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Patching Hole Help

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Peapod, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Peapod

    Peapod New Member

    I recently bought a wood canvas canoe and after our maiden voyage I tried to hang the canoe in my garage with a pulley system and I pulled the wrong rope and the canoe fell right on the corner of my stepstool and punched a 2in hole . I was sick to say the least.

    I'm looking for some direction in fixing the canoe. I've attached some photos of the hole on the outside and inside. 20180311_182619.jpg 20180311_182625.jpg
  2. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'm looking forward to some knowledgeable replies to assist the repairs needed from when the wind took my 18'HW of its stand. Not as bad damage as yours as it hasn't torn the canvas, but the plank inside looks similar to yours. I'd thought of putting a copper or brass patch over.

  3. paddler123

    paddler123 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    To patch the canvas, you'll want to apply a glued cloth patch. An old bedsheet or similar cloth is your best bet, since it's thin enough not to stick out and get torn off, but thick enough and high enough thread count to form a durable patch and hold the glue. For a hole of this size, a double layer patch would probably be best (one piece between the canvas and the planking, one piece on the outside). Ambroid is the best glue if you can get your hands on some. I know there are other substitutes, but I haven't tried them.

    The patched canvas will be very vulnerable to future tears if it isn't backed by wood, so you should try to fit in a piece of scrap planking to replace the broken bit. You will probably need to hold it in with a splint under the ribs. It looks like one of the ribs is broken as well, which you can reinforce by sistering in 8-10" of rib stock, screwed in from the inside.

    This sort of repair job will be functional but a little ugly, but it should last until the next time the canoe is recanvassed, at which point you'd want to properly replace the broken plank and rib.
  4. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    My sailing canoe had several repair patches on the bottom of it when I bought it...they were never a problem.
    The patches were canvas bonded in between the planking and the canvas..there may have been about an inch or so of overlap. They were glued in.
    If you look at this link you can see the kit that Old Town offered and if you zoom on the printed page you can read the instructions.
    I have an Old Town repair sheet squirreled away somewhere. If I can find it I'll attach it here but what paddler123 posted covers the gist of it.
    I would use a piece of canvas for the repair and I would definitely put a patch in the planking and I might patch the rib... that hole is pretty high up on the side of the boat. It's very unlikely that you'll be getting that patch caught on things and the single cracked rib is no big deal.
    These are character marks. The repairs will hold for as long as they need to....
    Post pictures of the repairs...
  5. rbudge

    rbudge Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The plank patch is pretty easy as it's small. Slip in a piece of plank-thickness material. Hold it in place with a piece of sheet metal rotated into place behind the two adjoining ribs. Do this part before patching the cloth. The metal used can be galvanized steel, stainless or anything else that is thin, stiff and not likely to rust much.
    The outer cloth patch should have its edges frayed by removing threads for about 1/4" all around. It tapers the patch a bit and helps it bond a bit better having all the threads right at the edge oriented in the direction where you want the strength to be greatest. If you can't find Ambroid, and I haven't seen any in decades, then a small tube of Seal-All glue will do the job. It's similar to contact cement but with more ability to fill voids and is available in most hardware stores. Rough up the surrounding paint with medium sandpaper. Saturate the patch. Plaster it with glue.
    The cracked rib might or might not need reinforcing, depending on how it feels and on how you use the canoe.
  6. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Ambroid has not been manufactured for a number of years -- and because its solvent components are very volatile (acetone and alcohol), if I did get my hands on some, I'd want to make sure that it would be sufficiently liquid. Duco household cement is very similar to Ambroid in its constituents and seems to perform similarly. For a discussion of this, see:
  7. OP

    Peapod New Member

    Thanks for the replys! Makes the task seem a little less daunting.
  8. OP

    Peapod New Member

    Finally got some free time and finished the patch.

    I used some denim and contact cement for the patch on the outside and filled in the hole inside with 2 small, plankthickness material (western red cedar). I secured them in place with 3 shims widdled by hand and twisted into place under the ribs.

    I feel pretty confident in the fix. Hoping to get her in the water this week and see if it holds up.

    Again thanks for the advice and guidence.

    Attached Files:

  9. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    Very creative...before you try it out you might want to fill the denim with some paint.
    The normal finish for one of these is canvas over wood, filler (made with a Molotov cocktail of silica, driers, oil based paint, eye of newt etc.) to fill the pores and make a hard sand-able surface followed by layers of paint, often a primer coat or two and then a topside your case a pretty close to matching can of Rustoleum oil based paint should do the job....

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