To Strip Or Not To Strip?


LOVES Wooden Canoes
Hello Everyone,

I just purchased Canoeguy's Old Town 15' 50 # and I am in the strategizing mode. It will need a couple of new planks, at least two new ribs and new canvas. The rails, decks, stems and keel all appear solid.

I am trying to decide if the interior should be stripped. The varnish is quite thin, but not peeling, and there are no bare spots. I am willing to embark on the stripping process, but I'm not sure if it is necessary.

I have attempted to attach a couple of images to this message...hope it worked.

Any and all opinions are welcome.

Thanks very much.


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Twere it me, I'd strip it. You'll be replacing ribs and planking anyway, might as well go all the way and strip it down to bare wood and get a good buildup of varnish. I'd be hesitant to layer new varnish on top of the old anyway.

My .02 ( .005 after government taxes)
Strip Away

I had good success adding the new wood before I striped the canoe and used the wet stripping residue to smear into the new wood. This helped blend the new wood into the old. Came out very close you would have a hard time picking the old from the new.
Go all the way

I'm in the same canoe (boat) your in. I just bought a Molitar 17'.
i believe if you are going to be in it deep you might as well go into it depper. This is my first canoe project, I,m going to do it rite the first time. Some times the long way around is the shortest route. Good luck on your restoration. Here are a few pictures of my project.



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I disagree!

I used to strip all my vintage restorations only to have people ask me where I bought the new canoe. Think of it like an old piece of furniture. If the factory varnish is good why would you want to remove the old patina that took years to form? Further, it is easier to stain and match replaced new wood to old when the original finish is still intact. Just soap and water wash the interior. While the interior is wet that is what it will look like with new varnish. Once dry give it a light but thorough sanding and 2 coats of varnish. A lot less work with superior results.
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