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A student in need...

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by Charter-kid, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Charter-kid

    Charter-kid Student

    My name is Ethan Wilson and I am a student at Greenville Technical Charter High School. For my Senior Project, I have decided to restore a canoe that my Dad bought at an auction. As of now, I am unsure as to what model it is, however, people at this site have guessed it to be a 1925 Arrowhead Meraco Speedster with mahogany finish. I'm wondering 1) where I can find parts for such a craft 2) if it would be advisable to replace a pair of broken ribs in the canoe, or if removing the original would decrease the value 3) how to remove the fiberglass that some previous owner coated it in 4) is it worth taking it all apart to replace a keel with exterior dry rot (all cosmetic).
    Thank you for your advice
    For pictures, see my thread under research and history.
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    You will probably need to make replacement parts since Meraco is no longer in business and the locations of their original forms are not known. Broken ribs should be replaced or repaired if the hull is deformed or if they are in a structually important area. This usually doesn't reduce the value but see the message at for more information about valuations. These forums have lots of good information about fiberglass removal. The message at is a good place to start. The forum search function will find several others. A keel with dry rot should probably be replaced since this is rarely just a cosmetic problem. Good luck with the rest of your project.

  3. abhraxas

    abhraxas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Is there a serial number on your Speedster?
  4. OP

    Charter-kid Student

    I'll check again, but all that I have found are the letters LPS branded in two places. I doubt that that constitutes a serial number.
  5. OP

    Charter-kid Student

    Sink or shrink?

    Question: I read about how many canoe experts have said that submerging a canoe is a good way to remove fiberglass, but it seems to me that that would make the wood swell and, when it dries, shrink a fair bit. This wouln't hurt the canoe, will it?
    PS: still looking for SC canoeist.
  6. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Not an expert BUT

    I have submerged three canoes in the pond for a week prior to removing the 'glass. The last one I did was particularly troublesome and I had to use the propane torch judiciously to get the stuf to let go. I should buy a heat gun if I do another.

    I think the pond method helps. Maybe the wood is stronger and less brittle then. Maybe it's just less prone to catching fire.

    An added benefit, when I pulled the last Canoe out of the pond I had three fish inside it.
  7. bob goeckel

    bob goeckel Wooden Canoe Maniac

    he didn't tell you the submersion was not on purpose and he was in the canoe at the time! hehhehe;)
  8. Alex Guthro

    Alex Guthro LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have removed fiberglass from a few old canoes without much trouble. If the resin was polyester it often separates from the wood over time. I found that if you use a small knife or paint scrapper, usually starting at the gunnel line, you can strip off large sections of fiberglass, it peels away (like an orange).

  9. Little bear canoes

    Little bear canoes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    What kind of fish?? Suckers???::D
  10. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    nope, not suckers.

  11. Little bear canoes

    Little bear canoes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    You dont need a fishing pole anymore..
  12. abhraxas

    abhraxas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Were there serial numbers on the bluegills?
  13. Little bear canoes

    Little bear canoes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Iam not 100% sure but I think the numbers are in the inside lip of the fish??
  14. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Ok, now for the really difficult question. Where do you find the paper build records for fish and how do you get permission to reproduce them in an electronic format?

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2006
  15. Little bear canoes

    Little bear canoes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Why I cant answer that Q. But maybe the fish could help you out?
  16. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    as I recall

    the Bluegills were minors and not subject to the same interrogation techniques used for the grownup---er uh adult fish. A standardized forensic interview protocaol has not been established and so i was not able to discern any reciptient Identification numbers.

    there were however some trout that fell for a Blue Winged olive pattern over the weekend. Also minors and not subject to standard interrogation.
  17. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I stripped a "glass" high school project canoe last summer and it had the older style glass covering...I wedged a knife where there appeared to be a bubble and got a small tear started...then SLOWLY lifted it dry. At the time I did not know of the heat gun helping to separate it...but thats the way to go! Use the heat gun to soften it!...I found that there were places where it held to the wood and after the first spintering of wood I worked around it and then sanded those areas... My friend and I stripped the glass of an 18" Old Town square stern and by being careful it came off well...PATIENCE is the key to a successful stripping...Good Luck...The other questions have been answered by people more qualified than me...But when its done you will be proud of what you have accomplished:)

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