Thursday, December 17, 2009

Old Town Canoe Restoration

The canoe with the old skin before restoration. Turns out that Old Town actually covered this model with polyester to keep the weight down.

I have been doing a restoration on a 15' Old Town Trapper and am more or less finished. What remains? An old-town tag on the stern needs to be mounted and the hull needs a coat of wax. Plus the boat needs to be set in the water for a leak test. Other than that, it's done. And I'm glad that it is. Restoring this particular boat took way longer than I thought it would.
Main problem was that somewhere after the start of the restoration, we had to move our shop and after that, it was hard to maintain any kind of momentum on the restoration. There was always something to fix on the new shop.
Plus, this time I put canvas on the canoe instead of polyester like I did previously. Way more work. First I had to put on 3 coats of filler. Then I had to sand that. Then it took three coats of sanding primer on the filler to make the hull smooth. Then it took three coats of paint to make the final coat look respectable. Painting the polyester was way easier. All it took was a coat or two to fill the weave, then two coats of paint. Done, minimum of sanding. For one thing, the polyester was a lot smoother than the cotton so filling the weave took almost no effort at all.
Anyway, it's done. Pictures follow.
And I should mention that I re-caned the seats and repaired some rot damage to the ribs. All that takes extra time, of course.

The new skin is on and the inside of the boat has two coats of satin varnish.

After I helped to varnish some rowboats at the Dolphin Club, I decided that gloss varnish shows off the wood much better.

The decals were puzzling to me. I assumed that they were the old kind that you soak in water and then slide off the substrate. It was only after I soaked the decals in the water and nothing happened that it dawned on me that these were self-adhesive. Way easier to install.

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