OT stem repairs or replacement?

Charles Allin

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Both bow and stern inner stems in my 16 ft. Old Town OTCA (S/N 48121) have numerous holes and split in them. Not sure what to do, order new stems from OT or try to repair the original with an epoxy and splice. New ones would eliminate the serial numbers but make the canoe ends stronger. I been thinking of using "Get Rot" to fill the holes and splits in place to save S/Ns.. I have photos of stems for inspection by any one with past experience. Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.
If the stems do not experience the very common tip rot (the top 3-4" of the stem rotted from trapped moisture) ant they are otherwise sound, gluing strips of wood in the cracks and toothpicks in the tack holes is an acceptable restoration technique and will allow you to keep your boat in more original condition. Be careful about just filling the area with epoxy - it can be very hard to penetrate with the 3/8" brass tacks or staples when putting the canvas on the ends.

If your damage is more extensive, replacement is the best option.