Maintenance for Fiberglass Canoe

I just got Old Town Kingfisher 14’ canoe and it is in a pretty good shape. I wonder if there are any issues with the fiberglass shell. Does it become more brittle with age, prone to breaking, etc? Any insights from the members here?

Are there any steps I can take to extend it’s life? Preventitive maintenance or restorative potions? Appreciate any input on how to baby the boat.

Does anyone know the load capacity for this model? I can’t find it anywhere on the internet.

Thanks a bunch.

Old Town’s recommendations:
303 is the most popular around here. Take the Pledge recommendation with a grain of salt. Pledge is a product of SCJohnson, the parent company of Johnson Outdoors, the company that owns Old Town. It may have sun blocks in it, but that’s the purpose of 303, a good product.

How do I clean my Old Town canoe or kayak?

HULL EXTERIOR: Wash with mild soap and water. You can also use Murphy’s Oil Soap. To beautify, we suggest a vinyl protectant product such as Armor All®, 303 Products or Pledge. These are safe for use on any of our PolyLink3™, Oltonar/Royalex®, CrossLink, SuperLink3™ and Fiberglass canoes or kayaks.

We do not recommend waxing your hull with a paste wax, such as most car waxes. The wax fills in any scratches or gouges, then dries to a white color, making the damage more apparent.

HULL INTERIOR: Wash with mild soap and water. We DO NOT recommend using any of the above products or polishes on the interior, as the floor of your boat may become slipper

I never had a problem with paste wax
drying to a white color and/or highlighting scratches.

As for the longevity of “fiberglass” composite layups, if a boat is given a chance to dry out between uses, it can last for decades. I have a 34 year old fiberglass hull which is still completely sound, in spite of occasional hard use.

My glass canoe is over 23 years old,
no soap, wax, or 303, stored outdoors, and still in good condition. I did repaint it after a sad incident with tree limbs and a hurricane…some good size patches…so maybe that has protected the glass.

fiberglass care
I waxed all my boats for years, changed to 303 when it came available (because of the great/obvious increase in UV degradation that we’ve all seen and been exposed to over the last 10 years or so) and now use a product called “UV Tech” from McNett (I get it from Rutabaga) that does a fine job at a pretty cheap price. My boats are kept indoors. I spray the exterior of the hulls in the spring, a couple of times in the summer and fall and then again when they are put away for winter. The interior gets a shot then, too. Three of them are over 10 years old and I often get comments on how good the hulls look, with no checking or chalking at all. As I try to remind all my paddling friends, remember that you need sunscreen for yourself more than you need it for your boats (and you really DO need it for your boats, too!)