Hi peoples. I am new to canoes and at 61 years old I already know I have a lot to learn. I have a Gurmman 15 sq that I bought from a neighbor and it has a lot of little pits on the bottom. Some of them go all the way through. Question is what is the best method to fix these pits and is this a good canoe. I don’t mind working on it as retirement does have some down sides. Thanks in advance for all your help.
“Good canoe” and repair
Whether it's a good canoe will depend on what you want to do with it. For basic paddling, square-back canoes usually are not as nice, but if you plan to use a small motor they are fine. Aluminum canoes are not popular with serious paddlers, but most of us got started in them, and they get the job done. Much could be written about the various things that many don't like about aluminum canoes, but if the weight and "noise factor" don't bother you, and if it takes you where you want to go, it may be fine.
I've never seen an aluminum canoe with pits eroding into, and through, the hull. Aluminum will corrode much faster in certain environments. Most of the time, corrosion is nearly nonexistant, and I have a hunch that you won't see the problem get any worse as long as the canoe is not stored with the bottom of the hull in constant contact with soil or fallen leaves. Something like J-B Weld will probably seal tiny corrosion holes, as long as the surface is thoroughly cleaned first. Maybe someone else will have a better idea. Also, if you have a welding shop near you, ask if it's something they can fix, since it might be a simple matter for a welder to fill the holes. My guess is that fixing pits that don't go through the hull isn't worth the time/expense.
I have seen alu canoes with oxidized
pits all the way through. They were all used on salt water which may hasten the corrosion.
We used auto body filler. The job was not neat but it seems to have worked. If you are using a motor or at least not portaging the increased weight should not be a big deal.
What is more important is the time you want to spend on this.
Might also try a truck bed liner job.
Would have to find a contractor with 3/2 of a brain.
Thank you to the folks that gave me some ideas. As I said I’m 61 years old and can take my time with this project. I have covered most of the bottom with fiberglass and I think it will work out well. The canoe has a square back and I am going to try to find a small outboard for it. If it doesn’t work out I will try to find a better fit for me. I have had a lot of saltwater experience and the pits remind me of a boat that has been in saltwater with out the proper zincs to divert the electrical charges that happen to them. Again thanks guys…and gals.
epoxy and glass
You said you glassed the bottom?
That’s what I would have done. I read that you need to have to sand the bottom with something like 500 grit wet paper and then epoxy and glass it within an hour since the aluminum starts to oxidize very quickly. Nothing likes to stick to oxidized aluminum.
I read of one person wet sanding with thinned epoxy and then putting the glass on and wetting it further out. 3 oz cloth would be OK since you’re really not building structure. On the inside you could just sand and pour on some epoxy over any holes or do some tiny glass patches.