Aluminum Michicraft Project

I live in a part of Pennsylvania where camouflage is the uniform of the day, and I see more camo canoes & kayaks than anything else … nut none quite as ugly as mine. Don’t ask me about the wretched artwork; I didn’t do it. The turquoise squiggles confuse me. But she doesn’t leak due to some really ugly, but apparently effective remedies.

This summer, the multitude of storms that passed through took a couple swipes at her, blowing her off her horses and then breaking a branch off of a tree and crunching the stern on the starboard side.

Photos of the beautiful boats here have inspired me to do something about the visual state of this boat. It’ll never be pristine again, but I can make her really shine. Here she is in her current state after stripping most of the hull.

Today, I’ll attempt to massage out the large crinkles at the stern. Progress photos later.

Well kudos to you but you see the planter in the picture? It might be better to add to your planter collection… I have nothing against utility canoes but that one has been wrapped and straightened as much as it can be… It will never perform better than a floating raft. The middle is lower than the ends… hogged. This makes the boat much harder to turn than it should be.

I don’t mean to be rude but I have seen lots of boats like that and their best performance feature was as a compost bin…We used to run a camp that rented boats and after a while and a number of mishaps by renters thats what we did with them

Yours does float however and it would be OK for fishing… Check all the rivets carefully… Leaks often start there.

Well, gee whiz, if all that’s true, maybe I shouldn’t have performed any work on these …

Don’t worry, I’ll check the rivets, and by the time she launches again, she won’t be hogged anymore :wink:

Hmmm… What sort of weaponry will you be installing? Deck guns? Torpedo launchers?

The last canoe I owned had been painted flat black by the previous owner. That would certainly complete the look.

I’ll be interested to see how you revive this old classic - even if you forego the machine guns.

Oh, and I think I found what they were trying to blend in with when doing that camo job:

Deck guns and torpedoes! That would sure come in handy for those pesky full throttle bass boats!

@Sparky961 said:
Oh, and I think I found what they were trying to blend in with when doing that camo job:

I think you’ve got it! :smiley:

Port gunwale kink removal.



Looking a bit better. I’ll work on this a little more later.

This wrinkle will be a bit more challenging.

Deck is off. Yuck!


What a place for a mouse to make a house! I’ll fill that up with Great Stuff and trim it to shape.


Inboard shot of the wrinkle.

That’s it for today. Back to the indoor shop to make some custom dent pulling tools.

Uh - is that how big choppers are fixed too? :wink:

We didn’t get to reinstalling the rivets yet. :wink:

What were they thinking with that color scheme? That poor canoe! Kudos to you, Schuylkill, for trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Am betting you’ll succeed.

Ha! I don’t know … funny thing is, no one has ever said anything about the paint. It’ll still show plenty of battle scars, but at least it’ll shine.

I think it used to be a rental canoe, having the four seats and this number 3 I found beneath the paint.

You can get $ for aluminum scrap.

I just caught this thread, was away for the wknd in the land of almost no web services. Granted my expertise in older canoes is thin to none. But this one doesn’t come down to knowing a lot about canoes.

IMO this is about recognizing the work that someone is willing to do to restore a craft and be able to get on the water rather than whether others would choose the boat for themselves.

As to getting rid of it… I don’t how many people here have tried the recycling route the last year. But the price for mixed metals and the outlets to get rid of oddball stuff has dropped thru the floor since China stopped paying good prices for our junk the beginning of this year. The last time I dropped off a load of mixed metals I got almost the price of the gas to drive it there. Happily I live in a city and we have guys cruising the alleys that will pick up mixed metals and aggregate them for a useful load. The suburbs tend to frown on piles of crap left out.

If a boat can be gotten ready paddle I applaud it.

If this was someone trying to turn an ancient home-made fiberglass WW boat into a sea kayak to go on an long cruise, I would first out of the door saying it was not worth effort. But that is not what this is. It is someone who obviously has a lot of skills for this purpose and is sensible. This keeps a boat out of the junk heap - it is a good thing.

@Schuylkill said:
Well, gee whiz, if all that’s true, maybe I shouldn’t have performed any work on these …

Don’t worry, I’ll check the rivets, and by the time she launches again, she won’t be hogged anymore :wink:

And how will you do that? Inquiring mind wants to know… I wrapped an old alu Grummy and no amount of jumping on it would make it come back to level… Something needed to lift the stems and push down in the middle…

Also re the end fold… as its going to be weak at that fold how can you reinforce it?

Our folded Grumman still floats but with the assistance of much bondo. Its now gone from heavy to dead heavy

@kayamedic said:

@Schuylkill said:
Don’t worry, I’ll check the rivets, and by the time she launches again, she won’t be hogged anymore :wink:

And how will you do that? Inquiring mind wants to know… I wrapped an old alu Grummy and no amount of jumping on it would make it come back to level… Something needed to lift the stems and push down in the middle…

Good grief, don’t jump on your boat! You’re supposed to be kind to it!

No, not the stems. That would risk crinkling and destroying the entire canoe. The straight parts of the aluminum keel have to be supported as well as the sides of the braces inside, otherwise they could be forced through the skin destroying the hull. Forces a slight percentage higher than the forces that hogged the hull will be gently but firmly applied in the opposite direction.

Also re the end fold… as its going to be weak at that fold how can you reinforce it?

It won’t be very weak at all. That heat treated aluminum is very tough stuff. No reinforcements will be needed.

Our folded Grumman still floats but with the assistance of much bondo. Its now gone from heavy to dead heavy

Yes, Bondo is very heavy.

Anything man can make … man can repair…

I would restore the flotation and seal any leaks, but otherwise leave it as is. It would surely be a top contender in nearly any “ugly boat” competition.

It would also be good for one of those downriver trips with a god-awful carry at the take-out that you really didn’t want to haul a canoe over.