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preventing mold/rot in stem ends

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by patrick corry, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. patrick corry

    patrick corry Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    My wood canvas canoe is a one-off build, approximately 30 years old. It's on it's second canvas skin which is in excellent condition as is the entire canoe. My concern is with preventing the mold/rot which seems to damage all w/c canoes eventually.

    It's difficult to get inside the canoe ends to really see what's going on under the decks so I took an iPhone photo and there appears to be a grey 'film' primarily under the decks.

    As you can imagine, after paddling I carry the canoe on my shoulders to my truck and then transport the canoe home and all the while some bit of water is likely collecting in the stem ends. After I get home I put the canoe in stands, upright, until the water/moisture has a chance to dry out before storing the canoe upside down in an overhead rack.

    Beyond this measure, is there a recommended periodic treatment to retard the growth of mold? White vinegar spray... bleach... etc...?

    The attached photos are likely hard to recognize orientation- they are simply views of the underside of the decks and show the stems as well.

    Thanks, Pat

    a+70UGfBRx28hKgvCBGcKQ.jpg ZFcOofhETY6qEDPJllpYOA.jpg RXEa90FlTGyW2T32dhP11Q.jpg
  2. OP
    patrick corry

    patrick corry Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    An overall view of the canoe as well...

    Rx12TiDmQ1eEIJMNI7u2dw.jpg hHEFXdC3Tp6G7Qn+MqPUIw.jpg lHGj4CHhSfSYTiItfm1ZTQ.jpg
  3. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Hi Pat,

    I don't think you've got a real problem brewing there. It just looks like dust and maybe some sediment from your waterways on top of thin varnish and areas where the varnish may never have gotten applied. Your open gunwales and the way you treat your canoe are great for helping prevent rot, but it would be best, as you're thinking, to do a little preventive maintenance now. If I were you, I'd put the canoe upside down on somewhat tall supports to provide access, clean the undersides of the decks and rails along with the stems and tops of ribs, and apply a few coats of thinned varnish. More coats of un-thinned varnish will add even more protection.

    Beautiful canoe!

    Hope this helps,
  4. OP
    patrick corry

    patrick corry Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks, the tall supports are a good idea to facilitate access and I think you may be correct about residual sediment on the underside of the decks!

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