Mead Kayak Glider

Paul Whitenack

New Member
I purchased a 14’ glider this summer that is in need of new canvas but is otherwise pretty intact (photos attached). I have three questions that I am hoping for advice on:
1.) I suspect the rudder that came with the boat is a later replacement. Does anyone have photos or drawings of the original rudder configuration, including hardware and shape of the rudder?
2.) I am considering replacing the canvas on the topside with mahogany or similar wood and then wrapping the hull with canvas. Any thoughts or suggestions on this idea?
3.) Any tips on restoring the pontoons, which are painted plywood and in fair condition but definitely need some sanding and painting.

Thanks for the help!


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Gil Cramer

The wooden canoe Shop, Inc.
1 I don't have an opinion on the rudder.
2 What is the purpose for the wood? The wood will add weight. I would use canvas.
3. Sand and paint the pontoons. Fill any gouges with 2 part fairing epoxy.

Mead built inexpensive, lightweight boats to be used. I like to follow the "form follows function" architectural idea. Of course. this is just my opinion.
Paul Whitenack

Paul Whitenack

New Member
Thanks Gil and Benson,

Much appreciated. Didn’t know about fairing epoxy so that will definitely help. I am still debating whether to try a more ‘true to the original’ restoration, or make something a little more unique. The sail had already been replaced with a sunfish sail and aluminum mast when I bought the boat, so I was leaning toward the latter. Also, I am more confident in my woodworking ability than my ability to seamlessly stretch the canvas. There is plywood underneath the canvas on about half of the deck so I was thinking of replacing it with the mahogany and leaving it uncovered (also extending to the bow and stern) which doesn’t seem like it would add much wood/weight.

The seating platform is a piece of heavy plywood that will need to be replaced so I was thinking I could lighten that part of the boat (to offset added deck weight) by using cedar or cypress planks with a little space between each. I will think my plan through a little more and see how things look after I strip off the existing canvas. One thing I feel good about after seeing the sale ads you referenced is that I only paid $275 for the boat. I was a little uncertain of that at the time but it seems like a good deal now.

Thanks again!