Kennebec restoration


After finding this site and seeing some of the pictures of restored canoes, I am going to start restoring my 17 ft. Kennebec this winter, with my father-in-law who is 83, a master carpenter and always on the lookout for projects. He and I built a guitar together about 15 years ago, so I know we can work together well.
When my dad bought the canoe in the 60's, the canvas was in bad shape, and not knowing anything about canvasing, we, (gasp), fiberglassed it. I was the partner in crime, but I was only 12 at the time.
My questions are:
1) Is there a way to take the fiberglass off without destroying the planking? 2)Can canvassing be learned from a book? and what book(s) would be useful?
3) Should we just smooth out our rather inexpert job on the fiberglass, and what could be applied to it to help smooth/seal it?
Thanks for any help or suggestions
On removing fiberglass. It can be done, hopefully you used polyester resin, as its bond with wood is much less strong than epoxy resin. To get it off, use a heat gun, a putty knife and lots of patience. Use a linoluem hook knife to clean any remaining resin from the seams between planks. If the glass is still in good condition, and not leaking, you might just consider refinishing and using as is.

The bible of canvas canoe restoration is "The Wood & Canvas Canoe" by Jerry Stelmock and Rollin Thurlow. It is available through the WCHA store. The best articles on canvassing are by Chris Merigold and can be found in Wooden Canoe Issues 76 and 77. These are available as individual back issues or on a PDF collection of all back issues.

Hope you know you can keep coming back to these forums with questions and "progress reports", with pictures! There's a wide rage of experience in this group, and everyone will be your cheering squad!

Thanks for the advice and the words of encouragement. I love this canoe, and I'm psyched to get it looking great and tightening it up.
Fiberglass yuk!

Dont forget to soak the canoe for a few days. Fill her up with water and let it sit. In a few days, the heat gun should then do the rest. Good luck.