Navarro resto update & help!!

-- Last Updated: May-15-14 12:44 AM EST --

Hello paddling world!

I've been making some decent progress on bringing the Navarro Legacy back to life. You can check out the photos by visiting the photo bucket link here:: One major speed bump in the restoration was the gunwales. Unfortunately I was unable to locate any single ash boards greater than 12' in length, and rather than going with a softer wood of the right length, I opted to grab multiple boards of 8' ash and will be putting them together with a scarf joint. I know, less than ideal, but I really didn't have a whole lot of options out here on the west coast.

Another major snag that I'm hoping someone with a Navarro might be able to help me out with, are the rub rails for both the bow and stern (they are identical, though, as far as I can tell). I've been trying to get Navarro Canoe Co. to ship a pair to me, however they are not willing to do so, as they don't see it "cost effective." So? I must fabricate my own brass rub rails. If anyone in the community has a Navarro, or has had one and has some photos of the brass rub rails that they wouldn't mind sending me some photos and/or specifications of, it would be greatly appreciated. I've also talked with Merrimack, however it appears that the design is dissimilar enough that their rub rails won't work on the vintage Navarro.

Thanks for all of your help!

Eds Canoe offers ash replacement
gunwales with modified scarf joints. Yours might be more “invisible” if you’re lucky. Try to select pieces where the growth rings per inch are similar, so the joints are less visible. Ed’s version:

Gunwales - scarf joins and epoxy
Thanks for the tip! Speaking of scarf joints, anyone have a tried and true method for thickening epoxy?


Navarro Legacy restoration
We love to see our canoes back on the water. Glad to know you are making the effort to make that happen. Your project pictures are awesome and inspiring. We did talk with you about the brass pieces. Unfortunately, each canoe is unique and so fitting a new brass piece on an old canoe is an extremely challenging prospect. If we could make it happen, we would have been glad to. Hope your repairs go smoothly and you have many happy paddles in your restored Legacy.

I thicken West 105/205 with colloidal
silica, also supplied by West.

You could also use their pre-thickened version of West G-flex. Mixes 1:1, terrific adhesion, tougher than their other epoxies.

On the brass, the only time I’ve worked with it, even a little bit, was on some kit keyboard instruments. But it’s a pretty easy metal to bend, shape, file, smooth, drill and install. You sure have a much better chance of doing that with brass than with stainless!

Thank you!
Hello NavarroCanoes!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I completely understand the challenges with shipping me the rub rails. As it turns out, my next door neighbor is a metal artist, and has agreed to help me fabricate them! We have ordered a 6ft. long strip of flat brass, that is 3/16" thick and 1/2" wide. Based on the photos that I have collected from the internet, I think we should be on the right track. From the old rotted deck that came with the canoe, it looks like there should be two holes on the top part of the brass, and one along the bent edge that allows the rub rail to be screwed into the hull.

If there is any chance that you might be able to provide even the roughest of specifications on the rub rails, it would be immensely helpful.

On another note, please feel free to use any of the photos that I have in my photo bucket album for your website and/or Facebook page. I feel honored to be a part of such a storied company committed to taking the time to craft a beautiful, handmade canoe.

Thanks again!


Is this the stuff?
I think I found what you’re talking about:

Is this the stuff? The description sounds spot on, so I hope so! I think I’ll be able to pick this up from my local West Marine.



Yes, that’s it. Explore the variety of
West products that West Marine carries.

some ideas
So glad a friend can help you. We are going to try to scan and e-mail a rough sketch of what you could aim for.

And thanks for the generous offer of your pictures. We surely can use those at some point. It is just exciting to know that you are taking the effort and time to restore an old Navarro. When we purchased the company two years ago we knew that people have been enthusiastic about the canoes for quite a while and we are finding that to be very true.

Thanks again.

Attaching the Brass
Could you send your email address to and we will send a rough sketch of the brass stem piece. It attaches with two #8 x 2" brass screws that screw into a wood stem block and one #6 x 3/4" brass screw that just goes into the deck.