HI, i need some advise with repairing the bottom of my fiberglass canoe. My friends and I went out on a trip last fall while the rivers were low causing us all to scrape bottom rather frequently. My friends were in plastic kayaks and got out rather clean however my canoe was not so lucky. Repairing a canoe is something I have never done before so I ask is this something I should try to repair myself or take to someone with more expertise?
This link has close up pictures of the damage.
A keel on a fiberglass canoe is not a good sign.
You can repair that one with a couple of coats of clear epoxy resin.
If you are just talking about scratches in the gel coat, I would forget about it. Or if it really bothers you, mark off a 3 inch waterline around the hull and spray paint the bottom.
If those are deeper than they look, I would tend to agree with ppine. Some clear resin, thin clear resin. Then start sanding. Like bondo on a car, if you put it on to thick, you will have a lot more to sand off later.
the scratching is not as much of a concern to me so much as the exposed fiberglass and deep chipping near where i sit while i solo paddle.
what everyone above said.
Its just gel coat damage. Epoxy dab will do
Keels and rivers dont mix well but the keel is there to take tge brubt of rocks and to supply some structure to an inexpensive layup
From what I see in the photo I would just cover the exposed fibers with some epoxy. When the epoxy is fully cured smooth it out if necessary by sanding. The cover the epoxy with some type of touch up paint that approximates the hull color. The paint will get scratched off over time but is easily reapplied.
If you are really OCD about it, you could cover the exposed edge of the keel with a fabric keel strip of either fiberglass or Dynel cloth using epoxy. This type of work is not technically difficult but it can be time consuming since you would need to sand off the red gel coat to the areas you are laying the cloth onto until you see fibers of the hull itself. If you did this fiberglass tape would probably be the easiest to use but it would be wider than the keel itself so you would have to trim the overhanging edges with a sharp blade after the epoxy has cured to a green state. And then paint the end result. Doesn’t look to me as if the damage warrants that type of investment of time and material.
The stems tend to get the most wear and a lot of people have gone to the clunky kevlar strips. I do not like them, so I add a 3 inch wide layer of fiberglass tape followed by a 2 inch piece. Then they can be painted the same color as the boat and they disappear.
Thanks for the advise everyone. After this trip I might try and find a way to improve on this keel to keep it from putting a hole in the bottom of my canoe. The keel is hollow and gives this hull a very easy place for me to scrape a hole right through the boat.