Vinyl-Coated Canvas?


LOVES Wooden Canoes
When I was in Ontario a few years ago working with a couple master WC canoe builders, I saw a few canoes one builder had made covered in a green vinyl-coated canvas. It appeared to be standard 10 oz canvas with the thick vinyl skin bonded on to the outside of the canvas. The builder claimed it was nearly bulletproof in rocky rivers, sliding over rocks like royalex. He said he warmed the material a little just before application, then stretched and tacked it on like standard canvas. He used ambroid cement over the seams at the stems.

As a trial, I brought back a roll sufficient to cover an 18' or 19' canoe. It seems to weigh a little less than standard canvas with filler and paint.

I finally may have the opportunity to use the stuff on a Stelmok 18' 6" EM White Guide and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with the product.

Its Verolite, and has been used for years. Its also been hard to get in recent years.

It goes on well, but only really likes to stretch in one direction at a time, so is a little tricky getting it on smooth, which is why he warmed it up. Just take your time and keep thinking about all the time you're saving later because you won't need to fill and paint it!
Applying Verolite

I've been reading WCHA archives about Verolite. Seems Tremblay Canoes offered this on many of their models.

Restorers mention the wood rot often found under Verolite. I'm wondering--if I use the stuff--if I shouldn't spray/brush on a mildew retardant on the canvas side of the material before putting it in the stretcher. Wondering also if a thinned coat of epoxy carefully brushed onto the plank exteriors would prevent any wood rot caused by water sitting between the plank and skin? Or maybe warmed and thinned linseed oil with a little bit of pentachlorophenol mixed in as a wood preservative? I still have a little of that wonderfully effective (and carcenogenic) 10-1 concentrate left over from the 1970s before it was banned.

I'm picturing the application with the Verolite material in a sling between canvas stretchers and the canoe forced down into the sling in the usual fashion. It seems like heating each Verolite section gently with a heat gun or hair dryer just before final stretching and stapling that section might be the way to get it on wrinkle-free.
I've never seen any more rot on Verolite covered canoes, than on any other canoes. But then I've only worked on less than a dozen of them, so I may have missed it. There are some issues along the gunnel line, but that has more to do with the S***load of staples that they used!

Prep the wood as usual for regular canvassing.

Once you get the canoe in the canvas sling, you'll see where the issues are. It not just little spots, but generalized in the quarters, and along the gunnel line.
I'm curious how you fellas made out with Verolite or other vinyl coated fabrics.
The above comments were made in 2008 and I'm writing in 2023. Do you think the items sold on this site would work far a canoe?