Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Listening Point - General Discussion
      Kevlar canoe repair advice needed.     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

fishonfishoff
distinguished member(641)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 07:57AM  
I bought a Wenonah MN3 which was seriously abused by it's previous owner. Hopefully you great people can answer a few questions as I start the rescue project. My plan is not to make this vessel pristine but to make it trustworthy and seaworthy for weeklong BWCA trips.
It has a couple small holes which shouldn't present any major problems. There also is the big issue of where something came down hard across both gunwales causing the gunwales to bend and the sidewalls to buckle. I would like to take the gunwales off and straighten, then replace. Some of the rivets are coming loose and one is broken off in a side rib for the footrest.

1) Can the rivets be drilled out very carefully and replaced?
2) What weight kevlar cloth should I purchase?
3) Can the kevlar cloth be draped over the side of the buckles (gunwales off), then epoxied one side at a time (inside or outside)?
4) If the cloth is draped over the side, will I be able to slide the gunwales over the patch, or will it end up too thick?
5) Since this vessel is 21' long would your recommend just epoxying the entire outside plus the inside repair areas, or the entire outside and inside?
6) What would be a conservative amount of resin to purchase for this project?
7) What would be the best way to remove old outfitter decals?

THANKS A MILLION IN ADVANCE FROM OHIO,
FISHONFISHOFF
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Banksiana
distinguished member(2317)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 10:01AM  
When the damaged gunwales are removed (drill rivets, replace) it is likely the deformed composite will either settle into proper form or can be manipulated into form. I would suggest repair with fiberglass cloth over kevlar- it's easier to work (doesn't fray when sanded) and creates a stronger repair because the cloth wets completely. I think one piece of cloth about two inches wide along the crack on the inside of the hull will be more than sufficient. Gently rough up the outside of the hull around the crack and paint with resin.

You may be able to hand-straighten the gunwales while on the canoe. What have you got to lose?

The injury to the hull looks like it may have been the result of over-zealous use of ratchet straps......
 
fishonfishoff
distinguished member(641)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 11:33AM  
Banksiana:


You may be able to hand-straighten the gunwales while on the canoe. What have you got to lose?


The injury to the hull looks like it may have been the result of over-zealous use of ratchet straps......"

I thought about fiberglass but didn't know if it would be way more visible.

The dents seem more abrupt than ratchet straps, but you may be right.

I did try a little bit of straightening the gunwales but think I could do a better job by removing them.

Thanks for your reply, this is my first composite canoe repair attempt.
Fishonfishoff
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2317)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 11:53AM  
Fiberglass is transparent when properly wetted. Less visible than kevlar. Kevlar is more difficult to work with; the resin bonds with the surface of the fibers but does not penetrate them- if you sand into the fibers they fray and it is very difficult to make this go away. Kevlar canoes are lighter than fiberglass (for the most part) because they require less resin.
 
OtherBob
distinguished member (103)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2020 11:53AM  
The gunwales on one of our Souris Rivers got seriously bent when wrapped around a rock in fast water. Ordered a new set through Red Rock outside of Ely. I picked them up on a later BW trip. Joe was worried I would kink them, as they are very thin gauge aluminum. Ductaping them to the bottom of the canoe on my car rack kept them in fine shape back to the Twin Cities. Because of the gunwale fragility and because the boat without gunwales is very floppy, my brother drafted his wife and two kids to slip the new gunwales on and hold everything in place while he drilled new holes and riveted the replacements in place. What's the saying about "Many Hands"? You are going to need them. Good luck.
 
07/08/2020 04:48PM  
About 10-years ago I bought my first Wenonah from an outfitter. Like your boat, my gunwales were pretty beat up (with a few little bends... not as bad as yours). As soon as I drilled out all of the rivets the boat popped back into shape. I then straightedges the gunwales and riveted them back on.
More than likely you will not have to add fiberglass or kevlar cloth for those parts. But your best option is to email Wenonah directly. When I fixed mine they were extremely helpful and answered a lot of my questions. I have since refinished my canoe twice thanks to their helpfulness.
 
wheatbread
 
07/09/2020 08:56PM  
Hello all, I too have a question about a kevlar canoe repair. I recently acquired a wenonah kevlar canoe that was damaged during transit. Wenonah said to use polyester resin with fiberglass for the repair but everything I've read says epoxy is far superior. What is y'alls (yes I'm from Arkansas) recommendation?


 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2317)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/10/2020 09:27AM  
Choice of resin not as important as the care you take prepping (sanding and cleaning the area in which you apply the resin). I bought a Wenonah Advantage in 1986 that had been damaged (fairly severely) from a storm while in storage at a retailer. I repaired it with Bondo resin and glass from the hardware store. 33 years later the repair still holds.
 
wheatbread
 
07/12/2020 06:25PM  
It seems that the inside is straight kevlar, should I sand any in the inside of the canoe to prep the patch area?
 
07/12/2020 11:03PM  
Very gently. kevlar fuzzes easily, does not sand.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2317)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/13/2020 09:42AM  
In order to get a good bond any surface you apply the resin to must be roughed up with sandpaper. The trick is to rough up the existing resin without cutting through to the cloth.
 
07/14/2020 09:01AM  
It looks just like how my canoe looked after the ratchet strap tail let loose wrapped into my tire and pulled the canoe right into the top of my van/crossbars.

I replaced both gunnels with new ones. It was not too hard and fixed the holes with kevlar patch and resin. Yes I drilled out the rivet and used new rivets to replace gunnels. Got the gunnels from a canoe shop in St. Paul. I don't think they are still there.

Good luck.
 
wheatbread
 
07/14/2020 10:06AM  
schuetpa: "It looks just like how my canoe looked after the ratchet strap tail let loose wrapped into my tire and pulled the canoe right into the top of my van/crossbars.


I replaced both gunnels with new ones. It was not too hard and fixed the holes with kevlar patch and resin. Yes I drilled out the rivet and used new rivets to replace gunnels. Got the gunnels from a canoe shop in St. Paul. I don't think they are still there.


Good luck. "


What resin did you use? Did you use epoxy?
 
RedLakePaddler
senior member (83)senior membersenior member
 
07/14/2020 10:41AM  
I repaired a well used outfitter Itasca. I replaced the gunwales and straighten the kinks using a heat gun carefully. I repaired the cracked spots with kelvar, should have used fiberglass because it took several coats of resin to smooth it out. I used vinyl ester resin for the repair. You can use epoxy for the repair on a vinyl ester boat but vinyl ester will not adhere to epoxy. A good source for materials and resin is Express Composite in Minneapolis MN. They are very helpful.

Carl
 
mrballast
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
07/17/2020 09:47PM  
1. Yes
2. The lightest you can, or just use small bits of fiberglass.
3 & 4. That will bee too thick, and as someone said removing gunwales will likely minimize need to add cloth. Just sand and reapply resin. (In fact, if there isnt a breach or cracked rib I wouldnt add cloth.)
5. Repairs only inside, and repairs and below waterline only outside.
6. I dont purchase resin conservatively, but I do use it that way.
7. Good question. Is that necessary?

All opinions, some experiance, no pro tips here. Good luck.
 
07/18/2020 07:50AM  
Here is the link to my post about refinishing my Canoe it might give you some ideas. As others have said, call Wenonah they can help a lot.

Have fun!!!

Link
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Listening Point - General Discussion Sponsor:
Seagull Outfitters