Advice on cutting hole in canoe

I am hoping to use an old barge of a fibreglass canoe as a raised bed planter in the garden, once the snow is gone. Ideally I would like to cut out the bottom so that there is ample drainage. There is a little warning bell telling me that perhaps cutting fibreglass is difficult. Is it? Can I use an ordinary jigsaw?

Thanks for any advice.

Not difficult
but wear long sleeves, eye protection and a mask.

Cutting FG is very itchy scratchy nasty.

Uh, maybe not good to put fiberglass
anywhere near growing vegetables.

When that stuff gets older, sun exposed, and starts to deteriorate and shed fibers, it is extremely painful when they get under your skin, and you can pick it up just by touching it. And you can’t see them.

Based on my experiences with touching older fiberglass electric fence posts, and another old fiberglass object, there is no way I would want that stuff in the soil nor any possibility of accidentally ingesting it.

.45 loaded with wad cutters.

May not be such a bad idea

– Last Updated: Apr-09-15 10:21 AM EST –

First, he's talking about a planter, not a vegetable garden. People use planters for ornamental stuff.

Second, lots of fiberglass boats have been sitting unused in back yards for 30 or 40 years, and probably longer. In most cases there is still no danger of picking up micro-splinters from them. I think it depends on the quality of the boat. I have a VERY cheap fiberglass boat (chopper-gun layup) that was mostly unused and sitting out in the sun for about 20 years. Its finish coat had chalked after all that time, and it was easy to get splinters stuck in your skin when coming in firm contact with the hull. You could see micro-splinters shining in the sun if you looked closely, but that was still a far cry from "shedding" splinters to the point that they'd contaminate the surroundings. I use it fairly often now, so I gave the sun-exposed parts of the hull a good rub-down with a denim rag. That was about six years ago and to this day it's still impossible to pick up splinters even from very firm skin contact with the hull.

One P-netter that I won’t name…
… used that very method to put drain holes in a canoe planter. Actually, I can’t swear that he used a 0.45, but firearms were involved.

how do you like them apples?

– Last Updated: Apr-09-15 10:51 AM EST –

Fruit tree and veggie growers often use fiberglass stakes.

If he's truly worried about it, he could just coat the entire canoe in a creosote tar sealant.


All kidding aside, I do agree as it crumbles and deteriorates, it'll become a mess and I wouldn't do it either. But aren't those fallen-over barrels and old rowboats with petunias spilling out of them supposed to resemble an old relic? Not my thing but different strokes.

Maybe we need to invent and market old rotting barrels and rowboats that are really made of recycled sustainable plastic.

Should be sufficient…
Set canoe on side.

Step back 25 feet from canoe.

Put one round in bottom center of hull, one in bow end, and one in stern end.

Use .12 gauge shotgun, loaded with 00 buckshot.

Should be quite sufficient for drainage.

Line inside of canoe with weed barrier.

Fill canoe with dirt.

Plant flowers NOT vegetables.

I think an old, aluminum beater would be better…

Have seriously considered that as yard art.

Wife says no!


Flower bed
Thanks for the comments. The canoe will be a raised flower bed, so no concerns about fibreglass ingestion. It is a long way from breakdown and stranding though - this was one tough boat. I expect to go through a few jig saw blades…

holes ? with an electric drill and bit ?

composite and poly bits are available

heating a uh 16d framing nail held with vice grips into a eg Coleman propane stove head to black smokin’ then pushing into the fiberglass would do it.

I’d use a hole saw
in a 1/2 corded drill. Hang on and let it rip. You’ll be done in half an hour.

I have used a chain saw to cut a fiber glass hot tub for disposal.

Cut like butter. Also saws all on fiberglass boat. Don’t push too hard and one blade on a jig saw should do it. Just don’t get on or in you.

Spade Bit
I turned a Dagger Caper into a worm farm after it cold cracked for the last time. I used a spade bit in my electric drill and was done in 20 minutes! Worked great!

I used to build fiberglass sailboats. It is an easy material to work with any powertool. Dust is a problem. You do not want to breathe it and you don’t want it on your skin. If I were you I would drill some big holes in the bottom and call it good.

Don’t forgot the gloves, splinters hurt
and are impossible to get out.