65yr old kayak?

Canoes, Kayaks, Pedal power

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65yr old kayak?

Post by B984rnr »

I recently inherited my grandfathers boat. He built it about 65 years ago in high school. It is a wood frame with a fabric skin. The fabric appears to be canvas with some type of paint/epoxy on it. I'm working on restoring it and was curious what paint/coating would be good to seal the canvas again?


Post by upspirate »

check the posts under:


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Post by B984rnr »

What I'm finding implies that "GEODETIC: is referring mostly to the type of framework used. is that correct?

Maybe I'm just missing where there is better information about these.

Thanks for the help.


Post by upspirate »

I don't know anything about these,but I have looked at some of the links on that thread & I saw some references to "skinning" & skin materials & that's what I thought may be helpful

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Post by DonBing »

I don't know anything about this either but you might consider looking at the 'Wood and Canvas Canoe' book offered by Glen-L. See their books and videos section.


Aaron B
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Post by Aaron B »

"Geodetic" is just the name for a specific skin-on-frame design. The short answer to your question is, ballistic nylon, heat shrunk with sunlight or a warm iron, covered with 2-part polyurethane. Check the Geodetic thread for links to the Umyak at the Center for Wooden Boats. viewtopic.php?t=3804

Pick up Building Skin-On-Frame Boats by Robert Morris or Building the Greenland Kayak by Christopher Cunningham. Both have detailed instructions on skinning, and have a list of appropriate materials, pros and cons.

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Canvas covered kayak

Post by Antiqua »

If the original kayak was built with plain canvas it would probably have been finished with a rubber based paint. Although in theory any good exterior paint will do the job of waterproofing the result will tend to be brittle.

Your should be able to find a good cheap rubber or similar flexible roofing paint and this should do the job. If the canvas is still sound then there is no need to re-cover the Kayak.

Some kayaks were built with rubber impregnated canvas and the surface may have perished. A coating of rubberised paint may restore it.

Best of luck.

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kayak skins

Post by steveduhamel65 »

I just finished building a 12 ft kayak for my wife and i used 1/4 plywood for the bottom and sides as for the top i used mahogany door skins and this worked great you could also use the 1/4 inch ply for the top as well hope this helps you out if you have any questions pm me and i can send pics and help you through the job.

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Post by stumpy »

I'd plan on re-skinning. the average life span for a canvas skin is around 5 years, and I hate getting out in the water and havimg to swim back. You can get 600 denier cordura nylon on ebay very cheap, but it's only 60" wide, so you may have to be creative if the girth is greater than that. I ended up having to insert a triangle on the foredeck of my first kayak, but have since trimmed the designs down so the 60" is fine.
I've used two part poly, as well as oil and water based polyurethanes for sealing, and the next one I plan on using system three catalized water borne poly. I like the way the water borne products seem to shrink the skin nice and tight, but you have to scrub it into the skin on the fist coat, to make sure you get good penetration.

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