Stowe Fiberglass canoe - durable?

Bought an old Stowe canoe, fiberglass, and ash gunnels cane seats. I am completely new to canoes…this is my first actually. I’m 34 and have paddled jon boats and kayaks for years.

I traded my kayak for above a Stowe - Riversedge 15’ model. Fiberglass with NO wood ribbing. Looks in great hale with some spider cracks in the gel coat, I’m assuming. Fiberglass loos great inside.

My main question is how durable is this canoe? I paddle in the Delaware River and do hit some shallow rocks and gravel bars. Te fiberglass feels thin but the general canoe discussions talk about fiberglass being durable. Do I need to baby this thing?

Thanks in advance for any opinions.

We’ll have to wait for someone who is
personally familiar with Stowe FG canoe construction.

Flexibility is not a bad thing if the laminate is tough enough to resist damage when thumped inward. Excess flexibility can be reduced by putting some sort of supports between the thwarts and the bottom. Flexible support is best. I use minicell foam pillar(s). This also makes the boat more secure against being wrapped double if it founders against a rock or tree.

FG is surprisingly able to endure scraping from river bottom rocks. I have owned several FG canoes over 40 years of paddling. Those that were gelcoated eventually wore through to the cloth and resin matrix, but hardly any further. FG canoes are very repairable, and wear and minor damage can be easily fixed with more resin and cloth. Use epoxy resin for repairs, even though the canoe was probably made with polyester resin. Epoxy just sticks better, and keeps longer in the cans.

before poly
WW kayaks were made of fiberglass - tough enough for that use and easy to repair

Never had one
but you see several on the Kenduskeag Stream race…700 boats in April… almost anything goes. Its 17 miles of whitewater and flatwater.

I havent seen any Stowe remnanats at Six Mile Falls…a class 3 bump and grind over ledge

I’ll take her out this weekend and see how she feels, the FG all looks good and straight, just feels like its thin/flexible. Thanks for all the input!

My first canoe
was a fiberglass Stowe Mansfield (with ribs). I used it it for class I - II rivers that were often shallow. I worried about glancing off of and scraping over rocks. The fiberglass sounded as though it was being tortured when you did that. Friends who were more experienced assured me that it was plenty tough and told me not to worry. They were right. I used it for four or five years and before I sold it I fixed up a few dings that I had put in the gelcoat.

Having said all that, I must add that you cannot expect to run it headlong into a rock and come away unscathed.