newbie repair questions

Hello. I just bought a cheap 1997 Wenonah Royalex Sundowner, my first canoe, and have been doing some repairs. A few questions have come up.

  1. The stern was worn down to the foam and the bow to the ABS layer. I have patched both with fiberglass and G/Flex, and filled in some dings (Thanks, internet!). I’ve got matching paint on order, but I would like to leave the bow/stern patches visible so I can see how they hold up. Can I just apply 303 protectant (i.e. will it protect the foam/ABS under the glass/epoxy patches)?

  2. The outside hull has small outward dents where the front and back of the bow and stern seats respectively meet the hull. I suspect that the seats were replaced at some point and the new seats were not cut to size properly. Might there be another explanation? In any case, is it likely to cause a problem? I’ll be paddling calm lakes and perhaps slow rivers. I do plan to replace the seats, but hopefully not immediately.

    Thanks in advance,


The ABS and foam will be entirely

– Last Updated: Jul-01-12 1:27 PM EST –

protected by the patches. Chances are, normal wear and tear will wear out the stem patches faster than sun. But you can use 303 if you want to slow down degradation of the G-flex resin.

About the seat issue, I don't know, but it sounds like the canoe had hard use. Perhaps the seat frame ends were just forced against the sides by butt-whomping entries. Some Sundowners were raced. Was that true of yours?

I don’t know about racing, but I can
give more information about the canoe, which, in retrospect, is probably completely relevant.

  1. I was told it was originally bought as a practice canoe for a boundary waters scout trip.

  2. Foam blocks have been glued to the hull, in front of the stern seat and behind the fore thwart. There was also a narrow foam block in the bow. Most of the blocks have been removed but the glue and one set of blocks remains.

  3. The carry yoke is missing. Two additional pairs of holes have been drilled into the gunwales; the first is eight inches forward of the carry yoke; the second about twelve inches aftward of the aft thwart. The second pair of holes has no wear marks on the vinyl. The other pair has finishing washer marks similar to the carry yoke holes.

    The canoe is, frankly, a beater, but it was cheap. My goal is to get five years life out of it, learn to repair it, learn what I like in a canoe, develop family interest and save up money for something nicer.