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Lee Valley on Refinishing a Canoe

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Dan Miller, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Yes, you would think so. In reality, he will be very lucky if the paint doesn't start to peel in relatively short order. In order to get a good paint to aluminum bond you need to prime the aluminum with a zinc chromate primer. The primer will stick well to the freshly sanded canoe and the paint will stick well to the primer. Another option is to "prime" the aluminum with epoxy resin. Since aluminum will start to oxidize immediately after sanding, the best method is usually to sand and then mix up some epoxy and actually sand (or Scotchbrite) it into the surface. It's a messy job, but it's the best way to keep oxidation from weakening your bond. Then you allow the epoxy to harden, sand it smooth and paint over it.

    Another option is what one of my sail customers did. He wanted something rather outrageous for his old aluminum canoe, so he ordered a pair of Chinese junk rig inspired balanced lugsails and then he polished his aluminum canoe to a mirror finish. One of those "so bizarre it's kind of cool" things.

    Chinese Lugsails copy.jpg
  3. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    WTF! He didnt even prep it correctly.
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I got hung up on the comment about aluminum and light weight,
    maybe compared to W/C, but tanks compared to kevlar.

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