Canoe redoing help

Hello all,

I just joined today after doing some searching online for canoe forums I found this one and it seems to be the most active out of the ones I found.

A little introduction since I’m new here. My name is Eric and I live in the Kansas City area. My wife and I have two girls 4 and 1. I’ve owned a Triumph TR-6 for 17 years.

Now on to the canoe. My family owned it while I was growing up. We moved and ga e it to a neighbor. A few years ago I wanted someone to get on the water. I asked our old neighbor about the canoe and they said we could have it. Now my in-laws own a lake house on a small private lake. We’ve been looking at John/Jon boats and it got me thinking. Why don’t I fix up the canoe and take it there? Now that’s a good idea. My wife laughed when I told her that. Maybe she knows something and like always I don’t know better. Haha.

The canoe is a 13’ Delhi canoe from Delhi mfg Corp. it’s gonna need some work and fiberglass repair. It does currently float. There’s lots of spider cracks along with a few places that will need to be patched. I’ve never worked with fiberglass before but after watching a couple YouTube videos it doesn’t look that hard. I’m going to attach pictures if I can being a first time poster. I think pictures 2-9 will need to be the major fiberglass repairs. Pic 2 and 3 are on one end. Pics 4 and 5 are on the other end. I definitely need some advice on redoing those ends. Without much digging it looks like foam or something is underneath the fiberglass. Pics 5-9 will probably be part of the big repairs. Cutting a hole in the fiberglass is a little intimidating but doesn’t look to difficult to complete. Maybe that’s what I need to do. Of course I’ll need some feedback on this part. The other pictures are just spider cracks throughout the exterior of the hull. I’ll need some advice on those as well. Maybe I need to go back and rewatch a few YouTube videos and take notes to help me remember.

Thank you in advance for all the helpful hints and pep talk.


Good for you for seeking ways to have family fun together. All the pictured damage is repairable with basic skills, time and cost of materials. However to me, 13 feet is too small for 2 adults, 2 kids, gear and possibly a motor. Can you borrow or rent a 16 or so footer for some trial runs on local waters to gain some experience being on the water together?

Thanks Andy for the response. My intentions aren’t for the whole family to go out on the canoe all at the same time. The in-laws have a boat. The canoe would primarily be used by me to go fishing down on the shallow end of the lake where I don’t want to drive their boat.

Not sure it is worth fixing… Those end tanks are flotation tanks… Foam filled… If that foam gets wet it degrades and sloughs off… Then when you capsize with no flotation the canoe will sink… to the bottom. Those tanks needs to be examined to see if the foam is still good and then taped with glass tape.
Others will be along with instructions for sanding and removing the oxidized gel coat and then painting and reinforcing from the inside with more glass… Are there any other soft spots?

Glass particles are a respiratory hazard so take precautions.

Too far gone. It could be repaired, but the time, money, end product and availability of decent used canoes at good prices would make it a fool’s errand.

Stated more gently, if you love DIY and have plenty of time , go for it. That is a lot of exposure to chemicals, dust, and glass fibers.
Put some good soil in it and make it a planter.

The first thing to do is take a pressure washer to it. If there is de-lamination in the glass, it will always be a dangerous ride. If no holes get blown out, it might be worth repair.

I would epoxy a layer of glass cloth on the outside and then use a good paint on it. Use the extra cloth to cover the split places on the inside, after filling with epoxy thickened with either wood flour of silicone.

Drill an inch and half, or so, hole in each flotation tank to check the expanded foam. If it has gone bad pour in some new and patch the holes with a couple of layer of glass cloth.

RAKA is the cheapest place to buy epoxy and glass cloth.

It would be cheaper and easier to search pawn shops and want adds for something else, as a 13 foot boat only has enough flotation for an adult and small child.

Thank you everyone for the comments. I was doing some research online. I can find a used canoe on Facebook for around $300. If I did a whole outside of the canoe like Craigf said that probably be around $20 for the cloth and $40 for the resin. A can of spray foam is $30. Gelcoat is $50. Marine paint is probably another $50. Those numbers are just an estimate I have in my head. Plus whatever misc cost comes into play. Either way that’s almost $200 right there if those number are even close. Let me know if those numbers are really far off or if it’d be closer to $500.

Plus my time which who knows how many hours it’ll take to complete this task. I could either find a jon boat or another canoe for that without that much work. I could always put it online for $50 and see if someone wants it.

The great decisions of being an adult.