Heated Storage Issues?


I've had my 1940 OT in the basement the last couple of years while I've been whittling away at it. The space is heated, but kept at a fairly cool 63 degrees F.

The basement isn't bone dry, but I'm starting to wonder if I will run into any issues with either the varnish or the planking once it is finished and hopefully exposed to the elements once again.

Should I be doing anything to get some moisture back into the wood beforehand?
I believe the short answer is "no." It sounds like the canoe is in a reasonably safe atmosphere right now. Since we generally only varnish one side of the ribs and planking thoroughly moisture will continue to enter and leave the wood depending on the humidity of the surroundings. In use the canoe will be exposed to rain and possibly a good soaking from upsetting. Wood canvas canoes seem to handle these changing moisture conditions without serious problems. If the planking is flat sawn as opposed to quarter sawn, it will expand and contract more with moisture variation. The only result is that the seams of the planking will show through the canvas more as the planking takes on moisture.

If you use a good grade of spar varnish you should have no problems as good varnish seems to retain a reasonable amount of flexibility.