fibreglass canoe repair??? -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 07-17-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1993 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 587
fibreglass canoe repair???

anyone ever done canoe repairs?

I just picked up a canoe for free! but it looks like this:

my questions are:

1. when doing repair like this do i need to sand down the gel coat/top coat till i get to the fiberglass or can I go over top the gel coat?

2. do the ribs on the inside need to be repaired or are those stress cracks normal?

3. how many layers of glass would you do?

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
I-6, 42re, 249-->242 selec-trac swap, D30/D35
31x10.5, 3.5" IRO F>R, skids and tow hooks

Wanted: 93-95 Keyless entry fob

2tone93zj is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 Old 07-17-2011, 10:09 PM
Registered User
1976 CJ7 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Greenville
Posts: 1,106
You need to grind well into the fiberglass to get good adhesion with the new stuff. There are plenty of web sites that have good info on how to repair fiberglass.

Sent from my Droid using JeepForum
jumbojeepman is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 07-18-2011, 06:19 AM
Registered User
1992 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 254
It depends how you want to fix it. The best way would be to use Epoxy resin. It will not crack when dry. It stays flexable. It is what I used when I built my wooden canoe. I have used polyester on a fiberglass john boat, but it only lasted a few years and got brittle. It still don't leak, but has a bunch of cracks where I repaired it. If you go with the epoxy route, just buy a new canoe. The epoxy is pretty expensive.You can get a cheap new canoe for around $300. If you go the polyester route: I first grind down a lot of fiberglass around the hole/crack. About 4-6" around the spot. Not the whole way through, but enough so that when you place the new layers you can sand it smooth. Only do one side at a time.(inside or outside) The way I do the repair is start with a small piece just bigger than the bad spot. Then, make a little larger patch, and keep doing that until you have 5 layers or so. Then sand it smooth. As far as the inside cracks I would grind it down some and put a couple layers over it for reinforcement. Last thing is you should use the same material that the canoe is made of for the repair. Supposedly, epoxy and polyester will not adhere to each other very well.

4bt,NV4500,NP205 Twin,Soa,8.8, 4.88's locked front and rear
slowlowford is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 07-18-2011, 08:19 AM
Registered User
1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: VA Beach
Posts: 9,436
Sand it good around your repair site. Go several inches past the actual damage to give a good smooth repair. You can either use a woven cloth or random strand mat, They both work, I prefer the random for repairs because you can get it feathered in better. Use a good epoxy and fill in the damaged area first, then sand that even. use poly resin to coat the area generously, lay the mat on then I use a wall paper roller and wax paper to fully bond the mat and not get air bubbles. Put the mat down cover it with wax paper and roll out like crazy. If you try to coat the mat then put it on the air gets trapped, dry mat will let the resin flow through from inside out. Let it cure then sand it clean. You can gel coat it but I used the rustoleum marine paint on mine. It's been 5 yrs since I repaired mine and no cracks or leaks so far.

If you plan on going the paint route or re-gelling the whole thing I rcommend laying some additional tape and resin all along the keel. It gets the most wear between beaching on rocks and portaging it. The extra 4 or 5 oz is well worth the peace of mind.
vadslram is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 07-18-2011, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1993 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 587
what do you mean to epoxy to fill in the damaged area?

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
I-6, 42re, 249-->242 selec-trac swap, D30/D35
31x10.5, 3.5" IRO F>R, skids and tow hooks

Wanted: 93-95 Keyless entry fob

2tone93zj is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 07-18-2011, 10:37 PM
Registered User
rooster51's Avatar
1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 1,625
Fill the actual hole with epoxy.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rooster51 is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 07-19-2011, 03:45 AM
Registered User
1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: VA Beach
Posts: 9,436

any holes or cracks should get filled with epoxy. It will bond with the existing fiberglass and really do 80% of the repair. The glass and matt are to extend the repair out past damaged areas and back up the epoxy. If you have a through hole then glass both sides, it it's just a crack then you can do just the outside with mat and gel/paint the inside.
vadslram is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 07-19-2011, 10:51 AM
Registered User
2007 WK 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Outaouais
Posts: 720
It looks as though this boat needs a fair bit of work...

I'd remove the broken gunwhales and set them aside with the yoke/thwart/seats/deck plates for refinishing.

Then sand all damaged areas of the hull inside and out (random orbit works great) with 80-120 grit to remove the paint, cracked or peeling glass, gelcoat etc. and give you a nice surface on which to bond the new glass.

If you've never worked with glass/resin, you may want to experiment with a little first because it takes a bit of patience. Personally, I like the West Systems 105/205 stuff. Great quality. Make sure you mix it in a tin can, and not a platic or styrofoam container. Resin/Epoxy cures exothermically and will melt the cup if you're not careful. Always wear gloves and a good mask to keep the dust off your skin and out of your lungs. Wash up with cold water so your pores don't open up and get filled with glass dust....ask me how I know. It pays to cut your glass and matt before you mix, as cutting/sorting glass fibre with sticky fingers/scissors is brutal.

As for the ribs, they are usually aluminum or sometimes wood, and most likely cracked of bent inside the layers of the hull where you see cracking on the surface. Not much you can do about that unless you really want to tear the boat apart and try to lay it new ribs (NOT ADVISED IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST BBQ.) I'd use matt/chop to fill the hole in the keel and any others you find, and then 2-3 layers min. cloth over all the repaired areas. (FYI matt is for filler, cloth is for structure, resin is for bonding) You can lay multiple thin strips of cloth inside the hull over the broken ribs to add support, but depending on how much flex the boat has with the broken ribs, this solution may not last. Alternatively, you can lay one larger but thin patch around the cracked rib to seal the area, without adding a bulky patch that will separate when flexed.

Make sure to remove the bubbles as you go, and use as little resin as possible when laying the cloth. I like to use a cut up piece of a plastic jug as a squeejee to remove excess resin. After addressing the main problem areas, you'll probably want to reinforce the outside of the keel, the inside of the ribs, and the top of the hull where the gunwhales fasten with a little cloth (1-2 extra layers). I like to lay one layer at a time, let dry 24hrs min, sand (160-180), wipe clean and lay next layer. Some folks will lay multiple layers at once, but I've seen a repair job warp/change shape/crack because the thickness of resin/glass drying is too much. As far as finishing the repair, Gelcoat repair kits are available but pricely. I like to use exterior grade enamel. Its inexpensive, durable, comes in a wide array of colours and remains flexible when dry. To get the best finish, apply multiple coats starting with 3-5 ones thinned with Varsol.

Thats all I can think of off the top of my head, PM me if you have any questions. I have done this kind of thing to 20+ boats.
ruggedscotsman is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Jeep Forums Replies Last Post
canoe sailing??? kg4kzv Outdoor Recreation 4 07-13-2010 06:32 PM
canoe beer run cheapjeeps85 Outdoor Recreation 17 02-22-2010 07:39 AM
Canoe camping? sparkchaser Outdoor Recreation 23 03-02-2008 09:05 PM
Want to purchase first canoe Dvs_Lance General Discussion 6 03-28-2005 07:25 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome