The local store owner approached me with a little bit of a challenge. Can I fix his aluminum canoe? Well, I say I'll give it try and why the hell not? I worked on my mother's aluminum canoe a few years back but it wasn't holed. This one was, not bad but enough to make it a pain.
Once I got it here I put it on sawhorses and slowly filled it with water one bucket at a time. The leaks were due to small pin holes in a patch on the hull and the end of the stern where it had seen a lot of use. There is also a patch from a previous breach in the hull and water was leaking out of there at well.
Since the holes where so small I thought I'd try out some G-Flex in them. I had just bought some syringes for this type of work. I filled each hole with just enough resin so they weren't overflowing. I then put a layer of Dynel cloth over that to make a tight seal. I used this link for a guideline:
It's all pretty simple but as usual prep time is what eats up most of the job. Here's what I used.
I filled the boat the next day with water and waited for two hours while keeping checking for any leaks. None so it was a success. Next on the board was to find a way to fix the decks. The aluminum had ripped and all one has to do to open an artery is to scrap against it.
I tried to bend the cut back but didn't have a way to seal the cut. I talked with the owner and said I could probably replace the decks with wood and he was good with that. I had some luan set aside for just this kind of project and decided to use that. I drilled out the rivets on the metal decks and used them as a template to cut out the new decks. Four coats of spar varnish and I deemed it good to go.
I used rivets with a washer as a backing to hold them in place but fires smeared a healthy dose of G-Flex to the metal and the wood as an additional holding agent. I am going to be adding a piece of ash to the wide end of the deck which will tie into the hull for a carry handle and add support.
Since I was working with resin I decided to add a little weight to make sure of a good bond. Bricks!
Now one thing I didn't realize until I had already done it was that once the metal decks were off the hull spread some and the wood deck wasn't fitting correctly. I used my straps to cinch it in so it was a tight fit. Once I did that I drilled through the wood deck and into the the lip of the hull so the rivets would line up. I made sure I marked with tape where the old rivet holes were so I could off set the new holes.
All in all not bad. I did add a layer of foam to the existing foam bulkhead so the wooden deck has more support. All I can think is if someone sits on it.
|I added foam to fill the gaps you can see here|