Hello, first time poster, long time paddler.
I've been paddling mostly solo a Penobscot 17 in some downriver WW races and Class II-III with some occasional IV drops (often not successfully). I have been looking for a shorter solo for river running and to make the WW more enjoyable. I just acquired a used '88 Mad River ME. It's just the kind of canoe I had been looking for and I was very excited to find it. I was leary of the condition of the royalex. The owner said it was mostly stored inside but some summers (whatever that means)it was stored under a shade tree by the water. I looked at the hull pretty carefully and didn't see any signs of obvious delamination or fatigue. The worst the hull had were some minor gouges and the usual scratches:
Anyway, I bought it happily. It is otherwise in very good shape and came with some servicable air bags and knee pads. I have subsequently built my own pedestal, redone the lines, varnished the thwarts and carry handles, and moved the center thwart. So, I took it for my maiden voyage on my local Class 2-3+ run that was raging from recent storms. Everything was going great until I hit this:
Now the side of my new boat looks like this:
So, after my initial heartache, I've thought about repairing it. I've read a lot here and elsewhere and it seems like a several layers of s-glass or kevlar fabric using GFlex insides, plus maybe another one or two layers outside could fix this. However, then I started worrying that the royalex might be compromised on this old boat and it might not be wortht it. This was the first impact I gave the boat, but to be fair, it was a very big impact that sent me swimming. I'm not sure my much newer Penobscot would have faired any better. So, before I spend a lot of $ and time fixing this I want some advice whether it's worth repairing it. I'd hate to have this happen again next time I hit something in the river.
If I should repair it, my questions are these:
1. Kevlar or S-glass?
2. How many layers inside and how many outside?
3. Should I cut away all the broken royalex and tape some cardboard over the outside of the hole (with wax paper) and begin the repair from the inside, OR should I straight all that broken stuff out and tape it temporarily to be part of the repair?
4. For a hole this large, how far beyond the cracks should I extend the patch.
If the answer turns out that I should plant peonies in it, please help me find a similar boat. You would really make a downtrodden paddler feel better. I'm in Maine, for what it's worth.
thanks for the help!