BWCA Bulges in foam core hull Boundary Waters Group Forum: Boat Builders and Repair
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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Boat Builders and Repair
      Bulges in foam core hull     



01/18/2023 12:25PM  
Hello boat whisperers. I'm brand new to this forum because I just bought my first canoe. It's a little rough and needs some TLC, or whipping into shape.
Its foam core construction and was sold as "Kevlar". Actual identification of make and model has been elusive. It weighs in at 47 lbs so it is pretty light. Its at least 12 years or more old and taken some damage that was repaired. then it was totally repainted by a boy scout troop. So it is not the original color.
Problem is there are some delamination on the hull and some places feel pretty thin. other places seem pretty strong and tough. Overall it is about 3/8" thick
There are bubbles on the inside and outside. most of them correspond to the other side.
My theory is to start on the outside. Make an incision on the edge to get the tip of a caulking gun in there. Make another incision on the other edge to allow the air to escape. Then pump it full of Silkaflex ( construction adhesive sealant). and use sand bags to hold it in shape until it sets. Sand it all down to get rid of the "golf ball" texture and paint with a good oil based enamel
It is more about getting it well operating than trying to do a restoration.
Do you think this will work?

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distinguished member (174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/18/2023 04:08PM  
Congrats on your new canoe. If it floats, paddle it! How do you know it's foam core? From your pics, it looks like what you have is a rough wooden strip built boat - probably a 'home project' and the delaminations are bubbles popping up under the fiberglass that would have been applied over the wood hull. The wood gunnels are a pretty good tell also. Try doing a little stripping of the paint to see what's actually underneath it. These are typically hard boats to 'redo' so some simple repairs to get it presentable are pretty reasonable. I'd recommend cutting off the offending bubbles, sand smooth the adjacent areas wide enough for a fiberglass patch - I'd do two layers - the first on the size of the area, then one that overlaps by about 2 inches. Same for any thin areas. Paint to your desired color after all repairs are done. If it really is foam core, it looks like a homemade foam strip boat that may have been Kevlar covered originally. Either way, I think I'd proceed about the same. I don't think you'd get the bubbles to lay down satisfactorily, but maybe give it a try with the first one. The larger ones will probably be more problematic. Good luck!

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