canoe repair help

-- Last Updated: Jun-14-10 6:20 PM EST --

I am new to this site and want to say hello to everybody. I started to kayak with my wife and found a canoe in fair shape so I picked it up for fishing. I need help with this canoe since I don't know much about how to repair them. Here is the problem.

16' fiberglass canoe, unknown maker.

1) It looks like the canoe was stored on a wall and
it fell over. The aluminum gunwale is pushed in and I need to bend it back out. There are no kinks in the gunwale so I would like any sugestions on how to push out the gunwale. It looks like the fiberglass will pop back out when the gunwale is straightened. Do I need to replace it? If I do can I use the composite black gunwales I see on other canoes?

2) one of the end caps of the gunwale is missing. Where can I find parts if I don't know the MFG of the canoe?

3) Want to sand and paint the canoe because it is painted black and it's a really bad job.

Thanks for the help and I will check back to see any replies.

Composite black gunwales? On
the black paint, it is probably better to use a stripper than to sand it.

Probably you are correct that the FG will pop back out when you pull out the gunwale. There may be some damage to the cloth or chopper gun FG along the margin of the popped in zone. And there may be fiberglass itchies created in the process. Wear gloves and maybe an old shirt as you wrestle the boat back into form. Examine the FG pop zone, feel it, and consider whether some cloth and epoxy reinforcement is needed. Let us know, and we’ll try to guide you through it.

The aluminum gunwale may need to be pushed or wrestled past its original contour in order to settle back where it belongs. Possible you will need to remove a thwart or two to do this. I hope the original gunwales will serve, because replacements will cost and I question whether that cost will be justified.

pipe clamps
I would try using the type of pipe clamps that can be used for either compression or distraction. Use at least a couple and gradually “jack” them out a little at a time. If the gunwale is hollow, if you can somehow fill it with sand (like playground sand) before hand, it will reduce the likelihood of the gunwale crimping. A lot of hollow aluminum gunwales are open at the ends underneath the deck plates.

Yes, and it might be good to add some
wood along the “good” gunwale where the pipe clamp’s other end is bearing. This would avoid a point force that could damage the opposite gunwale.

One could also use clamps and boards to straighten the bent gunwale, starting where it is bent more. Kind of like using pliers to clamp down on bends in a piece of wire, gradually straightening it.

Of course, on the river, we don’t bother with such niceties. One person stands the boat on edge, and the other stomps on the gunwale and the FG bubble.

Thanks I’ll give it a try. I will also try the paint stripper.