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First cedar strip refinish advice needed

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Keithlmartin, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Keithlmartin

    Keithlmartin New Member

    Good afternoon.
    I have recently purchased my first cedar strip canoe and it could use some refinishing. Not sure what make it is, I think it might be a home built unit.
    I have seen various methods on YouTube but then came across this forum and thought I would ask the experts.
    I have attached some pictures, sorry for the orientation, I took them quickly this morning.
    Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Before I go any farther, I’m a cedar/canvas guy. So take that into account. But nobody has stepped up yet.
    I see trouble. Bad repairs in the past. Delaminating glass. Butt jointed or scarfed strips. Light coming through the hull....
    It’s difficult to do a restoration on this type of canoe. There is glass on the inside and outside.
    If you try to remove and re-glass the hull, I think you will have difficulty pulling the glass without damaging the strips.
    With that said, you can probably patch it up to keep it floating, but I wouldn’t waste time on a detailed restoration.
    Pretty when they are new, maintained, and stored correctly, but once they go over the edge it’s hard to do repairs, etc.
    Consider finding a wood/canvas canoe. Those can be repaired properly and restored to like new or better numerous times.
    Hopefully a stripper guy will come along and give you hope.
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I didn't want to be the first bearer of bad news, but if somebody brought that to my shop, asking what it would cost to fix it up, I'd tell then it would be cheaper to buy two or three new ones.

    That said, if you want to fix it up, as Dave said, stripping the old glass off is a tedious job. Search these forums for ways people have done it... some have submerged these boats in ponds and had the glass pop off. If it's a pre-epoxy build, the glass may come off more easily, but a heat gun and putty knife for epoxy-based glass jobs are the only way to go. It can be done, but building a new one will probably be easier and take less time.

    And remember, with strip & glass boats, they just get heavier with every repair. You've got some large repairs there...
  4. Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    It looks to me that there is a "but joint" that goes all the way around the center of the canoe. If that is correct I would think that would be very problematic even if the rest of the canoe was sound. Having bought a canoe or two myself that I should not have (didn't know enough to know what I was getting into) I would suggest maybe putting this one to the side for now and build one yourself or find a better built one. Good luck with whatever route you take.
  5. OP

    Keithlmartin New Member

    Thanks for the replies. Figured it was too good a deal to be true. I only plan on using it on the small lake I live on so I might just sand to a smooth finish, re glass and epoxy for strength. Will make it a bit heavier but I won’t be portaging at all so shouldn’t matter I guess.
    Also might look to make my own one day.
  6. Norm Hein

    Norm Hein Canoe Codger

    Sounds like a good plan Keith. You can get all the help you need here when you do decide to build one.
    Building one is a great project and not as difficult as one might think.

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