I have an Old Town Discovery 158. Its a great boat, and I really love it, but its geting older and older. I broke my femur in November, and the canoe has been sitting in the sun ever since. I just started using it again and I’ve noticed that the bottom is pretty worn. Its very scratched and is covered with tiny cracks (I think from UV). It doesn’t leak at all, but I’ve been wanting to seal it or refinish it with some type of paint or sealant. I’m not at all sure what products to use for this or the procedure. Any advice? Thanks a lot!
My old town did that
About 4 years ago my old town canoe started to show something that looked like tiny cracks but it never leaked. Closer inspection revealed that they were not actually cracks, they were just tiny tiny white lines crazed over the whole exterior surface of the boat. It took it as a sign that the end was near and I drill the boat to add a sailing rig. I’ve been sailing it and bashing rocks with it for the last few years with out an actual crack yet.
Once the boat actually leaks and becomes brittle it is time to take it to the recycler or the dump, but in the mean time just watch it and use it and coat it with some 303 once a year.
If that outer layer is polyethylene
then nothing is going to stick well to it. But as Frank pointed out, the “cracks” may just be surface crazing. Using 303 and keeping the boat out of the sun most of the time should allow you to use it a long time.
There is an inverse relationship between strength and repairability. The most physically durable boats tend to be those least susceptible to repair or refurbishing. Wood-canvas and “glass” boats are more easily damaged, and may deteriorate faster just lying around in the open, but both are more repairable and more susceptible to refurbishing. I think Old Town polylink boats are very good choices for people who don’t want to sustain damage and don’t want to have much routine maintenance, but there is that tradeoff…