KĀNU anyone?

So i bought this Kanu yesterday for low money

only to figure out that it needs some repairs:


The dent in the bottom i can deal with, probably a heat gun, but while washing out the sand i found that it leaks around the aluminum trim.

I am not even sure this is the right craft for me so i don’t want to tackle something i will probably mess up when i can sell it and score something better.

But i AM looking for a portable craft i can get up and over beaver dams yet has a cockpit big enough for myself, my cameras and collected river trash. (i usually use the jon boat but i can’t get it in tight spots etc.)

All i have found out about this Kanu is that it was made in 1973 in New Haven Conn by the Whitmore Corp.

I know it is missing a few straps and such…and a sail i think. but I feel uneasy about removing all the trim and replacing it myself.

Is this a BIG job? ill advised?

You might be able to seal the seam
by flowing Seamgrip down past the aluminum. Perhaps you would need to do it from both sides. Seamgrip is thin and might soak into the seam line. It stays flexible. I’d guess you would need several tubes. It might be cheaper to sort through all the caulks at the hardware store, to see if there’s one suitable. There are a lot of glue sniffers on pnet, and they may have other suggestions on useful sealants.

If the bottom responds to heating, see if there is a way to brace it from inside, possibly stiff foam between seat assemblies or whatever.

What is it made from?
I can’t tell from your pictures what it’s made from. Is it plastic or aluminum?

It almost looks like there is a shear strip of wood on the inside. Is that right? If so, then I would suspect that the hull and deck actually overlap at the seam and the aluminum trim is mostly just for show. Then the screws would likely just be wood screws.

If all my guessing is correct then the screws should come out pretty easily. You could pop the deck and hull apart, put some sealant in the seam, and put everything back together.

Piece of cake if everything is in good shape.

Of course if that shear strip is rotted then you’ll need to make a new one.

It’s ABS

The shear strip is apparently mahogany, so if it’s been stored dry it should be in good shape.

Lexel would be a good choice for a sealant.

trim sealant

– Last Updated: Jun-19-11 4:01 PM EST –

thanks i found that same magazine article already.

instead of removing the entire trim at once, i am going to remove 3 or 4 screws at a time and apply sealant beneath the trim and then screw it back down and work my way around the hull. If i take it all off, there is no way of insuring i will get it all back together.

There is a wooden frame inside and i can't tell if it is attached to any of the bolts on the immediate sides. and i don't want to create too big a restoration job just yet.

NO the wooden 'deck' is NOT in good shape it needs a new one. Which can be easily replaced if i had a jig saw to cut one using the old one as a pattern. But I don't so i can't.

The only structural defect is that one of the bolts holding the frame to the decking is rotted away, so i will be tightening the frame with a strap until that can be fixed. ...the backsupports rest in divots in the frame and without tightening about an inch and a half, they just fall out of their holes.

What i'd like to use is some sort of rolled rubberized weather stripping which will adhere to the hull UNDER the aluminum trim..so when i tighten the screws the stripping will seal tightly to the joint.

I will look for some Lexel is sounds like what i need.


If you want something lightweight

– Last Updated: Jun-19-11 4:39 PM EST –

it's going to cost you. You said that you're looking for a portable craft that you can get up and over beaver dams, and mentioned jonboat. Here I'm confused 'cause aluminum jonboat is anything but light. You can drag it, but not carry it. This Kanu, I suspect, is heavy. If dragging is fine with you - sure, try heat gun, seal the seams and go ahead.

OTH, if you really want something portable, consider some short open-deck kevlar canoe. Kevlar isn't as abrasion-resistant as aluminum, but dragging over wooden logs won't hurt it, and wide canoes from other materials usually weigh over 60 lbs. To me 60 lbs is the line separating portable boats from "hardly portable". May be you'll find wide and short (you want it wide for photos on water) Royalex canoe under 50 lbs - can't suggest any, sorry. Coming from kayaking background, canoes are still new to me, but I do know the difference between light and heavy in places where I can't use a cart.

PS: I keep on saying "canoe" because this "Kanu" looks more like a decked canoe than a kayak, and it sounds like in your environment canoe will work better.

sealing screw holes
well yeah my jon boat is light for a boat, but 10’x3’ is kinda LARGE footprint. dragging or pushing that with stuff inside, like 2 wooden oars, etc… is a heavy load. I do it often. But where you have no serious foothold is gonna suck and it will certainly tear up a beaver damn. i just can’t seem myself pushing all that back UP and over a dam 4-6 feet above the waterline.

however i CAN easily pull any kayak up and over from the top of the dam while all my gear is on my back.


On further examination I found that the trim is not purely aesthetic: this covers the seam and the screws go through the alum trim, then through a thin piece of weather stripping, through holes in the plastic, and into the wooden frame on the inside. but not THROUGH the frame. as they are wood screws not bolts, once i remove them the frame holes will be enlarged so i should put something (epoxy perhaps?) on the screws before i put them back in.

the trim only runs down each side so i will have to remove the handholds on each end and replace that weatherstripping as well…any place there is a screw will have the be resealed. not a bad deal for something from 1973.

BTW i figured out how to get the sand out…with vacuum cleaner.

Sounds “production oriented”

– Last Updated: Jun-19-11 7:10 PM EST –

Easy to build, but not that great from a functional aspect. No wonder it leaked after only 38 years.

The trim squeezed the weather strip down over the seam, sort of sealing things.

I suppose you could simply do the same again.

For sealant to really work well it needs to be between the two things you are trying to seal. I don't think just pumping sealant under the trim will work well.