15" Old Town Restoration


Curious about Wooden Canoes
After a 9 month delay due to flooding last March in RHode Island, I am back on my canoe restoration 15' Old Town. I have stripped and sanded all the interior. In reading Stelmok's book, he appears to recanvas before he varnishes the canoe. Is it best to do the recanvassing first.

either way

I think most guys are now varnishing first. I do all but the final coat of varnish. My thought is that the longer I leave the wood bare, the more chance I have of staining it with something I don't want, like filler. Or dirt, or coffee.
I varnish first. I attach the outwales and varnish them as well then remove them for canvassing. Also always, always varnish the inside of the outwales a couple of coats first. I've seen several cases where the rot originates from the inside of the outer wale because moisture evaporation is hindered there. The varnish will help to protect that.