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A grand experiment or fail....

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Dave Wermuth, Aug 5, 2021.

  1. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Years ago I took lines from a Penn Yan Guide 18' and built a form. I built one canoe and used it in Quetico a couple years. Last year I decided to disassemble that form and basically remove roughly 42" from the middle. I had previously cut a derelict Guide down to 14'+ from 18' and it made a good solo canoe. I then continued on and built a 14' 3" solo hull over fall and winter in what little spare time I have. But then I decided to cover it with ballistic nylon instead of number 12. The weight of the two was pretty much the same. I have a bit to do on final covering and then I'll try to iron out the wrinkles. The solo canoe has a good amount of tumble home. If the skin will get smooth with the iron I'll see what happens when I add filler, prime and paint. I think the wrinkles will iron out. I have been covering lately by hand stretch, starting upside down temporarily to put in three staples at each stem and then switching to right side up. It saves the knees. And it has worked out well for several canoes so far. This may be a big fail, we'll see. The nylon is more difficult to apply and the only benefit would be its toughness and rot resistance. I probably won't do it again. Oh, and the color of it is interesting. Who else will admit they've tried this? I shoulda got some lighter dacron maybe.
     

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  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Waiting for Todd but, doesn't nylon absorb water and stretch a lot?
    If so that doesn't sound like a good choice for a canoe.
     
  3. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Thanks Nick, I'll check that out. And Dan, it stretched alot less than canvas. I could only pull about a third as much as I can when I pull number 12. Getting the puckers out will be the next task. I think it absorbs less than canvas too. The only advantage I see is rot resistance at this point.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I am going to pull it off and use the stuff around the base of the apple tree. The wrinkles come out if I apply the iron or heat gun but they return shortly after. I'll not risk
     
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Good idea.
     
  7. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Keep on. Canvas covered birchbark canoes were where it all began. cotton canvas ROTS. Yes, there are preservatives, but eventually, it goes the way of all of us.
     
  8. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    If the stretch was fairly mild, which it might be for that fabric, and if you could pull out the wrinkles, my biggest worry would be the filler bonding well. Almost all synthetics for outdoor products are treated at the fabric finisher with a fluorocarbon to provide some moisture repellency. Even the coated or laminated fabrics like GoreTex have it, because those things always work even better if you can limit the amount of moisture that gets to the coating in the first place. I'm not sure how well filler would stick in the long run.

    The one I always wondered about for canoe covering was North Sails' Oceanus polyester canvas, developed for tall ship sails. There was a 7 oz. Ship's Cloth version and then a bunch of heavier ones. The stuff was a dead ringer for cotton canvas without the wet rot potential. I'm not sure whether it comes wide enough though.
     
    Dave Wermuth likes this.
  9. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    Heavy weight North Cloth sail cloth with only one pass through the heat treating process is similar to cotton canvas. It will stretch to take the shape of the canoe, although not as easy as#10 cotton duck. It can be heated CAREFULLY to remove any wrinkles. I still use it occasionally with a latex filler. Width on 10oz. cloth was wide enough for a canoe, but the widths have changed over the years . I'm not certain what width it is available in now. Dave, you used some of this a few years ago.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Hi Gil, yes I used it on a couple of canoes and it went quite well. But this ballistic nylon stuff will not stretch well enough and when I iron out the wrinkles they come right back. And Todd, I thought my main concern would be filler so I turned the shiny side in and was keeping this canoe as a test mule. But I can see already that it is not going to work, at least not for me. So I am removing it and saving my filler and paint for a tried and true cover. It was worth the effort tho. Now I know what definitely will not work.
     
  11. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    The first time I used sail cloth, it had gone through both heat sets. It would not stretch to conform to the shape of the hull. The greige sp? goods that I have used since then will stretch enough.
     

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