Canoe Hard Cover?

Are there any examples out there of hard covers for canoes? I know I’ve seen lots of images of expedition canoes with dogs standing on the cover, appearing to be rigid. It doesn’t look like something is rigid beneath the cover (like a wannigan).

Something light, with supports, like poly sheeting?

Obviously it would be easy to make some angle brackets to hold a section of plywood on gunwales. I’m interested in something a little more innovative as examples, and if anyone does this?

Thanks in advance!

thick to Tampa…

yeah I have bow covers to the first thwart for Rendezvous and Solo Plus hulls. Covers are Home Depot Basic Paneling with 3 coats Rustoleum screwed to gunwales with #8ss at 8".

Covers butt to the first roof support. Pictures are in Padnet forums. The application is aerodynamic efficiency. Hulls sit on a plywood platform on QuicknEasy supports with side covers and a large airfoil on roof beyond windshield top.

There is a vinyl foam board at 3/16ths- ? possibly applicable for a hull cover…I do not know abt the waterproofness of such you would need to look. Vinyl may be waterproof but the board system may not.

but the covers are tight and taut

These are probably what you saw from Northwater

Lookslike those…!Kentucky Lake/zoom/c1ise/image1jwc

If you check the above link I think it is that cover…but maybe he does have something beneath it? This is from the Wild Raven Adventure website.

Thanks for the input!

how about

Cutlass vinyl hung from strapping gunwale to gunwale ? Fabric



is the Raven equipped with AC ?

how about

Cutlass vinyl hung from strapping gunwale to gunwale ? Fabric



is the Raven equipped with AC ?

there are other spray covers
Cooke Custom Sewing makes some good ones with snaps though he designs a little give for lumpy loads that stick up a bit.

Make your own.
When I bought my Sojourn, the PO had added extended decks on both ends. BTW, he had foam splash guards glued to the top to deflect water to sides. He was running rivers with it that I would not, so I took them off. I initially assumed those decks were kydex - which would work if you can find a supplier with big enough sheets, but I haven’t looked into that. Turns out these were actually sheets of some kind of composite (woven fabric and resin). Black in color - carbon? They’re pretty light and stiff.

Kaz uses kevlar sheets for decks (small, but no reason they couldn’t be bigger). No reason I can think of why you couldn’t make your own from your choice of material.

Ply, SOF

– Last Updated: Jul-18-15 3:31 PM EST –

You could consider making a cambered luaun ply top, with a minimal frame to put the camber in it and allow it to be connected to the gunwales. It could be done in a single piece or as a 4-panel deck a la Pygmy boats kayak decks.

Even easier might be to make a tensioned stick frame and cover it with ballistic nylon and goop, as in the construction of SOF kayaks. I would give that a camber as well, to shed water and enhance strength. It would be light and tough, and could be done in any shape you like.

not a hard cover

– Last Updated: Jul-20-15 8:24 PM EST –

The cover in the photo is a heavy-duty coated fabric cover. It looks like a very rugged design, probably overkill for most folks. I don't see anything that looks like supports under it. A well-designed and well-made cover doesn't need them, although if you wanted to give the cover a little bit of an arch you would need them.

Hard decks, either permanently mounted or detachable, are pretty easy to make. My first solo canoe cover was one I made out of cedar strips, fiberglass, and epoxy. I made that one just to see if I noticed any difference in the wind between a cover and no cover. All of my covers since then have been fabric covers - they are easier to put on and take off and they are pretty compact when they aren't on the boat.

thick is the cambered Luan ?

and who supplies composite sheets ?

I’m curious -
what kind of paddling are you planning to do with a hard cover?

I think…
… if I remember correctly, the marine ply (fancy luaun guaranteed to have no voids) that Pygmy and Chesapeake use for their stitch and glue hulls is 4 mm. Don’t think I’d do that myself, I would try SOF first.

its not a hard cover
I have seen them. They are an expedition cover commonly used in the Arctic and on big big water.

Why plywood?
Yikes the potential for rot. hard to drain. Heavy. Marine ply holds up well but its a SOB heavy You are better off making decks out of duct tape.

Which is somewhat common on races in whitewater here.

Some light tripping (3-5 days), and weekend trips. Nothing bigger than class 2, 2-.

I will end up making my own because the price for custom is very high for me. I’m sure it’s worth the money if you take long trips often in conditions that warrant a full cover, and I don’t.

A hard cover between stern and thwart offer nice platform for dog to stand on too, and not be on my gear.

Thanks everyone
I’m going to try to make a soft cover from a waterproof party canvas someone was throwing out first.

I’ll try to make a center hard cover section for the dog out of one of those roll-up camp tables. That way I can roll up the hard portion when needing to carry gear, and not have an awkward piece to manage.

Dog above the gunwhales
is not going to help with stability…I’m just saying’…

Yep - planning on it.
He’s 50 lbs and I have my gear in canoe. My ride is not tippy anyhow. He sits on seat and climbs on gunwales already to get a view. Maybe this will at least let him feel more comfortable laying in one spot if it gives him the full view.

Claude’s Decked Rendezvous
I ran into a fellow on the river who had decked his Rendezvous. Apparently this guy works in marine carpentry. He described the build to me. One detail that stood out was that to reduce weight he had waffle-routed the underside of the ply, which I think was CLC-supplied Okoume plywood to begin with. Besides being a master woodworker, he is a whitewater racer, and my impression was that the whole rig was light.

He also made the pictured paddles and the push pole.