Refurbishing an old Woodlands(?) 13” canoe

Hello fellow paddlers!

newbie here as i have done a bit
of kayaking and canoeing in my 44 years but not a ton. interested in getting more into it as psychiatrist says i need to exercise and reduce stress. I have 2 good kayaks i use (a pelican and a swifty) but now i have this ridiculous idea that i want to canoe more. I found this old 13’ aluminum canoe for $125. brand is Woodland which I cannot find even exists after a Google search. it needs to be repainted, likely sealed and it’s completely missing seats yoke and thwarts. attached are pics

so is this canoe salvageable? I want a project and want to paint it fun colors as i’m an artsy person by nature but I have no idea how to install seats yokes thwarts

So questions are: is this doable? is it worth it? what should i look for when i go see it? and can this old canoe even be salvaged? guess on total cost of project also welcomed.

thanks for helping an old mama out!!


I think you could bring it back if you want a project. It also needs gunwales along with the other items you noted. The other parts you need can be made or purchased. I made my thwarts from old aluminum tent poles I happened to have around that I cut to length and then smashed the ends flat in a vise. I fit them to the boat and then clamped them under the gunwales and drilled the thwart and gunwale together and then used special washers and flat head screws and lock nuts to bolt them in. The single seat location you will have to figure out to get the boat to balance properly and the seat wants to be lower than the thwarts. I bought a stadium seat back from walmart and fit it in hanging from the gunwales on a DIY frame I made. I have a thread I started showing how I built most of it on a shoestring budget.

IMO getting the gunwales on will be the biggest part of the project.

By the way I paddle mine with a kayak paddle.

Welcome to the site. It will be fun following along on your project. :canoe:

From what little can be seen in the photo it looks doable. Given all the missing parts, and work that needs doing, I would use that to offer $100 or less for a first offer. I would try to find a long enough 2X4 with no large knots to make the gunnels or maybe 2X6 if need be to get a long clear piece of wood cut out for the gunnels. However you can buy aluminum or plastic gunnels that would require less work and rivet them on. You may also want to look at some canoes to see how all this needs to go together.

Hey, go for it! I’m a 71 year old female paddler (kayaks and canoes) and have restored several boats, in fact have 3 kayak rehab projects underway right now. Restoring a boat to function is very satisfying, both the process and the outcome. Old aluminum takes paint nicely, by the way. At the very worst, if it proves to be a clunky boat to paddle (it does look pretty beamy so unless you are fairly tall it may be a reach) you will have a cool piece of art.

If you do buy it, measure what length thwarts you need — I have a salvaged metal one I could send you if it is a size that would fit.

Don’t want to rain on your parade…BUT…
Count the cost of repainting, resealing, new thwarts, new seats, and new gunwales necessary to restore your “project”. Now add on the cost of your “sweat/equity”. Add on original cost of boat.

I’d say that may turn out to be a fairly expensive
“project”; likely more than the boat will likely end up being worth. I think it likely that
purchasing an aluminum canoe with “all parts present” from the beginning would be cheaper.

Your time, your money, your decision.
Good luck to you. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


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Has gunwales, seats, thwarts; has been repainted.
Looking pretty slick. Asking price $400.00 ; would probably take $350.00, maybe less, if it doesn’t sell quickly. Found on local craiglist in 10 minutes; only checked one town.

BUT if you want a project boat; that’s your option.
I understand the pig’s ear turning into a silk purse concept…to some degree…

Good luck,