Cedar Strip Canoes?

I have been looking at different used cedar strip canoes . Does it matter whether or not there is a layer of fiberglass inside or out over the cedar? One guy told me its easier to repair them without the fiberglass.

The fiberglass is what makes it useful. If you want to hang it on the wall or you are going to do the fiberglass, get it. If you are going to paddle as is, get one that has fiberglass on the inside and the outside. John

Isn’t true that the fiberglass is hard to see because it turns clear once its epoxied over and coate with varnish? Maybe the guy doesn’t realize that its fiberglassed because he said it has several coats of spar on it…

I know the boat
I talked to that guy a couple weeks ago.He said it was not glassed and he used polyurethane on the bottom.I wouldnt touch it,I dont trust poly on boats.

You need glass!
Having built several cedar strip canoes, I can tel you that if it’s a conventional rib less design, he is flirting with disaster if it’s not glassed inside and outside. The glass skin adds ALLOT of strength to the skins and provides critical impact and abrasion resistance to teh cedar surface. As mentioned, it might be a near transparent layer inside and out but it should be there ( as this is THE most common and durable construction method for strip building. If the glass is not there, I’d avoid the boat like the plague.

p.s. Glassed cedar strippers are less likely to need repair and look like new with an occasional coat of poly. I still have, use and get complimented on the first one I built in 84’.

There is one possible exception but
it is highly unlikely. There was a method of building cedar strip canoes that preceded the development of synthetic resins and fiberglass cloth. The cedar was attached to closely spaced ribs with clenched nails. The strips were fitted tightly with rolling bevels so that they wouldn’t leak, especially after the boat wad been wetted and the planks/strips swelled a bit. I’ve seen some antique boats that were built that way. I’ve never seen a “modern” strip over rib boat.

Assuming that it is not a ribbed boat as I described, it would likely be nearly useless unless glassed on both sides.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom Canoe Paddles and Wood Strip Canoes