First time removing canvas

Howard Caplan

Wooden Canoe Maniac
I just removed the fiberglass patched canvas of a relatively new w/c canoe.
Tell me what is normal - spotty discoloration of the planks, outside? Nail heads turning green?
Both of these symptoms caused me some worry. There are several holes in planks that were puttied over. Is that when the water seeped between the canvas and the wood? Is this normal in a damaged canoe?

hi Howard

f-glass does things to canoes that is generally considered not good. In my limited experience it is really not good. See other posts on the subject. Darkened planks and green tack heads are something i have noticed too. I would not worry about it. i am not sure about the putty. If it is just filling some small spots it is probably an oil based glazing compound and not a problem either. It is up to you but consider scrubbing the exterior good before recanvassing. maybe thinned varnish on the outside before canvas. make sure the plank is sound and not rotted. I am replacing all the planks on a 13'er that had been glassed because the planks just got too rotten. Not soft rotten but real brittle rotten. the whole canoe had been 'glassed. If you just have small areas of f-glass patches then you are better off. Small areas can be replaced with new planking if the old plank is not sound.
Thanks Dave.
I am taking the canoe to a restoration class in September where I will replace all the broken wood and re-canvas.
In one section where the canvas was glassed, I did pull up a bit of wood - a small chip of planking. And I did gouge out the putty that was applied on the inside planks to fill in the holes and expose the holes.
This Friday the canoe is going to a professional stripper and this weekend I will inspect and find any other damage.
Light coat of varnish on the outside wood? I was thinking a light sanding and oil prior to re-canvas.

based on recent posts, oil may not be the best thing. Dan Miller has researched this and the oil doesn't seem to do as much good as we thought and may be harmful. i used linseed oil but now I think i will not. I thought it would restore resiliency to old brittle wood. And Gil gives good advise about going fishing.
Thanks guys. Although I don't fish I will not oil and will occupy myself in some other manner until the canvas is on in the fall.
I just wanted to add my thoughts on oiling. The canoe I am doing spent 25-40 years without canvas near the ceiling of a heated building. I gave it 2 thinned coats of oil (after reading the appropriate threads here). I can now move it without it sounding like a bowl of rice crispies. That said, in the future I think I will be leary of oil except in extreme cases. I also think I wouldn't oil if I was going to canvas in the near future. The canoe was out in the sun this weekend and I could smell some of the oil cooking off.Just my two cents worth, and it is a great time of the year for fishing.:D