Maintenance advice on my dads cedar strip canoe

I am looking to network with anyone who can offer advice or places to find advice outside of a google search to proper maintenance on my dads canoe he built. The last time we went out in it he said.” Looks like it needs a coat?” As he looked it over. Then we went. Then he passed away.
I’m guessing he meant epoxy but I am overwhelmed with grief and google hits on advice. Am I looking in the wrong place? Any specific website? Certain reputable you tubers I can try? The book he read growing up was by Ted Moores Canoecraft. I don’t want to take it out if it in fact needs something. I also need to know what it needs. Us girls and mom want to keep it as amazing as it is for as long as forever.

Any paddler advice would be great to help direct me.

No not epoxy. Varnish is the finish coat. It provides a smooth look and RV protection.

Unless it is water damaged, sun burnt or chipped it should be good for some time. Let the grief run its course . No problem.

Prep for varnishing is a thing requiring detail, calm and measured moves. We can explore those things.

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I think he saw little places that it maybe didn’t get coated like he really likes. No damage I could see just a few places that seem to me looking at it like it needs ”filler”. But it’s super shiny and good overall

The builder can always see things others cannot notice right off.

Back at my lap top I can list some links to show that process.

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Oh this is definitely so true! He sees that one imperfection and I see nothing but perfection.

“Filler” is an epoxy thing . But it is way late in the sequence for that if you have a completed boat.

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It has drips from product from when he finished that always bothered him and maybe he was just considering this as a thing to address

Drips…could be varnish …or likely varnish.
If epoxy he didn’t sand it sufficiently before varnish. In practical terms drips, minor drips, add a little drag on the hull, but not much else.
Most folks can’t see them from the 10ft they likely are from the boat.

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I’m sorry for your loss. Your father was obviously a Craftsman. Slow down and reflect on all the good times you had with him. The canoe will be ready when you are.


It will.

It’s a beautiful canoe. If you’re able to take a few more pictures of the outside and inside that would help. Most likely it just needs a light sanding and a coat of varnish as Overstreet said. If there aren’t any bare spots on the outside then you should feel free to use it. With the boat being stored inside there’s no hurry to “give it a coat” on the interior because it just won’t get much water on it and it would take a lot of time and water to cause any real damage. When you do get around to sanding it you should take your time; you’ll also be able to eliminate any runs in the varnish and you know that would please your dad. The maintenance is easy but the sanding may take some time. Keep us in the loop and we’ll be happy to help you. If you are near SW Michigan I’d be happy to look at the boat and maybe help with whatever it might need.

Sorry for your loss.
Varnish is the thing. It is used to protect the epoxy from UV rays.