Mildew Stains, Canvas and Filler


Curious about Wooden Canoes
Dear All,
I have lurked around the site for a while picking up on your collective knowledge to keep my cedar canvas boat on the water - here in the UK they are as rare as Hen's Teeth - so I don't really have anyone to converse with.

Now, due to my neglect, I need to recanvas. Stored my boat upsidedown on a purpose built rack but with insufficient weather proofing. The canvas has rotted under the gunnel and left some mildew staining on the first row of planking. It's entirely my fault and I feel like I'm at an AA meeting where I should stand up and say 'my name is Mick and I didn't look after my canoe'...

What I need to know is;

a)what should I use to remove mildew staining - the wood is sound - picked up a black stain from the canvas. Is teak restorer ok for soft cedar ?

b) that 10oz untreated canvas duck would be suitable for a 17ft boat

c) a supplier of filler that can send to the UK - I'm looking at cecofil -that seems to be the easiest to apply - but I can't find a UK supplier.

I'll be following the Stelmok/Rollings method for the job and am presently seeking volunteers to help out - anyone fancy a trip across let me know - free accomodation and beer...



p.s. I have photos that I can send in
Step #3 of the one million step Canoe Anonymous program is " Thou will always use a canvas or filler preservative to prevent rot in my canvas". the canvas either has to be treated directly or the filler has to be so deadly that it will do the job by itself.
the teak bleach will not hurt the wood and will remove the stain if its not under the varnish. If the stain is just on the outside of the hull you can just use straigh bleach to clean it off. The bleach will whitten the color of the wood but that should not be aproblem on the outside of the hull.
#10 canvas is not the same as 10 oz canvas. #10 canvas really weighs around 13-14 oz per sq yard and is the normal canvas for most canoes.
Thanks Rollin,

for a moment there I thought I had committed a crime so heinous that no one would reply !

I have subsequently found out that the original builder was not happy with the filler - this was his first boat. So it's time to start again... this time with plenty of mildecide !

Thanks for the number 10 canvas tip - wouldn't want to end up putting on cloth as thick as an old pair of pajamas...

Would you reccomend 'cecofil' as a filler ? If so how much for a 17ft boat...

thanks in advice

Number 1 son in happier times...


HI Mick
If you haven't gotten your canoe done by the fall I might be over visiting family and could take you up on that pint. And of course lend a hand.
So... if you do use the cecofill you should definitely put something on the canvas to prevent rot. I don't believe it has anything in it to do the job, unlike the old oil based fillers that were full of lead.
Have you checked the "tidbits" spot on the wcha site - it has a couple of recipes for filler that you could always try - save you shipping across the pond.
We have a wood preservative here in Canada that is Zinc Napthenate - don't think they can get it south of the border here so we are still lucky. You can carefully, and sparingly apply that to the canvas once it is on the hull - it really seeps so it doesn't seem to take too much. let it sit for a day or two to dry and then apply the filler - whatever you decide to use. If you use the cecofil you might want to let it sit a bit longer after the preservative, as it isn't an oil based filler.
I don't use the cecofill so don't know how much you would need. Try emailing Tom Mckenzie of Loon Works in S.Carolina as he would know.
Good luck.
Thanks Pam - canvassing or no you would be welcome for a pint, although looking at the finish you get on your boats I may put a paintbrush in your spare hand !

Thanks for the Cecofil advice - but I can't source it anywhwere over here so will have to check out the WCHA for filler. Zinc Napthanate - sounds dangerous ! I'll see what we have over here...

If you do visit blighty in the autumn - feel free to drop me a mail.

I'll keep you posted on progress - and I dare say you'll see a post up here soon looking for filler advice !