HELP : Stowe Mansfield Resurrection

Thanks... I agree - most boneheaded the way these were built.

I got most of that - what do you mean when you say "I'd put the new keel on (after sealing all sides off it as well as I possibly could) "
Is it OK for me to re-use the same holes? or is that what you mean by 'sealing all sides off'...
Sealing all sides of the wooden keel piece before installation. The canoe industry is about the only branch of boatbuilding where pieces of raw wood are frequently placed up against other surfaces without being properly sealed or bedded, and then simply varnished on the part that still shows. That's not really a particularly sound practice for building boats and water is likely to eventually get in there and start soaking into the raw wood. The result degrades the piece structurally, and will also often eventually lift the varnish off of the exposed portion.

If you have (or had) to cut down into the glass with a Forstner bit, just to get to the screw heads, and then you take out the screws (and the volume their heads used to occupy in the holes) then the remaining fiberglass may be kind of thin in those spots. New holes through all of the original fiberglass might be stronger, as well as smaller in diameter, easier to seal, etc. but it's hard to say for sure without actually seeing the boat. I still think the strongest approach would probably be to use a Dremel and a cut-off wheel to cut the screws off flush with the bottom, without messing up the glass inside and then mount the new keel with new screws, sealer and finish washers in new holes from the inside.
Great - moving on to next question... (As you can tell I have never done this before. I will post pics of my first attempt at fixing old canoe when finished)
I have epoxied the new rub rails on the outside using clamps. I am planning on putting some screws in as well. Should I put screws in then epoxy and varnish, or drill pilots, epoxy and varnish, then sink the screws? My guess is you would want to epoxy and varnish over screw heads, right?
If you put epoxy over the screw heads, how easy will it be to get them out later? Same comments as Todd's, above...
Screws are easily removed from epoxy by warming them with a soldering iron, and they will easily back out.

The important thing is sealing the wood so moisture doesn't get in and start the rotting process!

My early strippers, I just screwed the gunnels on. They are showing signs of rot. The ones I glued and screwed are still good.

Good luck on the repair !

I'm thinking it would be a good idea to reinforce the inside stems at both Bow and Stern while I'm at all of this. Right now they look like they were just loaded with loads of epoxy on either side of the stem originally. It is showing some separation. I was thinking of laying down and coating some fresh fiberglass - a couple of strips. Thoughts?
What would be the best way to approach this? A ways back someone did a down and dirty patch job with some fiberglass and resin. Can I just sand this down then paint? What would be best approach to clean up?
See pics…
I don't know a whole lot about 'glass, but it seem to me that a good part of the reason the earlier job was "down and dirty" is that short patches cut from regular 'glass fabric were used in an attempt to deal with the compound curve of the stem. You will find that bias woven tape will be much easier to use without puckering while following the compound curve of a stem fairly, without the need to lay the fabric like shingles and without having fraying patch edges.

This is one layer of tape repairing a damaged Royalex hull -- the compound curve of your hull is sharper and may require overlapping two pieces of tape along the center line to get the fabric to lie fair.

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I used Kevlar tape from Sweet Composites ( ) because it was thinner and lighter than the available fiberglass, and I didn't worry about the non-transparency of Kevlar for the job at hand.

As to how to proceed -- I think you have to get that old repair off, but I have no suggestions as to how to get that patch 'glass off without damage to the underlying original glass. I doubt that dimply sanding will get you a good result.
Thanks. That tape looks fantastic... Now, how to proceed cleaning up the old mess. I am going to be repainting, so I may just try to carefully sand down as much as I can without doing damage. Would love to hear if anyone else has suggestions on to to clean up this mess.
What about a heat gun approach as mentioned here? Or would that damage the rest of the canoe surface as well...
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I would wonder if you could free the bad repair with a heat gun without softening the underlying 'glass of the hull -- but it's something I have no experience with.

If you are going to sand the 'glass off, be sure to get a good dust mask -- I am leery of those inexpensive white ones that always seem to leak around the edges, and I use a rubber-edged type that doesn't leak (not an actual respirator, which can be used, but a dust mask with soft rubber edges that looks a bit like a respirator) -- Amazon has a couple of models for about $12, and they are available otherwise with just a little looking.. Fiberglass is quite an irritant, and sanding will reduce at least some of it to mighty fine particles of the sort that could cause lung damage -- the few extra bucks for a good dust mask is well worth it.
TOTALLY agree with Greg !

I use the 3M gray ones $20-$30. These are good, but if you can find a better solution, you owe it to your health to go for it !

I've used a heat gun to remove old Polyester, The heat will soften the epoxy, but I'd be careful, as it can be hard on the original finish.