped; I ran out of decent quality foam brushes on the first coat. I have a bunch of cheap foam brushes; I might as well tip out paint with a whisk broom, so the first pendant coat was just rolled, not tipped.

ImageP2100009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

After sanding the jewelry I’ll want to properly tip out a second coat of green, I guess I need to make a hardware store run. “Yes, I’d like one foam brush please”. Uh, yeah, no – what else am I running low on?

If anyone is counting the pendant substrate will eventually consist of two coats of green, over two coats of white, over two coats of red, over one coat of epoxy. A coats of many colors, side scratches may be variegated.

Red, white, black and green. Very pan-African. Curious to see how much weight I added once the last of the paint is finished.

First green pendant coat sanded. The jewelry is at least quick and easy to sand, a couple seconds ZZZZ on each pendant with the RO sander.

ImageP2100011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Equally quick to roll & tip. The second coat, tipped with a decent foam brush, looks much better, no drips, no sags, no streaks.

ImageP2110014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Seven coats of epoxy or paint and despite the light sanding prior to the epoxy coat the gave-up-removing-them MRC vinyl decals, are, in the right light, still apparent. Ghost decals indeed.

It has been a week since Sweet Jane was upright, but the jewels need a day to dry. Maybe one more paint refurbishment while I wait. When I originally installed the vinyl gunwales I dabbed a bit of vinegar on each shiny silver rivet head to etch the aluminum, and later painted each one with a dot of black Rustoleum.

Those old rivet heads are not black anymore.

ImageP2110017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I have black Rustoleum, a teeny brush and paint drying wait time to kill. Why not?

ImageP2110019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr


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PostPosted: February 16th, 2023, 10:44 am 
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That was the last of the roller sleeve and foam brush work. It pains me to waste leftover paint in a pan, roller or brush, and I had prepared nothing in advance; I could have painted a few more sawhorse legs, but they all had boats on them.

My backup for squeezing off the roller and brush paint is the “Turn around” tree, a healthy maple at the corner of the driveway back-up that I don’t want to cut down. The base of the trunk has long been the repository for watch-out leftover white paint.

ImagePB030014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I refreshed that trunk stripe with the white Topside paint, and squeezed out the red and green top and bottom.

ImageP2130010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

One of my sons informed me that I had painted a Hungarian flag.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/flag-of-Hungary

The last squeezings went on the don’t-hit-it pine stump at the back end of the turn around area. The only thing that has kept that Virginia pine stump from rotting way is the many coats of leftover epoxy and paint smeared atop.

ImageP2130011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I’m still waiting to be told what flag I’ve created on that stump.

Nice to have the Explorer back upright for a few final touches. Stem rope loops, no frou-frou toggle handles or conduit flanges through the glass hull, just rope through the OEM holes. Good rope, 5/16” River Rescue Rope with 2000 tensile strength.

ImageP2110001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And a moniker. There was a family vote on the “_______ Jane” names. I was swayed from “Sweet Jane” to “Lady Jane”, mostly for logistical reasons; fewer letters and only one precious letter E. Even then I was short a couple characters on 2” vinyl letters, and barely had enough 1” letters for Lady Jane X2.

ImageP2120004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Next boat name I may wait and see what I can spell out with leftover 2” vinyl letters. Maybe FUBAR, or some obscure Yiddish word, BUPKES or PISHER.

I had hopes that Lady Jane might be the name of some famous arctic exploration vessel. Not quite.

https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/details/9297474

As always, on any boat that leaves the shop, reflective tape on both sides of the stems. The good stuff there too; I had a single 12” piece of (discontinued) High Intensity reflective tape left, in green. That green will look better than the prismatic gold stuff, and it shines brighter.

ImageP2120005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

As always, on any boat refurbishment, the Shop Gogetch. Lady Jane is on opposite sides of the bow and stern, the Shop Gogetch can occupy the opposite vacant sides. Carbon paper behind design copy, traced onto the hull and ask a son with steadier hands to do the brushwork.

ImageP2120007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Maybe his best brushwork yet

ImageP2120009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

With the last of the decoration applied – except for a Duckhead sticker, a final weight was in order.

ImageP2130015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Mad River speced the glass Explorer at 70lbs. Before any work or washing, as a poorly rebuilt 3-seater, it tipped the scales at 79.5lbs. Re-rebuilt with proper tandem brightwork and Dynel keel strip it weighed 71lbs. Finished, with paint coats and accents. . . . .72lbs. How can that be? I used an entire quart of paint, maybe a bit more counting the green.

I checked the scale several times, 72lbs on the nose. Properly rolled and tipped, with VOC’s evaporated and sanded between coats even two coats of paint do not weigh that much.

Of course as I have turned Lady Jane from side to side and upside down small amounts of debris continued to fall out from under the deck plates, which took a few ounces off. To be expected of an ill-maintained 30 year old canoe.


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2023, 12:44 pm 
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Still a few teeny touches and touch ups to go. White paint managed to creep past the tape onto the gunwales in one area.

ImageP2140019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Easy enough to remove with some acetone and a scraper.

ImageP2140026 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Minor drippage aside the I do not like the asymmetric and irregularly shape of the leftover G/flex gritty cremains footbed.

ImageP2140017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Good idea for those poling foot wear areas, good to incorporate some Mr. B cremains in each rebuild, poor application. I waited ‘til I needed to mix more G/flex and made extra. Some extra special extra.

A box of glitter had found its way onto the bench weeks ago, and I’ve been too lazy to put it back where it came from/belongs, even if I knew where that was.

ImageP2140020 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Oh boy, hull-matching red glitter among other colors, in both coarse and fine grain, epoxy mixed with precious some Mr. B ashes. What else have I got unused or aging? A ha, an old tube of red pigment. With the various “thickeners” a wee dab of red pigment should saturate the epoxy color.

ImageP2140022 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

A side story. This is not the first canoe to get glitter. Years ago Patty and Theresa, a sister paddling duo self-named “The Squatters”, came up to the shop to install skid plates on three of their canoes. They were quick to pick up skid plate installation; I did one, helped them with one and had a supervisory seat to watch the last.

When they were doing their last canoe, a tandem, they somehow discovered a tube of glitter in the shop and Patty said “You know how I like bright shiny things”. Gold glitter; they added it to the untinted epoxy mix. It stood out with distinction even at a distance.

On more than one trip someone noticed the gold flecks in the skid plates and made inquiry. The Squatters developed a sisterly patter about “Oh, our last trip was on the Fortymile in Alaska, it was shallow and there’s gold flecks on the river rocks.”

Time to paint some extra special epoxy.

ImageP2140024 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Dang, I should have used more glitter, or different colored glitter; the red glitter embedded in red tinted epoxy is barely noticeable. In homage to The Squatters, some gold glitter sprinkled on top the wet epoxy. A bit of peel ply tape and tomorrow I can see how gaudy those footpads turned out.

ImageP2140028 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Yup, that’s gaudy. Those sure are some putry footpads you got there fella.

ImageP2140034 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Gaudier still at certain angles, but with the peel ply compressed atop the surface is still smooth.

ImageP2140033 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Smooth enough that I’m think glitter on wet epoxy, peel plied smooth, might have other applications. My canoe is sparkly!

Jeeze, freaking glitter canoes. I really need to do something manly.


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