Mahogany Solo Stripper Restoration


New Member
I just realized I posted my original thread in the wrong forum. I'm going to make a new thread here and will just update this one.

As you can see from the other thread, I'm restoring a 23 year old solo canoe made from mahogany. The canoe suffered some damage, so it needs to be stripped of all the fiberglass and re-done.

Step 1 was obviously removing the gunwales and hardware. That went pretty well, but I think I'll need to make a few pieces of the gunwales — the varnish came off many years ago and some of the wood is pretty grey.

From there I started removing the old fiberglass from the bottom of the hull. This is going smoother than I was anticipating. I'm using a heat gun to slowly heat it up, and then peeling it back. I used my putty knife a lot in the beginning, but after a while I figured out how to get nice long strips going. I suspect just one more day and I'll have the whole bottom of the hull cleared off. I'm about 8 hours into it at this point.

As you can see, there is some staining of the wood at the end of the hull — roughly the last 3-4 inches. The glass at the end was cracked and water got in. Any tips on how to minimize that as much as possible?


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You should be able to clean up the wood with TSP or oxalic acid. Search these forums for details. Watch out for rot along all those cracks, and at the stems. If you have some, you can splice in pieces of mahogany, trying to match grain & color.

Remember to leave the old inside 'glass on the canoe until the new outside 'glass is done. As Todd said, that's all that's holding the strips together at this point.

Looks great! When this is done, you'll be very glad you did it...