Hello, new user and new canoe enthusiast here.
Yesterday I bought a second hand fibreglass canoe. My aim is to take out my wife and son on short day trips on tranquil waters for a bit of a paddle. The rest of the time the canoe will be stored at my house under a roof (dry).
I’ll start by saying I know basically nothing about maintenance of a canoe and I’m not very knowledgeable about DIY.
The canoe I bought is a 16ft fibreglass Roseco (Australian manufactured) canoe built around 1985. I took it out on the water today and it was fantastic. The fibreglass shell looks to be in great condition, however there is some damage to the gel coat (I think that’s what it is?) on the hull, and some spider cracks and splintering on the inside. I am currently concerned about the hull - the inside can wait. I am looking to get the hull fixed up for as cheaply as possible.
Here is the canoe with my son looking very happy about it:
There are some cracks, holes and splinters on the hull. Here are some pics:
There are also these small nicks on the bottom, I think they may be from stones?
Firstly, I think that this damage would not really effect the use of my canoe, and I could leave them if I wanted? If someone could clarify that would be great.
However, I am keen to fix the hull up, as I think it would look nicer and perhaps last longer, I’m not sure.
From some googling and reading forums, here is what I think I should do:
For the holes and larger cracks I should fill them with something called Bondo (??) or use a gel coat repairer (something like this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/500gm-Gelcoat-Putty-kit-Fibreglass-Repairs-White-FREIGHT-PER-DESCRIPTION-/141092452897?hash=item20d9c3fa21:g:3NYAAOSwyjBW8daF). I could use this but I think it is expensive: http://3mmarine.com/3m-marine-premium-filler-46006.html
For the spider cracks I can ignore them or perhaps use this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MagicEzy-Hairline-Fix-Repair-Gelcoat-Cracks-on-your-Boat-RV-Jet-Ski-more-/252669761755?var=&epid=1061070259&hash=item3ad44a98db:m:m7u-PpJhiN0v7HGK2CZ7Q0Q
I could re-do the gel coat, however that would be a lot of work and expensive, and probably beyond my skill level. The majority of the coat is still looking good, so instead I think I should paint the hull with a marine paint like Rustoleum: http://www.rustoleum.com.au/product-catalog/consumer-brands/marine-coatings/topside-paint I’ve read that you should use topside paint on Canoes as they are not in the water long enough to require underside paint. Is that correct? One person said that you can just use paving paint on canoes to save money? Something like this: https://www.bunnings.com.au/white-knight-1l-white-heavy-duty-ultra-pave_p1540598 Would that work?
Some advice from you canoe pros would be appreciated!