repairing a hogged hull?

Greg Nolan

I have acquired a canoe/guide boat built by DB Neal of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, in the early part of the 20th century, that is in pretty good shape, all things considered. It looks as though the varnish may still be the original, and even the canvas is possibly original. There are a few cracked ribs and planks; there are a few dings in the gunwales; the bow/stern bang plates need replacement; and the canvas needs replacement. I will be repairing the wood, stripping the interior, and repairing, refinishing, and re-canvassing over the next couple of years. (I expect to bring it to Assembly this summer "as is.")

The chief problem is that the hull is hogged. The mid-point of the keel is curved upward about 1 1/8" higher than if the keel were dead flat, and I think there should probably be at least that amount of rocker instead.

I want to correct this before I do anything else. I have been thinking of supporting the ends, placing weight in the center (maybe a couple of 40# bags of gravel to start with), wetting the hull down (perhaps with hot water), and then keeping it wet for a few days. There are enough holes in the old canvas that water should drain out of the hull readily enough, although the canvas should absorb enough water to help keep things damp. I would remove the keel before doing this -- and either attempt to steam and re-curve it with some rocker, or alternatively, make a new keel.

Any thoughts on whether this approach would work? Any other ideas on how to replace hogging with rocker?


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REALLY good ol boat !

Hey..............WOW, a great find....and I think the right way to go......bringing it to the Assembly, " as is ". I'm sure you will have a lot of input to chew on. I have a Kingsbury courter that really had an issue, and she came-to-papa very well indeed.....very much look forward to seeing the boat. Drive safely... Dave

I think it will work. I did the same and it worked for me getting the hog out of the Shell Lake. Replacing the broken ribs helped too.

I laid towels and some weight and poured boiling water into the naked hull. The towels held the heat. I also used a long board inside like a keelson to even out the pressure lengthwise so it would not end up lumpy.