a new one to me

Mark Adams

all wood nut
Hi All,

I am looking at this canoe for some friends. It is relatively local, and the price is right. My question is what appears last on the build record. It appears to say; polypropolyene covered, ADM resin. What the heck is this? Fiberglass, alternative canvas, what?? I have attached a photo of what the canoe looks like now for comparison's sake.



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This is just a guess but...

It looks like you are looking at a canoe covered with a polypro fabric (like fiberglass but a different clemical) and adhered with a unknown resin from ADM.

It looks to be an alternative to the glass/epoxy resin coverings now popular.

IIRC, poly is a very strong fabric with hi stretch, meaning it doesn't tear easily, but it may stretch and break the resin bond instead.

I tried some test samples of it (with epoxy) back when I was deciding what to use on my 3rd stripper. This canoe does kind of look like the test samples I made. I ended up just sticking with the glass on that canoe.


ADM = Archer Daniels Midland Company

1954 ADM purchases the resin division of U.S. Industrial Chemicals, with plants in Newark, New Jersey, and Pensacola, Florida.
In the late '60s, Old Town offered three versions of this canoe - the Lightweight model, covered with standard canvas, the Featherweight model, covered with Dacron, and the Trapper model covered with Polypropylene fiber reinforced cloth "for use in shallow streams with lots of snags".
Thanks guys,

I get the impression that it is essentially fiberglass, but not as thick. There is another pic I have attached that shows the damaged area that someone did patch with glass. They want 500 for the canoe. I offered them a very fair (I thought) 400 for it. I told em I'd pass on it at 500.

OOPS Wrong pic!


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I'm going from memory but glass and polypro are very different.

And I think the properties of polypro are closer to aramid (kevlar) than glass.
As I said, it's a very tough fiber with lots of expansion, similar to aramid. Glass has a very low expansion and tears easily.

For you though, I suspect the real question is what kind of resin was used, and how does the resin adher to the cedar. It doesn't seem to be green colored like most of the polyester resins I've seen, but that likely doesn't mean much.

I suspect your offer was fair based on the covering. On the other hand, how bad do you/your friends what a project? and/or this model canoe? They only want $100 more then your offer, and it will take a lot more then that before it's done.


btw - both glass and poly come in a range of weights (thickness's) and weaves.

"essentially fiberglass, but not as thick"
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If it is cheap enough buy it and salvage seats, thwarts, decks and outwales.
Normally I would not walk away from a canoe like this....
I would run!!
I saw the canoe today (I am local) and posted a serial number search on this forum this morning. After getting a response about its origins I did a search on polypropylene and found your post.
I cannot believe the kid didn't accept your offer. Mine was much much lower. The canoe is in pretty bad shape, 3 ribs are broken, numerous planks are split, the resin has cracks everywhere. The kid thinks fiberglass patches will do the trick and has been told the canoe has a value of $1800 restored. I do not see any other way to restore it other than a complete stripping of the polypropylene, replacement of probably 20% of the planks and of the 3 ribs as the hull has a major bump where the ribs are broken. They are at least three 2 to 3 mm open splits lengthwise.
It would be a heck of a project.
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Yeah, I pretty much lost interest when they said the lowest they'd take is 500. I wish them luck with that. It is closer to a $350 boat. I had a long conversation with E. and am probably the source of the 1800 restored quote. That isn't to say that I wouldn't charge a hell of a lot more than 1800 to restore it! I am looking for a canoe for some friends, and this is pretty close to what I want model wise. Stripping the polypro wouldn't be that big of a deal. Just time, of which I have plenty of these days. The ribs are no biggie, nor is the planking.