Installing a keel in a flimsy bottom?

I have a River Rouge that I use for fishing with the kids. Along with other problems the bottom warps in the sun, on waves, rocks, or logs (or if I look at it funny). I am toying with the idea of glueing a 3/4" x 1 1/2" oak keel on the INSIDE. Has anyone tried this? Will it be to stiff? Will it help? Should I just deal with it? What would be the best glue (good ol’ construction glue?)? Thanks for your help, Chris

better solution
Instead of the oak keel I would glass in ribs. 1/2"x4" foam strips across the bilge about 1’ apart. Feather the edges of the strips and use epoxy and 6 oz cloth. Same technique Souris River uses to stiffen their canoes.

River Rogue is polyethylene
which presents it’s own issues for glueing etc. Well discussed here in previous posts. Leisure Time who builds them puts a round tube keelson between the seats with risers that fasten to the underside of the seat. That is their latest “fix”. Unless the bad hydrodynamics are causing you problems paddling I’d live with it until you can upgrade to a better boat. I have one in the “fleet” and It’s a good row boat but a lousy canoe.

Wild thought

– Last Updated: Apr-04-05 10:35 AM EST –

Do you have any electrician friends? Here is a wild thought from an amateur boat builder (me)...
Get a stick of 1/2 EMT (conduit) and find some sort of larger diameter garden hose that can be worked over the pipe. Might even use some wire pulling lube from same friend...
Get hose slid over pipe. Have friend use his or her 1/2 bender (maybe the 3/4 inch bender now) to bend it and make your own pipe keel like Leisure Time is doing. It would have 2 90's per end. Long run on floor between seats, 90 up, 90 in opposite, flatten pipe, drill for stainless bolts and secure it to the seats.
A good bender (hell, I can still bend a saddle) can get those 90's just right so you get the load/pressure you need on the pipe to keep the floor flat. Maybe a slight curvature to the long run between seats to introduce some stress. Lightweight too. Wild idea but might work.

River Rogue
Thanks for the help on this. But just a couple side notes. I think I would take the advice and just leave it alone before going through the trouble of glassing in ribs in a boat that wouldn’t paddle worth a spit even if it was stiffer. Especially when I have a 16’ Blue hole also. I use the Blue Hole most of the time and just use the RR14 because it is so stable. As far as finding an electrician I may be in luck. Dad and I are electrical contractors here in Iowa. (HaHa, what did I with my tape measure and bender, better go find them). I heard that the new RR14’s were now coming with an internal keel but didn’t know how it was being done. Sounds like everyone has had problems ith these being flimsy too. I’ll have to look into the conduit idea, never thought of it and lord knows I have plenty around and it would be cheap. Thanks again for the help guys and keep it coming. Chris

The new 14
At the local Dunhams has a pipe keel bent up and under the seats. That’s where I got the idea to copy their new keel from.

Have fun.