Squirrels chewing

fred capenos

Canoe Pilot
It looks like I've out-smarted myself once again. Too many canoes and now I need to move two canoes to outside storage. My plan is upside down on horses,spaced on quarters and covered loosely with plastic tarps.My problem has to do with our huge Squirrel population. I don't want to kill them, although if food prices continue to climb that may become an option. I'm thinking" Moth Crystals ". Does anyone have a comment about the vapors doing any harm. We're talking B. M. Morris and AA grade OCTA.

Thank You, Fred
Don't know about varmints, or damage from the crystals, but it should keep moths away....... Seriously though, there have been two times in my life when I was forced to store wooden or wood-trimmed fiberglass canoes outside under brand new plastic tarps and every boat that I stored that way needed an awful lot of work to get back to "normal" afterwards. Even new plastic tarps seem to soon let in enough moisture to do damage and hold enough of it in there to be sure that it does. I tried both "sealed" systems (almost like bags) and tarps draped over with only enough tie-downs to keep them from flapping and blowing away. The results were the same - cracked filler, cracked or peeling paint and varnish, rotten rawhide on seats, black fungus down in the pores of ash gunwales, weathered spots on mahogany or spruce gunwales and trim, etc. If I ever have to do it again, I might use tarps to cover some sort of frame for an awning, but they're not going to be touching the boat. Moisture is a much more devious boat wrecker than squirrels from what I can tell.
Fred,I keep my "projects" on a rack outside, other then the cats liking the sand, no other critters have taken up residence in the canoes, and we have lots of squirrels, but they so far have stayed in the oak trees.Dan

Now, if you have any porcupines around...that's another matter altogether!

They love ribs, gunwales, decks, seats, ...
I actually had to move two canoes into the house today because I ran out of room in the garage. They wouldn't fit on the first floor or up the stairs so it took a pulley to get them up through a big window on the second floor. A stamp or coin collection would certainly be easier to store.



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My wife was just looking over my shoulder at your ceiling mounted canoes - You are making me look good!:p
Thanks Benson

Many thanks for those great shots. I've been advocating this for some time, since my carhole is full of stuff. I'll sell it as " ...AND you could get the car in the garage again if I can hang them inside."
I've always believed that its easier to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission.:cool:
Although I cant believe you've got that crappy Microsoft wallpaper on your monitor....
I found the second story challenge to be quite mentally stimilating - especially with a big, heavy canoe and no help. I don't know whether I'll ever get it out and the next time I make a window I think I'll make it wide enough so that I won't have to turn a boat on edge to go through. The person who eventually buys our house when we get old may find a big surprise up in the loft.


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Andre Cloutier said:
Microsoft wallpaper on your monitor....

This PC doesn't get much use but I just changed the wallpaper to a nice canoe picture from the catalog CD.

Regarding storage..It could be worse.

I had a friend tell me once, "It could be worse. You could collect airplanes".
I now remember my mother putting a few moth balls in our cedar chest when she packed our woolens away for the summer. And I don't remember ever seeing a damaged cedear chest in almost 70 years. Our neighbor has three fat cats and they do a good job on chipmunks, but our gray squirrels are way faster than them.

And thanks to Splinter I may have an answer to the entire issue. You see, seven years ago I sold my airplane and gave up my rented hangar due to health problems. (Canoe restoration is filling the void left by that loss). But I have friends who just might rent me some space in their hangar. If not I'll just do as Todd suggests and just uncover them. Bensons idea is great ,but it won't fly here. She helps me flip and spin them, but I know who wears the panties in this house . BTW I'll post some pictures of the canoe I''ll finish this week. It's name is "Kokopelli". Thanks for the help . Fred

Just for interest, why would you name a canoe after an Astec flute player. They didn't even have canoes??
Hi Bill,
No reason other than the canoe is painted in earth tones and we found this neat turquoise decal of Kokopelli that matches the stripe under the sponsons. Plus the fact that I've always thought Kokopelli was a "Way Cool Dude". Sorry if I offended anyone.

Benson Gray said:
I actually had to move two canoes into the house today because I ran out of room in the garage. They wouldn't fit on the first floor or up the stairs so it took a pulley to get them up through a big window on the second floor. A stamp or coin collection would certainly be easier to store.


SWMBO would disown me if I attempted to put a canoe in the house...
Benson Gray said:
I actually had to move two canoes into the house today because I ran out of room in the garage. They wouldn't fit on the first floor or up the stairs so it took a pulley to get them up through a big window on the second floor. A stamp or coin collection would certainly be easier to store.


Wow, I was happy when my wife 'let' me hang the canoe paddles in the Kitchen...I like the canoe valence look...
Gil Cramer wrote:

The only thing that I can think of to get rid of porcupines is pine martens, but they're endangered

I can think of another method without having to put the martens in peril. This was #6 last summer. These guys like to munch on a W&C Thomson Bros. row boat I keep outside my shop. The boat is stored upside down on sawhorses. The porkies crawl up there, make themselves comfortable on the seats, and gnaw away. The biggest draw back will be when I get around to restore the boat, I have six -- so far -- bullet holes to patch up!

My dog lets me know that there's one working on the boat in the middle of the night. I grab the "equipment" and take care of business. Next morning, I grab the shovel and turn them into forest fertilizer. The canoe I keep by the lake is pretty safe since the porkies don't like to come close to the water.

I wish they would let the boat alone so I don't have to get rid of them, but these porcupines are very insidious and damaging to anything wood: cabin logs, siding, anything.

Fabric softner sheets

Hi All,

I hate to say I had my Vaillancourt stored in the non-heated garage a few years ago and in the spring found that a mouse made a nest behind the Head plank or whatever you call it and then eat a small hole through the birch bark, luckily well above the water line and only about 1/2 inch across, but still a hole.

I got the advice to put the scented fabric sheets in the canoe to keep the mice out. Seems to work. Not sure if it would work on squirrels.

Other critters...

The season I stored my 1992 OTC Penobscot outside (all-wood trim), I ended up with major earwig problems. Couldn't keep them out of there for the life of me, and they quite enjoyed the softer wood under the decks. When I ended up restoring all the wood I added so much stain, oil, and varnish that it had at least some temporary protection from insects. I keep the boat in the basement now and it has been fine. The season outside, though, definitely did a number on the wood - any somewhat exposed spots grayed, there was some softening as I said under the decks and at the tip of the outwales, the cane seating also didn't fare well, but came back to life w/ some attention.

There was one summer, in Chicago, when we had a squirrel nest outside the house. The squirrels would just stand at the window sill chewing away at the woodwork, and my cat (so fascinated by the squirrels) would just sit at the other side of the screen watching them - seriously, like 6" away. So there is no guarantee that a cat would help - although it would certainly make the whole process of wood destruction that much more adorable... ;)

My hunch is that the mothballs would 'melt' with outside humidity very quickly. I wonder if you could "contain" the mothballs in a wooden box, then put that box under the boat. That way you'd have the diffusion of odor, but not directly exposed to the wood of the boat. If the mothballs damage the wood, you'll see it on the lid of the inside box MUCH earlier than on the boat itself so you'll know you need a new solution before ruining the boat itself. Just a thought.
I have a huge tobacco barn, ideal canoe storage, built in racks way up high. I volunteer to store any and all excess canoes for a couple decades, no charge. Since they will need regular maintenance I'll put 'em to use a few times each year, just to keep them in practice!!
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