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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2

    Fiberglass Canoe Restoration

    I have a 14' fiberglass canoe. It is just the hull and mahogany gunwales. It has no thwarts, yokes or ribs. The previous owner was in the process of restoring it when he sold it.

    One of my questions is about reinforcing the hull. As it is now, the hull has no leaks. I am thinking about putting Kevlar in the bottom and up the sides about 3" to 4" inches. Then install 5 wooden ribs with fiberglass cloth and resin over them. I am looking to give the canoe strength and a more ridge shape. Will the ribs be enough and give me what I am looking for? Or is the Kevlar needed?

    I am not sure how thick the fiberglass is right now. Is the Kevlar too much? I am concerned because I have read that fiberglass is one of the weaker materials that canoes are made of. I don't plan on white water canoeing, just lakes and rivers. But I want my canoe to be strong.

    Any advice that you can give is appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    Try just replacing thwarts and yokes and make sure the gunwales are in good shape, this gives the canoe most of its rigidity. Unless you are using it for white water, Kevlar seems like overkill and actually is not as stiff as fibreglass, it is used mainly for impact resistance.
    If the canoe originally had ribs then replace them, 10 oz. Fibreglass tape over foam or wood should work. I would add ribs only if the bottom oil canís after you replace the thwarts and yokes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2
    I have not yet put the canoe in the water, but because I have a crease in the bottom of my canoe I will be re-enforcing at least that one spot. I won't be using the canoe for white water but if I need to put in one rib, I will be putting in evenly spaced ribs the length of the boat for the look.

    My father-in-law suggested wood ribs, 1/4" thick with fiberglass over them. I have been emailing a guy the does restoration for a living and he suggested one layer of carbon fiber tape then fiberglass over that. I am leaning towards the carbon fiber idea more because the profile will be smaller.

    I will be putting in a yoke at the balancing point as the last thing.
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