Out of retirement

smc

Curious about Wooden Canoes
Hello everyone, I'm talking about the canoe not me lol.
This is a Langford built around 1950 that I inherited yesterday. It spent about 10 years hanging on a fence before being in a garage for the last 10. I'm going to strip the canvas covered with fibreglass on the outside, and I understand that the gunwales along with a few other pieces (missing rib) will obviously need to be replaced. I plan on doing all the work myself however I'm not a woodworker. The canoe is very dry. So dry that the whole thing feels like it weighs 30-40 lbs. Most of the wood feels like dry brittle balsa.
So my questions are...
Is this worth salvaging if I don't want to spend much time on it (six weeks part time)?
Should i fill it with the penetrating epoxy and "glass" it?
Is the wood actually ok, but it needs "oil" or something then a good varnish before canvasing?

Thanks for taking a look!
smc
 

Attachments

  • CIMG0244_2.jpg
    CIMG0244_2.jpg
    279.2 KB · Views: 353
  • CIMG0251_2.jpg
    CIMG0251_2.jpg
    277.4 KB · Views: 295
  • CIMG0246_2.jpg
    CIMG0246_2.jpg
    299.2 KB · Views: 363
  • CIMG0255_2.jpg
    CIMG0255_2.jpg
    294.3 KB · Views: 365
  • CIMG0257_2.jpg
    CIMG0257_2.jpg
    315.2 KB · Views: 304
  • CIMG0253_2.jpg
    CIMG0253_2.jpg
    216.7 KB · Views: 360
Well like I said, I'm not a woodworker. The cedar seems pretty dry and brittle but I don't think it's rotten (other than the gunwales/seats/thwart/...). Well not much anyway. I took off one outwale (?) and started stripping the fiberglass.

Anyway, it looks like I may be able to save her with my limited knowledge but I'm going to have to find a really safe way to remove the fiberglass as it is ripping wood off with it. Smells nice and cedary though :)

If I go the canvas route, how do I keep it as light as possible?

smc
 
The way to remove fiberglass is with a heat gun and patience.

You can save weight in canvas by going to a lighter grade - e.g. use number 12 instead of number 10.
 
Thanks for the responses.

As for the fiberglassing from the factory, I have no idea. I was told that it was originally canvas and that someone had stripped it and put fiberglass on it 30 years ago. Who knows, maybe it was originally fiberglass.

I called Langford (they're still in business), and they told me that they are very busy, and to throw it out and buy either a new one or a second hand one that was in working condition. They also said that a cedar canoe was not worth the trouble. Thanks for the help. They also don't sell parts.

Now I have to figure out where to get gunwales, ribs, seats, stems etc. I don't have a woodworking shop so I can't mill my own.

Does anyone have any ideas about rejuvinating the wood? It just seems so light and brittle but not fluffy so i'm assuming it's still good.

smc
 
I'm no expert but...

...that boat doesn't look so bad. You may want to do the cleaning & stripping yourself and have a more experienced restorer replace wood. Then the canvas, paint & varnish can be all yours.
A list of builders can be found here: http://www.wcha.org/buildsupply/
Where are you located?
________
CBR250
 
Last edited:
Similar situation...

We're in a similar situation - working on a 1967 Old Town trapper with very similar issues (wood very dry, bad outwales, glassed canoe). At this point, I have all glass/resin removed, am awaiting replacement planking, the caning just came in - will need to have outer gunnels made. I'm also not a woodworker, although as a hobbiest I've done another of wood projects.

I know this is blasphemy here, but I'm still leaning toward reglassing, and have been in the process of pricing epoxy - whoa, that was an unexpected cost. I just can't imagine the planking being strong enough from interior load w/o epoxy on the outside, and I can't justfy the cost of replacing all or even most of the planking. A friend once told me a new word - "pregret" - I "pregret" the decision to reglass the boat.

I can tell you that, thus far, the entire project is costing much more than expected. If you have a wood shop, and access to cedar to mill, it's a lot easier. I don't, so am a bit dependent on what I can find online and from nearby boat shops.

For me (w/ shipping):
Boat originally - $300 (in relatively good shape, but wasn't described well in the auction)
Cane for seats w/ spline - $30
8' replacement cedar planking (minimun, 6 holes to repair + tacks) - $50
Outer gunnels (local shop ~$100-200; from Old Town $200!!!)
Decks (need to find wood, likely $40 or so)
Epoxy (whoa, this is going to be painful unless I find something better - $200 maybe??? + cost of fabric $50-60???).
Oil & Varnish for inside of boat (haven't priced yet - $50???)
Paint for exterior (haven't even gotten there yet - $50-75?)
Tools & Glue (have already spent $40)

So - go through the numbers and see what you can stomach, make on your own, etc. Also, what you want to do with the canoe when you are done has a lot to do with it.

If you'd like to chat along the way, feel free and drop me a message.

ALSO - what a horrible thing for the company to tell you!!!
I called Langford (they're still in business), and they told me that they are very busy, and to throw it out and buy either a new one or a second hand one that was in working condition. They also said that a cedar canoe was not worth the trouble. Thanks for the help. They also don't sell parts.
 
Back
Top