Canoe repair

My canoe has a very bad case of dry rot! The wooden bow and trim are in very bad condition. Does anyone know how to repair this? I live in Tucson,AZ now and was wondering if there are any businesses that might know how to repair this problem in the Tucson or Phoenix areas? Thanks.

Have you removed the gunnels?
You should post some pictures of the wood in question (preferably removed from the boat if it’s the gunnels/deck plates. I don’t think anyone can really help without pics.

Bow ?? … are you talking about …
… the deck cap (triangular flat, faces uowards) ??

Or are you talking about the Bow meaning the front end of the canoe having sides , stem (the vertical V) ??

Is your canoe (the hull) a wooden canoe or some other material ??

If you are strickly talking about wooden trims on a “non-wooden” hull , and they are rotted , you will probably want to fabricate new pieces to replace the rotted ones . It’s just wood working . A good finish carpenter could do it …

If there is much rot, it’s probably best to replace these wooden parts. If it’s an Old Town, you can probably get the parts pre-made from the company. Perhaps other brands would also have parts for you. If not, you need to make them, or find someone to do that.

To find skilled canoe repair, you might try through the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association (WCHA) on their website,


2nd the WCHA; nice crowd at Trap Pond
Folks over on that board helped me a ton when I redid a wooden boat. P-netters will have plenty of help for you, but on that board, it’s all about wood.

I met some mid-east WCHA paddlers on Trap Pond last month. I had an amazing hour visit at their camp on Sunday, trading tall tails and being shown some boats and gear I had never seen.