Bottom of canoe lifting off molds


New Member
I am building a Prospector Ranger 15, Cedar Strip Canoe. After I Finished stripping and removed all my clamps the center of the bottom on the middle 3-5 station molds has lifted off the molds about a 1/4" inch. Aesthetically it looks fine, but it now has slightly more rocker than the original design and the bottom is more rounded that it should be. I think there is a number of reason where I screwed up to make this happen, but my question is should I fiberglass it the way it is or should I try and pull the bottom down to be tight with the molds, as best as I can, before I fiberglass it? I’m worried about the tracking and stability of the finished product. Does anyone have any experience with this problem? Thanks in advance for any help.
I think you will find that 1/4" is not going to make much difference in speed, maneuverability or stability. I don't know how you plan on pulling it down (which might do more harm than good) but I doubt that the outer glass layers will be stiff enough to lock it into that pulled down position once the forms come out. I'd glass it as is and not worry about it. You can also make small adjustments in final bottom shape and rocker amount by playing around with the length of the thwarts, once the gunwales are on - spreading or narrowing the hull a little bit at gunwale level.
If you have access to a hot glue gun, take small blocks of wood and hot glue them to the form and bottom of the canoe. This will hold the strips back down to the form until you sand and glass the outside. The hot glue generally doesn't bond well with wood, so the blocks can be knocked off later. When you flip the hull, leave the forms with hot glue attached. Use a rubber mallet to strike the form to the side instead of just levering it. This will minimize tear out from the strips.

I guess I agree with both of the above. I have done both !

I did have a little trouble getting MY hot melt glue to release after I flipped the hull. Be minimal with the hot melt ! I wasn't

As Todd says a 1/4" is not a problem, unless you are building a plug for a production canoe mold.

I always leave the center form strapped in place when sanding the inside. This helps a lot, to keeps the hull shape in line !