Can We Fix This Canoe?


– [Woman] What’s that? – That was one of the seats. (laughs) – This is my first canoe
and it’s my favorite canoe. I’ve held onto this canoe with the idea that I would rebuild this
canoe, I could fix this canoe, ’cause you know I hate throwing stuff out because I think I can fix it
or I try and fix it at least. And I need your help today,
today I want you to tell me or help me figure out
how to fix this canoe. – [Woman] Help him. – Ready? (laughs) Make. Fix. Grow. Cook. GardenFork. I got this canoe from my neighbor. I traded him a camper
top from a pickup truck. (bell dings) You know just the regular top
you that you can put stuff in. – [Woman] Yeah. – I traded him a camper
top for this canoe. And when we first got it, it
was in okay shape, wasn’t it? – [Woman] Yeah it was good, it floated. – And the first time we took it canoeing in a lake nearby here, for me
it was a transcendent moment. (angelic voices) – But it was just like
it paddled really nice, it just glided on the water,
and we got this canoe for free. We’re in a state park
right near the house here and I’m like this is the
coolest thing in the world. We’re just paddling around
it doesn’t cost us anything. – [Woman] Cost you a camper. – Well I didn’t need the camper. – [Woman] Oh. – [Man] But now this canoe
has kinda gone downhill. – [Woman] Aged. – [Man] Yes. We replaced
it with another canoe. – [Woman] What’s under that canoe? (laughs) – But that canoe: it’s
great for what it is, but it’s like a family beginner– It’s like paddling a barge, really. And I’ve always wanted to fix this one up. But there’s a problem – [Woman] What’s the problem? – This is a fiberglass
canoe that I fixed up with some pieces of wood and
stuff and the wood finally rotted out and the last
pieces of the fiberglass Gunwale or Gunnel are fading.
The seats fell out entirely, but the shell, the bones of
this thing is still here. And I think I can fix it. So what I need your help with is: Do you know how to fix canoes? Or maybe even if you don’t, do you have some ideas on how to fix it? I think we need wood here, we need to make seats. I want
this canoe to paddle again. We’re not gonna be able to
do it all in this video. We’ll make a series of videos
about building this canoe. Fixing this canoe. But can you help me? Can you make the canoe better? – [Woman] I think it needs a vacuum. – I’m wondering what Charlie
is going after over there – I know. (dog snuffles) (woman laughs) – [Woman] Charlie, that’s not
what this episode is about. – Let me show you something. That’s where the
transcendent moment happened. First time on the canoe just… and I was like… this is beautiful. So this is why I wanna fix the canoe. – [Woman] What’s that? – That was one of the seats. (woman laughs) – [Woman] Oh yeah. – I don’t think we can make
the seats fiberglass again. We can make them out of wood maybe. – [Woman] Oh! (laughs) Do
you store this thing outside? – I’ve had it kinda protected but– (woman laughs) – Let me show you one idea I
do have for repairing, okay? Come on! Charlie, come! So the camera operator’s been wondering what this bundle of sticks is right? – [Woman] Everyday. – Lets go. So my thought was, I’ve
been collecting these really long pieces of– – [Woman] Sticks. – Like half inch by half inch, put them in here, get rid of the old wood, put this new wood in here,
but I would have to laminate, not laminate, but glue
together with like a lap joint or something, several of these,
cause this is 16 foot canoe. But then this would go… here, right? But we would have to
have several of those on either side of the edge
of the fiberglass here. And then we can build
some seats and a front, and a back, a bow, and a stern again. That was just one idea I had. And that’s where you guys come in – [Woman] You don’t
seem to have a shortage of sticks to use. – Well I’m bit of a stick hoarder, so– (woman laughs) – Cause if we don’t use them for this, we can burn to make our maple syrup. (fire roars) – Videos about that if
you wanna watch those. But I’m also not coming
from a background of no boat building experience,
cause, right over here.. – [Woman] We’re like in a boat cemetery. (gentle music) This boat! Woo! – This is the first boat, wooden boat, I ever built. It’s one of my
most popular videos still. Haha! It floats! This one I’m not gonna be able to fix. – [Woman] You gonna flip it over? Wonder what lives under there. – I don’t wanna flip it over. (woman laughs) – Alright, let’s go back to project boat. So, will you help me? Will you let me know how I should repair my canoe? If you wanna watch some
more of Eric’s videos, perhaps the plywood boat, the first one, should be some floating over here, but let me know in the comments here. Hit the pause button, make some comments. How can I fix this? You
might know more than I do. You probably know more than I do.

16 thoughts on “Can We Fix This Canoe?

  1. You may be on the right path but to add new fiberglass to the old weathered fiberglass would require lots of sanding an no guarantees. Fiberglass left outside does deteriorate regardless of claims otherwise. Might use this one as a mold to make a new one.

  2. wait for warmer weather and use the wood sticks and fibre glass to make a new rail btw some sticks on the bottom helps with running over rocks and hitting the bottom, good luck you will need it

  3. I see the "other" canoe is a Discovery 169 which we have! Did a lot of great trips in it but it's been upside down on the trailer for years. We might ought to check it for derelict damage now that I see what's gone on with your traded one. Eek! I wish you luck getting it seaworthy again!

  4. No idea! Try something and see what happens? We’ll all learn something 🙂

    How about a collaboration with someone who knows how to work with fibreglass?

  5. Looks like you need to carefully cut off whats left of the gunwals. You could use your're sticks to wrap new fiberglass around but I think I would use full length new ash or "knockdown Gunwales" (kinda pricey). Really the fiberglass work is relatively easy. Their are a lot of you- tube diy videos that would be helpful. I wish I lived near by . I would love to help you out. Good luck.

  6. Can you Canoe. Make a form on a couple of sheets of plywood that follow the lines of the side rail wood, Use your maple syrup table to boil water. Put wood sticks into boiling water to soften to bend to the plywood form, glue as you form using clamps as you go. You can do this. If you need help, I need a room and board vacation to New York

  7. This does NOT look like a job for pristine, 1/8", mahogany or other fancy wood laminations with pricy West Systems epoxy. I'd totally go for ripping down strips off of reasonably knot-free 1×4 pressure treated lumber and using basic fiberglass resin to laminate it. (I'd still make sure it was reasonably dry, since pressure treated lumber usually comes soaking wet. Buy it now, and it will be ready come Spring.) I'd also sand down the whole existing skin, and put a fresh coat of resin on it, including a good UV blocking pigment. Nothing fancy. You definitely do not need to spend a lot of time or money to make this a perfectly usable boat that will last for many more years. This is very much an 80/20 job, where you can get a lot out of it without putting all that much in. Looks like it will be fun!

  8. Around the gunnels, you could use 3/4" pvc filled with foam to make it even stiffer. Then prime with purple primer and layup fiberglass over it to tie it into the original FRP. (Fiber reinforced plastic)

    When attempting to tie into old FRP, grind the old first, mix just resin and hot mix catalyst and prime what will be tied into. Let this becoming tacky, but not glassed over (hard) and begin your layup. You will have much better luck with adhesion.

  9. You may try some those wood channels from the box store used with trellises. Then you can shape it with a sander. You may need to shim it to fit.

  10. What a great problem to crowdsource! Here’s my two cents: wipe the whole thing down with a good cleaner. You might be able to get away with just a good coat of wax on the exterior and interior fiberglass. That gunwale edge is a mess! Make a sandwich of 1×3 inch wood strips- one strip on the outside of edge and the other on the inside with the fiberglass wall in the middle of the sandwich. Use a slower setting epoxy to seal it all together but put fasteners every couple inches through the whole “gunwale sandwich” for setting and strength (something like a brass rivet with head on one side and pounded end over a washer on the other). You can incorporate wooden seat frames by attaching them with 90 degree angle brackets secured all the way through the gunwale. Good luck!

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