drilling holes on canoe

Does anyone have experience drilling holes in a canoe and keeping them from leaking? I want to make a bracket or box to contain a battery on the front of a canoe and thus will need to drill holes for the mounting. I have some other idea’s that will require drilling as well.

Is whatever you’re securing to the below-the-water-line part of your hull securable by glueing?

Give some thought before you drill, you can probably do it with glueing and/or d-rings and webbing and/or bungee.


What size battery? Trolling motor
or what?

IF you have to drill
Get appropriate sized grommets or gaskets, compress those with a washer (I would do so on both sides for overkill) and put some glue, silicone or other marine-quality material-specific adhesive (depending on your canoe’s material) in the hole before you put the bolt through it. Overdo it as much as possible.

But what yarnellboat said is better.

What material?
What material is your canoe? If it is anything except aluminum, gluing/adhesive/epoxy (depending on the material) is best. If it is aluminum I don’t know what adhesive, if any, works for it. Probably none. Still I think I would avoid drilling and opt for welding instead. Perhaps a bracket of some sort can be welded in place that you can drill through rather than drilling through the hull. Get the welding done by a professional aluminum welder.

Some materials
are tough to drill. Brittle materials like some plastics should be drilled with a dull bit to avoid cracking. If drilling a hole in sheet metal when the hole must be on size and truly round, it is best to first drill under-size, then sneak up to size with drill slightly smaller than target size, then final drill to size.

Using only one drill in sheet metal may leave an over-sized triangular hole. This is just a tip for drilling holes in general.

battery size
75amp. with a 30lb thrust motor My intent is to mount the battery in front and then rig a bracket to mount the trolling motor on the back of the canoe. At this point, I will run cable to foot pedals (much like on a kayak) for steering. I believe that all of this will require drilling.

buy a boat
Why not just buy a boat? Why waste a canoe? No offense meant, just seems like you need a boat if you are going to mount a motor, battery, etc.

No offense -MarkK
Why must people get a little crazy when someone wants to do something a little different. If you must know, I have a boat, but I like being up close and personal in the water, like I’m sure many of you do who fish from a canoe or kayak. My main objective is to get further out with the limited time that I have to fish. Once I’m out where I want to be, I’ll paddle. I hope this settles your issue. For those wanting to know about the material, It is Royalex

The most effective way…
To keep your boat from leaking after you’ve drilled a bunch of holes in it, is to keep it on dry land.

Royalex boats can be cut in half, and then put back together using fibreglass and epoxy.

Whitewater boats have outfitting that will hold a person in them upside down. That uses vinyl glue.

Glue or epoxy will certainly be strong enough if used correctly.

I recall a company that made adapter kits where a trolling motor lower unit was placed where a kayak rudder would be. Can’t remember the name offhand.

Solar charger?
I couldn’t find the company I spoke of . . . but found something else. How about solar chargers for your boat? You could then go a lot farther.