Bell Northstar Rehab

No. If the seat frames are patterned after the stock Bell seats, the wider (looking from the top) seat frame, which has a bit of radiused chamfer at the front edge, is intended to go in the front.



I prepped and began filling in several spots with epoxy. I was hoping to fill them, then sand the entire hull, but it was time consuming just focusing on these spots. I’m not concerned with perfect fairing. And I can always do that after a blanket coat.

I was thinking 3 thin coats of epoxy. Overkill?

I was also thiking about epoxying over the decals? Any issue with that?

As always, thanks.

Btw, I taped off around the spots I filled. I was pretty aggressive with the sanding in those spots because of the spider cracks. It looks like the penetrating epoxy did the trick in filling most of the bad stuff. Plus I wanted a lip of sorts. Not sure I would so that again. It was a pain to remove (even before the epoxy had cured)

I have not applied epoxy over decals. I suspect you could do so but there really isn’t much reason to do so I have not tried it. I have usually applied two coats of penetrating epoxy but if it looks as if you still have surface imperfections you could apply a third. But I would probably apply one or two coats of clear marine varnish instead which will protect the epoxy from UV degradation.

Thanks, pblanc. I’m gonna spend more time fairing before I apply a final two coats. Thanks fo the marine varish suggestion.

Ok. I spent the weekend sanding and applying 2 universal coats of epoxy. (And removing gummy tape from my gunwales because the tape I used was too thin. Next time, 3 layers, not one!!)

The boat is ready for me to enjoy and I will spend the winter fairing a few more spots, wet sanding and buffing).

A couple more questions.

  1. Can I use Helmsman Spar Urethane as a final coat?

  2. If I wet sand the existing epoxy, do I need to apply another coat to return the shine? Or can the shine be restored using urethane, varnish or buffing?

One thing I would change next time is doing it indoors, given the pollen and kamikaze bugs. Tweezers helped


I think your boat looks really good. I would be proud of your efforts.

Helmsman Spar Urethane will work fine. Mike McCrea who is known to many who were members of this forum and the old paddling dot net message board did a test with various types of marine varnishes, epoxies, and urethane products on panels of wood left outdoors exposed to sun and followed the results. Most epoxies deteriorated significantly within a few months subjected to daily, continuous UV exposure. Note that most canoes do not receive that type of abuse but boats that are frequently car topped long distances may get pretty significant UV exposure to the hull exterior within a few years. In Mike’s test Helmsman Spar urethane fared surprisingly well and proved more durable than many high zoot marine varnishes.

Anything that is relatively low viscosity and levels well will fill and hide find sanding marks. If after wet sanding your hull you spray it with a hose and it looks good, it should look equally good after applying a coat of urethane or varnish.

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Pblanc, thanks for all the sound and steady advice. You have now helped me save two nice canoes. I will paddle my “new to me Northstar” on the Delaware this weekend, will take a few photos, and report back. I’m curious to see how it compares to the Swift Kipawa I used to own.