Cleaning up an old canoe

Had the luck to recently buy a 1989 Old Town Tripper canoe for $100. Looks to be in pretty good shape as it’s just been stored outside for several years. An elderly neighbor sold it to me because he’s unable to get out much these days. My question is, the outside is pretty dull, is there anything I can do to restore the shine to some extent. The rest of the canoe, gunwales, seats, yolk, etc. are ok, I’d just like to spruce it up a little. Appreciate any help you can give me.

some “303”

– Last Updated: Aug-28-07 10:44 AM EST –

liquid protectant will shine up the hull a bit, as well as help protect from UV rays. Might be a 3M product, my jugs at home and I'm at work. If you're hull is beyond that, I've had great luck with Krylon Fusion spray cans of paint. Just stay away from the red, it seems to die with half a can to go. The green works well.
Time to hear from the "left wing environmentalist whackos" now....BRING IT ON!! :-)

hull material?
If the hull is fiberglass resist the urge to wet sand or use rubbing compound and head for your nearest RV or Marine store to get some gel coat restorer.

I would certainly try soap and water and maybe some Comet cleanser and a mild abrasive pad first, but, Royalex canoes sometimes accumulate a layer of grime that is quite resistant. I have used MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) to get this off with good results, but beware: MEK will dissolve vinyl and ABS if left in contact with them for prolonged periods. I take a cloth, dampen it with solvent and work on a small area at a time. When finished I give the canoe a good washing and spray and wipe with 303 protectant. You will see and feel a little of the color coat come off on your rag. So far I haven’t ruined any canoes this way, and I have been able to clean up some old boats that otherwise wouldn’t come clean. By the way, the MEK fumes are pretty obnoxious.

The final word on Tripper material
E-mailed Old Town to verify what my Tripper was made of and they agreed with you guys who said royalex. They even attached a page from the 1989 catalog regarding the Tripper. That’s pretty good service, so a good shout out to Old Town Canoes. And thanks for all the input to everyone, except maybe nermal who wanted me to test the material to failure :-).

You’re quite welcome
from all of us I’m sure. Bit of history with Old Town and Royalex, and nermal touching on the truth. Old Town has been known to throw their royalex canoes off the roof of their shop every now and then, to test structural integrity. They have been bent so the bow and stern are touching, then straightened out again. At least this is what a friend from maine tells me…