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Leaks Under Keel

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Mud Bug, Nov 9, 2021.

  1. Mud Bug

    Mud Bug Hand made things are better

    We put our bob in the water today, and there were three places where water seeped in at the centerline. It appears to be coming in under the keel, since the rest of the canvas is really quite good, and the leaks were in the middle. Annoyed me, because the last time it was in the water it didn't seem to leak.

    Any reason not to pull the keel, seal beneath it, and put the keel back on? It's screwed to every rib, which'll be a pain. The canvas isn't shrinking away at the gunnels or anything terrible like that that'd make me want to replace it yet, though that's not totally out of the question.

    Advice? Tips? Warnings? Wisdom?

  2. Gil Cramer

    Gil Cramer The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.

    I have no wisdom. I would put some thinned varnish in the bottom of the canoe along the keel line. Slosh it a around a bit and let it set for a day or two. Wipe up any excess and go paddling. if it still leaks, do it again. Milk that canvas for all it's worth.
  3. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Apply a thin bead of acrylic exterior caulk along the seams of the keel and swipe it with a moistened finger.
  4. OP
    Mud Bug

    Mud Bug Hand made things are better

    Acrylic exterior caulk? I'll see what I turn up rummaging around in the hardware. And I like the varnish idea, Gil. Aughta help keep the wood from discoloring from the water if it keeps this up and add some sealing besides. Thanks both of you. I noticed neither of you said take that keel off.
  5. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    It’s really not a big deal to remove the keel.
    I use a driver in a drill. You’ll need to remove a few stem and screws too. Probably need to use a screw driver to tap out the varnish in the slots first. Clean it up and re-bed it with bedding or the waterproof caulk of your choice.
    It’s the right way IMHO.
    You can caulk along it as it is, but if it’s failing in those spots now, you can figure it will fail somewhere else eventually.
  6. OP
    Mud Bug

    Mud Bug Hand made things are better

    Makes good sense, Dave. I hope it's "really not a big deal" for a fellow like me. I'll give it a good think before I tackle it, whatever I do. I sure appreciate your advice on it.

    Say, what does "IMHO" stand for? Is that the brand name of your caulk?
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    IMHO= in my humble opinion.
    It’s the right way, in my humble opinion.
    Truthfully, on a second thought, you may want to just caulk the leaks if the keel is adhered to the canvas. If so, you could damage the canvas just to remove the keel. Caulking the bad spots would be safer.
  8. OP
    Mud Bug

    Mud Bug Hand made things are better

    I'll give it a good look over and decide. Thanks again.

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