Replacing parts of planking?


LOVES Wooden Canoes

I'm past the de-canvassing stage, and now I'm looking at a couple of small holes in my planking where there aren't necessarily broken ribs on the other side.

Is is possible/advisable to replace portions of a plank rather than the entire thing? One of my holes is no larger than a dime, and I believe it's the garboard (closest to the keel).

If this is possible, what's the shortest length of planking you'd want to go with - spanning 2 ribs? 3?

I apologize if this is in the Wood and Canvas Canoe book - perhaps I missed that paragraph.
Replacing just small pieces of planking is fairly common.

The smallest I go/would go is about 3/4" wide by 3" long, ie, from the middle of 1 rib to the middle of the next.

I try to use old planking for this if I can, ie, if you have to replace a large piece from someplace else, try to get the small pieces from it, matching the color and grain as best you can.

If your lucky, and cut it tight, the patch will be virtually invisable. Note, I also add a bit of epoxy to the edges between the patch and base planking, to try to make it more like a uninterupted plank. Not sure if this helps but it makes me feel better. :)


Yeah, I was speaking purely in terms of length. I don't think I'd try to replace part of a width of a plank - that seems more touble than it's worth, if I can avoid it.

Maybe I'll upload a picture later, it'd be interesting to get a couple different opinions on how various restorers might handle the same problem.


Drop down to the Chapter Happenings section and locate the 3/27/2006 thread by Jim Wilson...take a look at the first pic...patches of all sizes.


By the way, nice photo's of the restoration.
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Mind like a steel trap, Ric. Thanks!! Gives me hope, as my planking is in really good shape overall and I didn't want to be pulling it all off.
Saving existing planking,
that's why you would make a patch of a width less then full width planking.
And at least on my projects so far, I can't remember any patch that was the full width of the planking. If an area was that bad, it usually needed a full width, longer piece anyway.

I finished a OT 2 years ago that had a lot of punchures, but most of the planking was in good condition, it might have been a bit extream but it got more then 50 patches, in addition to several long 4-6 ft pieces of planking.

Planking Harvest

I have a "parts canoe" that I "harvest" planking from. Come on out to Rockford and pull off what you need. In most cases I use old planking for minor repairs because it already has the patina of old wood.
Dave - sweet! Thanks for the offer, I'll take you up on that.

Harvesting old canoe parts to use in a healthy one... I guess I know where you stand on stem cell research. ;)

And if my stems were the parts in need of repair, all the better!