Hi everyone! I recently purchased a used Kevlar Wenonah Adirondack that I’ve been sprucing up to make into my dream boat for portage trips. The exterior looks great after polishing it up with Boat Guard, but I’ve noticed some cracks along the ribbing in the interior.
It seems to be superficial cracks, as if there was some bubbling in the paint or something? The chalky areas with the cracks are quite brittle. In any case, I’m looking for advice on how to repair. Would it do to sand down those areas and patch with resin?
Thanks for your help! I’m very new to this! (Photos below)
I am assuming that the photograph is showing the edge of a side rib near the bottom core. Foam cores and ribs allow construction of a lighter canoe than all cloth construction does. But unfortunately the core and ribs create stress risers right at the edges where the more flexible all-fabric side wall meets the stiffer core.
There is no “paint”, only resin covering aramid fabric. The first thing I would do is remove any “brittle” material that is not well attached. You may at that point be looking at the foam in the rib. If so, it would be helpful to take some more photos and post them here. I am guessing that you will need to fill in a void, hopefully a small one, with some epoxy and then cover the area with a patch.
Wenonah probably used vinyl-ester resin to build that canoe but epoxy will bind to it fine. Either fiberglass or aramid could be used as a patch but fiberglass will be much less apparent. You will have a bit of trouble getting a patch to lay down in the angle formed by the edge of the rib but if you keep gently working the fabric down as the epoxy cures you will be able to do it.
Thanks so much for your reply! This definitely gives me a bit more direction for my repairs. I was only able to share one photo in my original post, so I’m attaching more here. In some areas the resin looks chalky but there is no bubbling. Are those areas you would suggest I sand down and repair as well?
That white stuff looks to me like fabric that either delaminated or was never fully bound down to the underlying structure. This may have resulted in an air void under the inner layer of aramid fabric that occurred when the hull was vacuum bagged rather than stress. It is hard to say. If there is loose material in that area I would remove it. You will then hopefully be able to see it there is a void underlying intact aramid that needs to be filled.
Just start by removing that white stuff.
I would suggest a Dremel tool to remove any brittle material. A plastic hyperdermic needle made for epoxy can be used to carefully inject epoxy resin into the voids. Tilt the boat so that the resin stays where you put it. You can use a thickening agent but it will not look right.
That is not a crack… it’s a void from when it was made.
I would just keep an eye on it. If you feel like you have to do something, spooge some epoxy in there, and gently heat to release any trapped air, wipe smooth or sand smooth.
I think its a non issue.
Much of the white stuff could be just very fine scuff marks from normal wear, and if the underlying fabric is not exposed of no consequence.