Thread: DIY Dropout canoe
24th Aug 2008, 11:37 PM #1
DIY Dropout canoe
Am keen at trying or looking at tarting up a small canoe i brought it on sleazy bay pictures do lie .Any how to structurally brace the hull and top deck would require the correct timber and is bending hard wood be an easy trick also will need to look at a home made seat for the canoe but i must say i like to test my skill at minor miracles with out going into details the canoe did not live up to expectations its a little more beaten up than expected what ever you all think thanks in advance and by the way the canoe is made of thin fiberglass
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1st Sep 2008, 07:54 PM #2
Fibreglass is best stiffened with more fibreglass but tell us a little more about your craft and it might change the advice given. Also are you planning to run a few rapids or do you expect to use it on flat water only. The reason I ask is relates to the way the hull will react to rocks. Seat construction will also hinge on clarification of these few questions.
1st Sep 2008, 10:10 PM #3
As i were a little vague the canoe looks like a kayak but its opening is more like a canoe its about 4.5 meters long pointed at both ends the opening that you sit in would be big enough to sit more than one person but the glass is not very structural as it bends when you try to get your self up and step out of the boat so there are a few cracks around the opening probably from countless people getting in and out of this craft it is meant for flat water and looks older than the picture would have suggested after buying it on eBay and traveling a distance to pick it up its now a labour of love or send to to become landfill the bottom of the craft is oval but not shaped like a wave ski it would appear like a kayak but quite a bit longer
2nd Sep 2008, 12:43 PM #4
Please post pics.
Especially the inside around the coaming and the side seams, and any full-thickness fractures.
Sounds like it has no seat (usually a moulded extension downwards of the coaming) & that the deck is completely unsupported.
If so, for a comfortable seat, may I recommend cutting up a camping mat like the pic below 0114081658-02.jpg Sit on the flat side, not the 'rings'.
Bracing the deck... any fractures will need to be mended. General recommendation is polyester resin on a polyester resin boat but I have had no probs using epoxy. Sand well, & glass over inside & out. On the outside, that means sanding through most of the gel-coat back to glass. But no further !! 40 or 60 grit paper in a 4" angle grinder is ideal.
Sounds like the design relied on the coaming for deck stiffness, and the coaming has probably come unglued from the deck in places?
If so, it gets a bit messy. You will need to grind out a large enough gap where the glue/bog join has failed to insert more glue. Also removing any mould growing in the gap. Re-glue with thickened resin. (Don't know what you "should" use as thickener with polyester resin - we used to use plain flour - ok for a few years in a whitewater boat. Probably talc or a 'proper' thickener such as used with epoxies.
Once the above is done, you can decide whether the deck needs further support. If so, probably the easiest way is to make full bulkheads out of plywood & glue them in fore & aft. Seal the ply well both sides & add a bung or inspection port to relieve air pressure.
The last beat-up polester kayak I patched up, I did with epoxy resin. Laid a layer of 6oz woven glass throughout the inhabited part of the inside from coaming across the floor to coaming. Chopped out the existing coaming & made a higher one out of ply (at that stage I hadn't heard of bendy plywood, and in any event, was restricted by $$ to using whatever materials I had on hand). Painted the whole outside with epoxy to seal it, then Killrust Epoxy paint. With proper keying of the polyester, it went a good 3 years without any sign of defect, at which point I sold it in favour of a larger boat.
2nd Sep 2008, 06:38 PM #5
Hmmm. A picture would help. It may not need the full transplant that AJ has achieved. I agree that any the fractures should be repaired but I would only apply the fibreglass and resin to the inside of the canoe in an effort to retain the outside appearance. The seating area (and cockpit combing) can be stiffened as described with a layer of woven cloth layed inside. You may need to use heavier than 6 oz depending on how flexible it is and the width of the oval shape you describe. Make sure you lay the cloth across the bottom and up the sides inside the canoe to support that deck area where people are supporting themselves getting in and out. You could thicken this area with a second layer. I don't like bulkheads. They take away storage room and reduce access inside your canoe. (fishing rod won't fit). You should aim to minimise your repairs to avoid adding too much weight if possible. That's my advice for now. Love AJ's seats.
2nd Sep 2008, 11:40 PM #6
Most fantastically comfortable seats I've ever had in a small boat.
Gone from having one or both legs falling asleep after 15-20 minutes, to
2+ hours without trouble. Cost about $10 - $12 compared with closer to
$100 for a commercial item, which I doubt is as comfortable, & certainly not
custom fitted to individual posteriors !!
I prefer to glass both sides of through-fractures to stop more water getting
into the structure. Usually used chop-strand mat on the outside, grinding a
depression in the gelcoat and fairing it into the depression. Structural
integrity being a higher priority than appearance. With careful application of
an angle grinder and some colour in the resin, exterior patches need not be
I put the other photos up as much as an encouragement to go through with
the fix. Blueyedpeter's boat couldn't possibly be as far gone as that one - it
didn't actually float very well. After fix & a lick of paint, it looked good & was
water-tight (except in surf). I later added a sail and a rudder, but that
wasn't terribly successful...
As far as bulkheads go, I had never had one in a glass boat. Just stuffed the
ends with foam. With my current rash of ply kayaks, I have stiffened the deck
around the cockpit with some strips of cheap unidirectional carbon fibre
(should have bought more when it was cheap dammit!!) and used bulkheads
to form bouyancy boxes each end. The most recent boat came within a
flea-bite of getting an extra bulkhead just behind the cockpit, with a day
hatch to that compartment in the deck. But that was more hassle than
simply adding some carbon fibre when I glassed in the coaming, so it didn't
Fully agree: whatever you do, however you do it, "Simplicate, and add lightness".
Last edited by b.o.a.t.; 2nd Sep 2008 at 11:51 PM. Reason: finish sentences,
4th Sep 2008, 11:45 PM #7
You guys are legends . I am impressed by the way Aj that's very similar to my boat and love the seats i am heading to the local pool shop to pick up some rubber , hi density foam think they call it hi memory foam but who cares its a great idea gives me some respect that i am not alone in these daft adventures happy cursing fellas and take care also will look into ribbing the hull with layered glass cant thank you all enough . I must say when i picked up the craft i felt like throwing up i really had to go a long unexpected way to get this and it wasn't a good look when i got there .Theres hope for the titanic yet
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