Canoe Skin Help

I am trying to build my first canoe. I see most people use polyester. Can I use any polyester from a fabric shop? Where can I buy canoe grade if not? Thanks in advance.

I’m not sure what you mean by “most
people use polyester.” The cloth used on the outside of strippers and stitch-and-glue craft is fiberglass. The resin is epoxy. Companies making “fiberglass” or composite canoes like Swift and Wenonah are generally using versions of vinylester resin, superior to polyester resin. A few companies like Souris River are using epoxy resin.

In composite boats, polyester cloth is sometimes used as a cheap substitute for Kevlar. It works best with vinylester. You can get polyester boat cloth from The outside layer on composite boats is often fiberglass, because it is hard, stiff, and wears smooth.

You might want to let us know what boat construction method you are using.

There isn’t anything in a fabric shop that will help you.

There also is polyester canvas
and polyester aircraft dacron… two completely different covering methods.

The original question lacks information but no you cannot go to a fabric shop.

There is also heat shrinkable nylon

– Last Updated: Apr-15-11 2:02 PM EST –

and 2 part urethane to paint it with.

dont think I have seen nylon
as nylon stretches when it is wet…wouldn’t you have a baggy boat?

I have three ceconite covered rib plank boats . All finished with marine enamel.

What kind of boat are you building? Normally it is fiberglass; occasionally kevlar. You can’t get it from a fabric shop.

For resin go with epoxy. Polyester resin, at least on a wood boat, tends to delaminate.


Gary Barton of Bluewater and
Upstream Edge used Nylon in layups. It’s protected by the resin, and isn’t affected by water.