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First repair project

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Ridjrunr, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Ridjrunr

    Ridjrunr New Member

    Hello all, I am new to the forum and am seeking input.
    I am considering a purchase of a used Navarro Loon that has been stored improperly. The pictures say alot so I will post those to begin. The two spots of exterior damage is the sum of that, however, there are several spots of finish peeling and vernier bubbling on the interior. I think the ribs are cherry wood. The gunwales and thwarts and seats are all solid.
    I do have four yrs of bonding experiance ( composite helicopter blade repair) so I do understand bonding processes somewhat.
    My question is, should I run from this one? Or is this practical to attempt.
    The plus side is it is priced less than a fourth of new cost of same canoe.
    Thank you for any help.

    Attached Files:

  2. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    This canoe reminds me of Stowe and Merrimack canoes-- a fiberglass canoe with "ribs" inset into it and wood trim. I believe there are discussions concerning the repair of this type of canoe in these forums, if you use the "search" function in the upper right. Plug in "Stowe", as I think you'll get more hits.

    I think for a first repair project, you'll find a wood and canvas canoe to be your best bet-- unless you like this canoe and understand the challenges of repairing it. Generally speaking, a wood/canvas canoe can be returned to original because it is built with component parts. Canoes such as the Navarro might be made functional again but not as easily and maybe not as fully. Bear in mind that this is not truly a ribbed canoe-- it is a fiberglass canoe (I think) made prettier with riblets and wood trim.

    If you like working with fiberglass, you might look into building a stripper canoe from scratch-- and you can get advice for that here too.

  3. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    You could fix it with a lot of tedious work, but keep in mind that it is a totally illogical way to build a canoe in the first place - always has been, always will be. It's basically a fiberglass canoe, as Kathryn mentioned, only it has a bunch of veneer added and partially glassed-in to make it look "nice" but be extremely difficult to maintain or repair. A regular composite canoe, a good stripper or a wood/canvas that you can fix up would likely be a better boat.
  4. OP

    Ridjrunr New Member

    Thank you for the responses and input. Do the vernier ribs add any significant structural strength to the hull, or is it purly cosmetic ? I am interested in a sound fishing vessel not really concerned with it being any kind of showpiece which I understand it is not.
  5. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    My impression is that the ribs are mostly for show--- to make the canoe look like a classic wood-canvas.

    One of my concerns with this canoe has to do with the price you suggest is being asked for it. The seller may be hyping the retail value and giving the impression that this canoe can become something like it once was. If you could get it for free, that would be one thing... but for probably a whole lot less than 1/4 the original cost of this canoe, you should be able to find a serviceable fishing vessel... a guide model canoe, for instance. Folks here may jump in with suggestions.

  6. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    The wood on the sides doesn't do much to add strength or stiffness and is mostly for looks. If you want side strength and/or stiffness on a fiberglass canoe there are much better ways to do it that are way less prone to eventual deterioration. The bottom however, where the wood becomes a core, sandwiched between that layer of fiberglass mat on top and the glass layers below, is going to be a major contributor to the hull's bottom stiffness. Again though, there are much sounder ways to accomplish that task, and leaving part of your core material exposed at it's edges where the varnish can deteriorate on those "ribs", followed by the wood wicking water into the core is nuts. In the process of trying to get cosmetically clever, they abandoned some of the basic principles of good composite boat building. That's usually a mistake, as we can clearly see here.
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Nice chatting with you this morning. Now that you've posted photos, I understand what you were explaining.
    I think you can get a feel for what the folks here think of it.
    I can now offer my opinion. I would NOT walk away from this canoe....
    I would run....!
  8. OP

    Ridjrunr New Member

    Thank you all so much. This is exactly why I wanted to get more info about this thing. Yes she shurly is proud of it to the point of being grumpy. She wont be hearing from me again.
    Dave, I started laughing on my break at work when I read your post, thanks! Thanks again for your time yesterday morning and stearing me to this site.
    The search goes on.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    What are you looking for? and where are you looking? and where is this canoe? your description of the owner has me curious. :)

  10. OP

    Ridjrunr New Member

    It is in Kansas
  11. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    OK, different owner.
  12. Albie frawley

    Albie frawley New Member

    I just acquired a Merrimack canoe. The wooden ribs have been neglected and are failing..
    Looks worse in real life. I thought I was just going to patch a hole or two...
    I did not know anything about these canoes. I’m in the process of replacing the rotted ribs.
    I very carefully removed the existing ribs and I am replacing them with mahogany ribs.( I know now that the original was cherry.) I’ve ripped the mahogany to 3/32 thickness. I cut every piece to fit the individual rib. I can do about 4 ribs at a time. I first apply resin, then fiberglass mat, then more resin. Then install the replacement ribs. Clamping is difficult. I try to cut the ribs a hair long and use a “pressed fit”, wedging in the ribs provides a bit of pressure eliminating the need for extra clamping. eventually after the ribs are all replaced, I’m going to sand the floor to wood and apply a new fiberglass mat . In that process covering the seams of the cuts with fiberglass. And also apply resin the new wood ribs.
    It’s very tedious, I’m a carpenter and I happened to have access to mahogany.
    It’s way more work than I anticipated,
    not a project for someone who is unfamiliar with wood working, or boat building.
    I’m very much looking forward to the finished product. It seems that it will be worth it in the end.

    Attached Files:

    APirateLooksAt40 likes this.
  13. APirateLooksAt40

    APirateLooksAt40 New Member

    Hi Albie,

    I picked up a Merrimack that was my Uncle’s, then Father’s and now mine. The time has come to re-condition and undo all the garbage done to it by hack repair shops over the years.

    The condition looks to be much like yours with the ribs almost looking likE they’re delaminating from the hull. I’m hoping to find a way to not have to replace them (like soaking to flatten out the wood or something) but I like your solution on your replacements - not sure which way to go. Need to replace the gunwales (inner and outer) and keel strip because of breaks, cracks, and dry-rot. I’m also hoping to be able to re-laminate sections of the stems that are separating and will likely do an end-pour when it’s all done to seal the inside up.

    I’ve made a couple of Cedar Strip Kayaks and Pak Boats (most recently with my niece for a HS Senior Project), but have never attempted a resto like this.

    Any more words you or other members could offer would be a huge help!
  14. mike mcginn

    mike mcginn New Member

    Albie - how did you fully remove the damaged ribs?
  15. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    If it floats, paddle it. It is what it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dave Wermuth likes this.

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