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questions about repainting a wood canvass Yankee Old Town canoe

Discussion in 'Guestbook' started by yankee, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. yankee

    yankee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I Just purchased a Yankee 1956 model Old town canoe. It appears to be all original and has not been used much and always stored indoors. It was shipped to Calif in 1956 and has been here ever since. The exterior green paint does have some light crazing and the interior varnish is worn in spots. We would like to start using it often starting this summer. It has the hardware on the stern for a tiller. My questions are: Should I remove the brass keel to paint it? If so how do I remove the tiller brackets? Should I just rough up the paint or should I sand it the exterior all the way to the filler? Should I leave the varnish alone or how much do I need to sand the interior before applying the varnish? Anything else I should know before starting? I did contact Old Town Canoe and purchased the paint and varnish they recommended. Thanks in advance for you help. My wife and I have back packed for many years and now as we approach our 70's look forward to experiencing the outdoors with this canoe.
  2. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Bill -- welcome to the WCHA.

    If the wood of the canoe is basically strong, and if the canvas is intact, you should be able to use the canoe this season with just a little work.

    Below are some links to some discussions in these forums about painting over old cracked or chipped paint.

    A light sanding on the exterior is all that is required, if your existing paint is not flaking or chipping. But once crazing has occurred, it is difficult to eliminate it completely from showing through new paint. The more you sand, the less it will show, but don't sand into the canvas. l In the links below, you will see some pictures of a yellow canoe and how paint covered some bad crazing. If your crazing is light, sand it will and I think you will have a satisfactory new paint job.

    Paint on a brass rub strip will chip or scrape off fairly easily, and the brass rub strip generally takes a bit of banging up -- that's what it's there for. If it can be easily removed before painting, I would take it off, paint the canoe, and put it back on, unpainted. I can't comment on the rudder hardware without seeing a picture -- most such hardware can be readily removed by removing screws.

    If the varnish is sound except for small areas of wear, a light scuff sanding should be enough -- to provide some "tooth" for the new varnish to hold on to. But if the varnish is flaking and chipping, you have more of a problem.

    With both varnish and paint, a new coat of paint is only as sound as what is under it. Chipping or flaking paint or varnish will continue to chip and flake, taking the new coating with it.

    Good luck with your canoe -- being in the outdoors in a canoe is a wonderful way to go! see pp. 2-3 of this thread!&p=40689#post40689 starting at post 12, on bondo spot putty
  3. OP

    yankee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you very much for the information. That really helps. We live in Mendocino Calif. and there are not many canoes around. Thanks again, Bill
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Greg is pretty much spot on with his comments and links....except for removing rudder hardware.
    No screws involved. They are rivets, or peened brass or copper pins on Old Town canoes.
    To remove them, I use an angle grinder to grind away one of the peened ends (Dremmell would work, too.)Then with a punch, flattened nail or hard pin of some kind, drive them through.
    If you have no plans to ever use it to sail again, fill the pin holes with thickened epoxy, dowels, fairing compound, or something.
    If you do want to return them after painting, I've found that you can re-use the pins by stretching them a bit.
    With a small hammer, beat the peen out of the unground end, and pound the center of the pin reducing its diameter some will make it long enough to re-peen. If that isn't satisfactory, measure the diameter (3/16" I think) and buy some brass rod to the place them. I've done both, but the former usually works for me.
  5. OP

    yankee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dave,
    That is a great explanation and a big help. I sure appreciate this forum. Bill
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    If you remove the brass stem bands you will want to clean them up and bed them with marine bedding compound when you re-install them. Interlux and Dophinite are two common bedding compounds. This will help to prevent leaks at the stems.
  7. OP

    yankee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Fritz for the tips. Bill
  8. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    If you’re really lazy, like me, then just clean the stem bands while they’re still screwed on. Since you are going to repaint anyway, scuffing the paint adjacent to the stem band won’t matter – you’re going to paint over the scuffs. Fitz is right that the bedding compound is likely no good anymore. But rather than taking the stem band completely off, just take out one screw at a time, (those that are below the water line), squirt some bedding compound in the hole and screw the screw right back in. That should take care of any potential leak and you won’t risk breaking the stem band –very fragile at the screw holes. Breaking a stem band is a big pia.
  9. OP

    yankee Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Larry, That makes good sense and then I would not have to remove the brass tiller brackets. Bill
  10. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    You might want to have some spare stem band screws on hand in case of breakage, stripping threads, bending them. They are likely pretty soft brass, perhaps corroded from salt water. If you’re not fussy about appearance, use stainless steel. If they don’t come out easy, don’t force them. Maybe some WD 40 would loosen them up?

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