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Need Help with Purchase in West Virginia

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by DavidinWV, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks everyone - looks like I have LOTS of reading to do! :)

    Quick question on usage... as a rule - how much passenger weight can a 16 ft wooden canoe handle ?

    Lastly - any idea what a comparable boat sold for in 1956 dollars?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  2. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Without any information on canoe dimensions beyond length, it's hard to even guess at a maximum passenger weight. All other things being equal (and they never are) canoe with a 36" beam will carry more weight than one with a 32" beam; one with a 14" depth will carry more than one with an 11" depth. And any canoe can safely carry more weight on a small quiet pond than on an open windy lake or on white water.

    Morris's 1910 catalog says that any of its canoes over 15' in length can safely carry four people. That catalog has one 16' canoe that it says can carry 500 pounds while drawing 4" of water, and another that can carry 575 pounds while drawing the same 4" of water. Both of those canoes were fairly narrow. Four people totaling 500 pounds means four people weighing 125 pounds each -- not too many 125 pound adults around these days.

    Carrying passengers is not merely a matter of carrying weight. Children and adults both will want to move or wiggle around, often at an unexpected moment. Some dogs will settle on the bottom of a canoe and stay still for a whole trip; many will not.

    The issue of buoyancy is not just a matter of freeboard, but also the ability of the canoe to rise up and over an oncoming wave, rather than just plowing through. A canoe with 8 inches of freeboard can ship water if it plows through a 9" wave, but may stay dry if it is buoyant enough to be lifted by the wave.

    I would think you could safely enough carry three reasonable sized adults (paddlers plus one passenger, average weight under 200 pounds) in your canoe, in calm water, or two adults and two smallish children, or two adults and one medium dog (children and dogs tend to move about unexpectedly, rocking the boat). A passenger should be seated low in the boat, if at all possible. Live weight beyond two persons in a 16' canoe can get problematic -- weight can add some stability, but it lessens buoyancy and maneuverability. Camping gear for two people on a short trip should be no problem -- well stowed, it won't shift around like people or dogs. If your canoe is beamy and carries its width well forward along the bilges, it well may be able to readily handle four people.

    In a 16' canoe, there is also the issue of where you put passengers. A deep, broad-beamed canoe well might be able to carry the weight of four people -- but where do you seat two passengers -- either side of a center thwart, one facing forward and the other facing astern? And then where do you put your picnic cooler?

    Here's where canoe addiction can start to kick in -- two sixteen foot canoes are what you need if you want to bring two friends along for a picnic. :D
  3. fred capenos

    fred capenos Canoe Pilot

    I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm curious about the age of your Peterborough. I also own a Champlain that I bought from my best friend. It came with pictures of it on top of a 1958 Mercury. They were both bought new in 1958. Allowing that the 1958 Merc. may have come out in 1957 and the canoe may have been made a year earlier, I can safely say that my canoe probably was made between 1956 and 1958. My canoe has most of its decal in place and it is the one in Roger's post numbered 6 ( The one with the 1975 anniversary box under the oval). Also, the word "Peterborough" is pinched in my decal and isn't pinched in your picture. In your picture, I see part of the shadow where the part of your decal is missing, but no shadow where the 75 Anniversary box should be, and the word Peterborough in the oval isn't pinched. Like I said, "just curious" . You may have an older canoe than you think.
  4. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Greg!

    Fred - I haven't picked the canoe up - but my thought on it being a champlain from 1956 came from 1) the serial number and 2) a chart I saw that said that was the only year they were sold.

    When I get the boat I will do more inspecting...............
  5. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    just to be clear, they sold that model for many decades, it was a popular model. at 260lbs and with camping gear i treat it like a solo boat, but i'm sure you could get 500 lbs into it without too much trouble, they are a great boat.
  6. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Well I am happy to report I am now officially the proud owner of my first canoe :) and yes - I got it for $175! :)

    I know there has been some advice given above - but here are better pics of the condition of the boat and its paint job. My question is - with what you see - do you suggest I lightly sand it then re-paint the entire thing? Just touch up the exposed canvas and leave the rest for now? I want to get it out on the water soon and more then likely won't use it more then 10 times in a year.

    Any help would be great!

    downloaded041514 001.jpg downloaded041514 002.jpg downloaded041514 004.jpg downloaded041514 003.jpg
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Sand the whole hull. Pay particular attention to the loose, peeling stuff and the areas that lost paint. Need to create a surface for the paint to adhere to. I'd try 120 grit on a random orbital sander.
    Then repaint.
  8. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dave - how much sanding should I do? Just a light amount I am presuming.... correct?

    Also - what am I seeing in the pics? Is it just paint problems - or is something happening to the canvas underneath?

    Lastly - do people think this is original paint or do folks think it has been repainted, spot painted etc?
  9. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    If you just want to use it for a couple of years, sand off the loose paint and smooth it all out. Sand the exposed filler, too. You need to create a mechanical bond for the new paint.
    When sanding, if you start to see the filler or canvas weave,...back off.
    I would be rather aggressive, actually. There is a lot of funky paint on this hull.
    You'll likely need more than one coat of paint.
    Looks like your gunwales need attention, too. Actually most of us would do a complete restoration..... Strip old varnish, sand, re varnish, re canvas, fill and paint. That would give you a chance to replace the broken ribs, as well.
  10. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    The canoe has pretty certainly been repainted -- and likely touched up after repainting. It looks like the repainting was done without good (or any) surface preparation, which is part of why there is so much loose paint and why there was some touching up. Before sanding, I would scrape the obviously loose paint off with a putty knife or similar scraper. Using a random orbiter sander, I think I would do a first light sanding with 80 or 100 grit paper, being careful not to gouge or sand too deep. Then I would do a second light finish sanding with 120 paper, again, without getting down to bare canvas. Using an RO sander, the job should not take more than an hour or two.

    However, so much bare canvas near the gunwales and some of the small chips through to the canvas/filler on the bottom may indicate that there also was (and still may be) some problem with the first coat of paint adhering to the canvas filler. If so, you may see some continued flaking down to the canvas. I would get as much of the old paint off as I could, and I think I would then prime with something like shellac or Kilz. If there continues to be some flaking off, a little touch up now and then will get you through a season or three.

    Putting new paint directly over that old paint without preparatory sanding would be an exercise in futility -- some of that old paint will certainly chip and peel off taking the new paint with it, and new paint will likely peel off some of the old paint that does continue to hold on.

    Sanding and priming is a morning's work. Painting the whole hull takes little paint and little time. With water-based paint, you can put one coat on in the morning, and another in the evening, and go paddling the next day. Oil-based paint might take just a bit more time for the paint to dry/cure. I would use water-based paint here, because it will be easier to touch up.

    You won't get a world-class finish this way, but it will look, and will be, quite good enough for paddling this season, and for three or four more before you got around to replacing the canvas.

    sm 100_2550.jpg March 2009 as bought

    sm cr island rr bridge.jpg April 2009 hull lightly hand sanded, some spot priming, 2 coats of water-based porch and deck paint

    cr sm 100_6083 - Copy.jpg May 2010 now decorated, but the lighting shows the defects in the paint which have been there all along

    sm 2 100_2251.jpg May 2013 new coat of paint and trim that was put on in April 2011 -- the paint defects are still there -- just not visible in most light

    sm 100_4384.jpg February 2014 After five season of use, the canvas still kept the water out and the paint still hung on, but I now have the time to replace several cracked ribs, broken planking, damaged gunwales, etc, and to give it a new canvas and paint.

    And I would say you did very well getting that canoe for $175. Sand it and paint it, and paddle it till you have the time to restore it -- good luck, and post some pictures of your launch and first paddle.

  11. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok - so it looks like everyone's advice is the same - so I plan to carefully sand the entire hull. Will start with 80 grit then move to 120.

    Greg you suggested I prime after sanding - do you mean prime over the whole hull (old paint remaining and all?) And is shellac or Kilz easily found in local stores? How much do you think I will need?

    Lastly - several have suggested I use Tremclad for the paint (not spray paint of course.) Does everyone concur that Tremclad is a good choice?
  12. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Good choice on sanding grits....
    Personally I would only prime the exposed filler. For some reason the paint had adherence problems there in the past. Recently tried Total Boat primer from Jamestown distributors. It's oil based marine primer. It has some body to it, which I like.
    In 14 years of restoring canoes, I've never heard of Tremclad. Did a search to find it is a paint for rust made by Rustoleum. Rustoleum does make a marine paint in a few colors. I tried it. Seemed kinda thin to me. Worked ok, but required extra coats to get a decent result. My suggestion is to buy a marine oil based enamel, Pettit, Interlux, Epifanes, or Kirby. Jamestown also sells a "house brand" called Total Boat. I have not tried it but I'd is inexpensive and is getting good reviews on their website. A quart will get you at least two...maybe three coats if you use the roll and tip method.
    Post pics of your progress...
  13. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    If the suggestion is to prime just the exposed filler/canvas white areas (and any other spots that may seem thin after sanding) - I can do that.

    I would like to get both the primer and oil based enamel paint locally - as I may be working on this ASAP - and funds are somewhat limited (kid in college etc) I have a Lowes and Home Depot and Sherman Williams nearby. So suggestions for primer and paint from those choices anyone?
  14. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    My suggestion to prime comes from the concern that their may be a problem with the filler that causes poor adhesion -- so I would agree that priming only the exposed filler/canvas is all that is necessary, but covering the whole hull will take such little additional time, I would do the whole thing. A quart is more than enough, and similarly a quart of paint should give you two or more coats.

    Kilz is available in most good-sized hardware stores and in the big box stores. It has two formulations -- oil based and shellac based -- both are white -- my experience (not on a boat) is with the shellac based -- it will dry faster than the oil based, but I presume that the oil based would be just fine. The primer that Dave Osborn recommends would be fine, likely better, being formulated for in-water use, and having some body to it, may also help hide any physical surface defects.

    I have painted one canoe with regular Rustoleum paint, because I had some on hand, and I had heard good things about using it -- but I only used that canoe once or twice after painting, because of other problems with the canoe, not the paint. It was a darkish royal blue going over white, and gave good coverage -- two coats. But I can't speak to long term durability.

    Regular Rustoleum is usually, I believe, a gloss paint -- the stuff I used was, at any rate. The picture of the Tremclad can shown on the Rustoleum website shows semi-gloss.

    Gloss paint will show defects in the smoothness of the surface much more readily than semi-gloss -- and you are likely to have surface irregularities even after sanding. Hoping to get a smoother paint job, I did sand with an RO sander pretty aggressively before I put a third coat of paint on the yellow canoe, before I changed the trim design, but not down to the canvas -- but crackles in the paint continued to be visible in a raking light. So I would recommend a semi-gloss or satin paint for that reason.

    I used Benjamin Moore satin floor and patio paint, which comes in oil- or water-based versions, on the yellow canoe. I used the water-based, and found it quite satisfactory. The light yellow color showed dirt fairly easily , but would clean up easily if wiped down right when the canoe was taken from the water, and usually even if it dried out. A quick spritz with Fantastic removed anything that would not simply wipe off.

    We bought a 1922 16' OT Ideal beautifully restored by Ralph Nimtz at the 2012 Assembly (shown in my avatar above). As it happened, he uses Benjamin Moore alkyd (oil-based) floor and porch paint - a satin finish -- the color used doesn't show dirt as much. Ralph's restoration included a new canvas/filler with a very smooth surface, and the satin looks just fine on the good surface. After two seasons of use, we are quite please with the paint. I expect I will use it on the canoe I am now restoring, though I may go with one of the more expensive marine enamels Dave mentions.

    Sherwin Williams has a latex-based porch and floor paint that may be similar to Benjamin Moore's water-based.

    I was quite happy with the water-based paint because of ease of application, clean-up, and touching up (which was needed because of some chipping of the old paint and because of unplanned-for abrasion by hidden rocks). For a longer-term paint job, I would use good oil-based paint, maybe one of the marine enamels. If you are going to use oil paint for a paint job expected to last only a couple-three years, I would not spend the money on the good marine enamels, but would go with Rustoleum or a good oil-based exterior paint, and would use satin or semi-gloss.

    My 2 cents.

  15. KAT

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I've used Tremclad once, on mt 14 foot Chestnut last year and will be using it again on my CCC. Since I custom mix my own colours I add flat black to reduce the sheen. I can only get gloss here. Considering how little time the boats spend in the water I see little sense in spending $50 a litre on paint.

    What I would like to try is some of the new exterior latex paint options since it would allow me to choose any colour chip at the store and have the paint mixed to match, opening up hundreds of possible colours.

  16. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Realizing this is a short term fix, Marine Rustoleum, regular Rustoleum, other Rustoleum wannabe's, as well as paint for farm implements (which some of us have tried) are all available at most hardware and big box stores in many colors at about $15/qt.....and no shipping cost.
    They will work to cover and color your canoe.

    When you do get to the point of repairing and restoring this classic, consider spending the extra.
    I think you will be amazed at the difference in application and result.
  17. yankee2

    yankee2 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    From the photos, I don't see anything seriously wrong. Clearly, the tips aren't rotted, and since as it turns out to be canvas, it might not need much more than a paint job. Of course it may have a few cracked ribs, but $200 is a major bargain. One can hardly buy any canoe for that price, much less a very good one not needing much work.
  18. OP

    DavidinWV Curious about Wooden Canoes

    well I went ahead and decided to try my hand at sanding this evening. I had an electric sander (not orbital) and used 80 grit. I admit I was being very careful at first - but did get alittle bolder. Paint did come off - but not a huge amount. So my question is this (and should have asked before): what IS my goal at this point - is it simply to get the smoothest surface possible as prep for priming and the new coat - all for the sake of adequate adhesion? OR - should I being looking for a different outcome for some other reason?
  19. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Your goal is to get on the water soon, with a paint job that will suffice for a couple of years till you can replace the canvas and do a proper job. So you want a paint job that will keep the water out, last a couple of years, and pass the 20 foot test.

    The primary goal is to get a good surface that new paint will adhere to. First you want to get rid of any flaking paint, and any paint that might be prone to flaking or chipping in the future. In addition to getting rid of loose and flaking paint, you want to smooth at least a bit the edges of chipped areas. Scraping loose stuff, followed by 80 grit paper should accomplish this. Your electric sander should be fine -- just slower than a random orbital sander. You then want to use a finer paper for a fairly smooth surface with some tooth for the new paint to adhere to. You could go to a quick sanding with 100 or 120 grit paper -- this should be enough to give you a surface that new paint will stick to. If you want to improve the final appearance a bit, between the 80 grit and a finer paper you might want to use something like Bondo spot putty to smooth any deep gouges or distinct edges of chipped areas -- this will help the final appearance just a bit. Then after the final sanding with the finer paper, two coats of your final paint.

    You will be the only person looking closely at the paint job. Except for you and a paddling partner, you are the only person who is going to see the painted surface close up; you will be the only one to examine its small imperfections with a critical eye. The aesthetic goal is to pass the 20 foot test -- most painting flaws are simply not noticeable from 20 feet away. More effort and time get you seriously diminishing returns on an old canvas/old paint job -- you could do more, and pass the 10 foot and even the five foot test -- but it's not worth the effort, in my opinion.

    If you want to do more, put the effort into painting a decorative design -- this can be done even after the canoe is in use -- if you've never used masking tape, this is a good time to learn. You will see how even a simple design (a stripe, a boarder along the sheer) enhances a canoe's appearance. The eye is drawn to the decoration and simply doesn't see any flaws. There are some ideas at

    Good luck, and have fun.
  20. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    For what it's worth, more often than not, I add 10% Penetrol to the paint. It supposedly aids adhesion, helps to keep a wet edge, and reduce brush marks. The latter two seem to be issues when I've tried non-marine, hardware store variety enamels.

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