What to do with my wood


New Member
;)Hello, This is my first question ever posted and I hope I do it right. I have a very nice Old Town wood/canvas canoe that I am not sure what to do with. It is an 18 foot H.W. 1946 model C.S. series per the build sheet from Old Town. The canoe is very solid and original condition. No repairs needed except for new rawhide needed on bow seat. The inside needs sanding & new varnish and outside paint is starting to check some. the canoe could go in the water as is and work fine. Plans are to sell as is or to repaint/varnish and sell later. My question is, what should I use to sand ribs,planks etc, and use to refinish inside of canoe. And what type of paint for the outside??? Thanks for any advise. AHW WOOLWICH, Me.
Hello and welcome!

Someone else will have specific recommendations regarding the refurbishing of your canoe, but I'd like to mention that Old Town seats are done with cane and not rawhide. Some Canadian builders used rawhide seats, but not Old Town-- cane is the tradition there. Perhaps someone along the way re-did the seats of your canoe with rawhide, and you'd want to replace that with cane.

However, here are my thoughts overall: Many of us who look for old canoes would rather find them in as close to original condition as possible so that we don't have to un-do someone else's make-do repairs. I think if your intent is to sell the canoe anytime in the near future, you'd be better off using it as-is and sell as-is and let the new owner decide how to approach the canoe. One might prefer to do a full restoration, but another might only want to do something minimal to get the canoe back into the water.

If you'd like to post pictures, you might get some more specific suggestions-- look in FAQs for instructions on uploading pictures. We begin to refinish canoe interiors by stripping it (as you would furniture) but this may not be needed in your case. If you are mucking-around with the interior, you'd need to re-canvas-- which isn't that hard but it's nice to have a buddy to help out. You would get help here in Forums if you go this route and there are books and videos--- I will be posting a video of a canoe-canvassing adventure later today.

By the time you've gone this far, you'll want to keep the canoe because it will look so pretty you'll want to show it off and enjoy it yourself.