Curious about Wooden Canoes
I am getting really close to canvassing and would like some advice. Those of you who have done both right side up and upside down do you have a preference? It would be somewhat easier for me to rig upside down so I am leaning that way.
I just got done canvassing my canoe and I hung it from the ceiling right side up to tack the canvas on. I actually started with it upside down but found it much easier to work on after it was hung from the ceiling.
The first pic is shows it hung from the ceiling and the second pic is before when I first started and was trying to apply the canvas with the canoe upside down.

I found that the canvas stretched much better once I hung it up from the ceiling and it was easier to get to so I could work on it.


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The Upside

I think it depends some on your space and the size of the canoe etc. I have had some good luck canvassing canoes at demonstrations outside and upside down, where there is no way of putting posts from overhead to push the canoe into the canvas.

I really like the upside down method, mostly because securing the canvas is easier on my back at a higher level, but it seems more often than not I do resort to right side up, when I have a building overhead and something to push the canoe into the canvas.
We tend to do our canvassing outside between two conveniently placed trees for a come-along and the length of canvas required. The downside of being right-side up outdoors is that falling debris can collect between the canvas and the canoe hull. (Choke-cherries, anyone?) Otherwise, I like right-side up as it is a more convenient height for stretching the canvas, IMO, but both ways work. We weigh down the canoe in the canvas with sandbags, bags of mulch, gravel or whatever is being used in the yard instead of a prop.
what I do

I like upside down because my ceiling is quite high and when the canoe is inverted I can make sure there are no bumps under the canvas. Pretty much the same as everyone else.

One thing very helpful is a stool on wheels that allows me to roll back and forth from side to side under the canoe and saves my back.

I think right side up allows you to work along the gunwales at a comfortable height as well as allow easy use of the canvas pulling pliers.

I am by far the least experienced to be offering advice; I have canvased just one canoe and it will likely be my last. But when I was contemplating the job, I realized I just didn't have the space or inclination to rig up a system of come-alongs or other mechanical aids to stretching the canvas.

All I ended up doing was after tacking the central third of the boat (upside down on stands), I rolled up the extra canvas on each end vertically as tight as I could, so that the tension held the canvas against the stem of the boat. I kept it there by using a single ratchet-style clamp. Think of rolling a towel as tight as you can , then clamping the thing in place. You clamp the canvas only, you don't need to clamp it to the boat itself.

As I worked over the boat getting the small puckers out and retacking several times, I would go back to the ends, release the clamp and retighten. After doing that several times until it was as wrinkle-free as I could get it, I wetted the boat slightly, pulled and retacked everything one more time, and it was done.

I feel like it came out very well, with no wrinkles or even small puckers left.

Again, just a thought..
As others have said both methods are equally effective, it really depends on the space you have available. I have a set-up in the garage that will handle up to a 16' foot boat. I followed Rollin's right side up method out of "the book" on my first few. Luckily I had the chance to observe the upside-down method at Assembly a few years ago because I had an 18' waiting at home.

I've taken to doing the shorter boats outside as well, weather permitting, because the inside rig is across the whole garage and requires a substantial amount of moving equipment to clear the area.

Upside-down gives you a better view of the bottom in case something is trapped. I found a rolling stool (I'm on a concrete drive) with a tray base and I just crab my way around the canoe at the perfect height.
Many find canvassing the canoe upside-down easier. In the shop, I always canvas right side up because I'm set up to do it and it is easier for me. When canvassing, the main thing to rmember is to get the canvas stretched on the bias enough to conform to the hull shape in the quarter sections,but not so tight that the canvas splits. The method by which this is done doesn't really matter.
Once again, I'll be do at least one canvassing demo by hand @QWS March 5th. I could still do another or two if somebody has their canoe ready. I'll answer emails from the last week on Thursday,Feb 16th, because I can not access my email account until then.
Reading this post reminded me of an earlier one from 2005 where Bill Whalen said "I've done it both ways -- open side up is exciting; you've got things moving and wiggling; there's tension and drama; there's something to describe and brag about when you're done! Open side down is more like the missionary position."
You can decide for yourself. :)
Bill Wailing

Well, Nothing like a glass of red and a giggle and a chuckle at the end of the day, eh ? Dave DeVivo
Ebeeby, thanks for the photos.

So basically as I understand it you put the tension on the canvas the same either upside down or right side up. The difference is when the open side is up, you put support from the ceiling down to hold it tight, whereas upside down results in the saw horses being the palls supporting it.

Thanks again. Seems it would be easier to rig a upside down operation for me. I love the vehicle as an anchor for providing tension. I don't have an anchor point near my concrete driveway, I wonder what the neighbors will think when I have two cars parked in the driveway with a come a long, saw horses and canoe?

Actually, after last winters kick sledding fun on the road, they probably aren't surprised by much anymore. A 1-1/2 year old brittany hooked up to the kick sled kinda reminds me of the grinchs dog pulling the sleigh.
I used a concrete drill bit and made a hole in the drive near the garage and cemented a ring into the hole (trying to remember the cement name - quick-set I think). So the ring was one end and my Ford was the other.