Tuf-Weave Rendezvous, we do ok?

At my behest my main mostest floating buddy bought it from another floating buddy for $200. An outfitter up in the northwest part of the state was kind enough to hold on to it for me until last Saturday when I picked it up (was up there anyway). The seller fully disclosed to me that it had a couple of areas that needed attention but assured me the boat was sound, and having seen it I agree.

The areas that need attention are: 1. a spot right at the waterline where the weave is visible; on the inside there’s a vertical fracture that’s not visible from the outside. Based on my description a gal at Wenonah suspected the vertical fracture was merely the result of the hull flexing due to the spot on the outside not being addressed (the boat has seen hardly any water since the PO bought it). She recommended a gel coat kit. 2. Where the bow meets the gravel bar there is quite a bit of wear; nothing out of the ordinary for a boat this age, but a small chunk or two missing. If we need to we’ll slap on skid plates, but I’d rather not. The other end looks great, and I’d prefer not to add the weight unless it’s necessary. Could we just put some gel coat love on those spots too?

So, I’d love your thoughts on the aforementioned items we need to address and generally speaking whether we did okay. For some reason (or lapse of reason)he looks to me for advice and buys whatever I tell him to buy, so I take a personal interest in this acquistion and want it to work out well for him. Once he gets some skills I think he’ll really enjoy it. I insisted he sign up for a paddling class and he has, which is good because I think his wife is plotting my early demise so I may not be around to paddle with him much longer.

Wenonah Tuff-weave boats are very strong and if the boat is in basically sound condition, a composite Rendezvous for $200 is a very good deal IMO, if the boat suits his needs.

The Rendezvous is a very nice river tripping boat capable of running some significant whitewater if it is not too technical. It is pretty deep and will carry a sizable load. It is also reasonably efficient to paddle on flat water, although its depth will cause it to catch some wind.

If you could put up some photos it would be easier to give cogent advice on if and how to repair it. If there is what appears to be a crack on the inside I would almost certainly put a patch on it. I have found the polyester gel coat can flex enough to not visibly fracture, even when the underlying fiberglass has cracked. Applying a patch of a couple of lamina of concentrically sized patches of fiberglass is a pretty easy thing to do.

As for the rough stem, I would probably just apply an abrasion plate consisting of either a layer of Dynel cloth or a couple of layers of 6 oz/yd fiberglass, preferably S 'glass. If done properly an abrasion plate of this type can be smoothed and feathered at the edges and will stand barely proud of the adjacent hull, creating very little drag in the water, and will look quite nice. Of course, you can get a gel coat repair kit but unlike a 'glass or Dynel plate it will add little, if any strength, and getting a good color match will be very difficult.

I’ll get a couple of pics and post them as soon as I can. Sounds like we just need to get some S Glass and resin and beer. Any reason not to just get a few yards of the six ounce thickness and use it in both places? Any vendors/brands in particular you like?

Sweet Composites
I have purchased S 'glass from Sweet Composites a number of times: http://sweetcomposites.com/Fiberglass.html

The style 6533-60 cloth is 6 oz/yd and the 6522-60 is 4 oz/yd. Both are a full 60 inches wide and a yard would probably be more than enough for your purposes.

Sweet Composites also sells West Systems epoxies: http://sweetcomposites.com/WEST.html You could use either conventional epoxy or G Flex. If you use conventional West 105 resin I would suggest using the 206 slow hardener. Unfortunately you have to buy no less than a quart of resin, although it is very handy stuff to have around. A quart of 105 with the appropriate volume of 206 hardener costs $54 at Sweet. But for convenience you will probably want to buy a set of minipumps as well and that tacks on another $13.

Alternatively you could use G Flex epoxy and Sweet sells 16 oz of G Flex resin and 16 oz of hardener for $54. G Flex is more viscous than West 105/206 so it takes a bit more time to work it into cloth to initially wet it out but it will work fine. I would only wet out one layer of 6 oz/yd cloth at a time, though. An advantage of G Flex is that you don’t need pumps to mix it. It can be mixed 1:1 by volume by eye. This makes it very convenient to mix up very small batches which is quite handy when you are filling in and fairing small dings and divots in the hull before applying a plate or a patch.

Sweet also sells Dynel cloth: http://sweetcomposites.com/Polyester.html

Dynel is less expensive than S 'glass and makes a very nice abrasion plate. Dynel soaks up more resin than fiberglass of comparable weight so a single layer of 5 oz/yd Dynel is enough.

I like to mix graphite powder in with the epoxy for abrasion plates. A twelve ounce can (which is a lot) costs $17: http://sweetcomposites.com/WEST.html

The graphite is said to make the cloth more abrasion resistant and it gives an abrasion plate a nice gloss black color that looks good and protects the epoxy from photo-degradation.

Another vendor is Jamestown Distributors and they have free shipping on orders over $50 till midnight tonight. They sell E 'glass and Dynel cloth as well as West Systems epoxies: http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/search_subCategory.do?categoryName=Fiberglass%20Cloth&category=520&refine=1&page=GRID

I do not believe they sell S 'glass.

Cool. I’ve heard lots of good things

– Last Updated: Apr-22-13 12:36 PM EST –

about Sweet Composites and G Flex, so that's probably plan A. I wonder if we should go ahead and get some pigment while we're ordering or just plan on ordering some paint from Wenonah. Looks like they don't have a tan pigment, so we'll just get some paint from Wenonah I guess.

The hull has probably changed color
I would not expect to get a good match from Wenonah. You may do better with Krylon paint from the hardware store.

I have a few scuffs on my almond color boat that is nigh on 30 ears old and found a good match in Krylon.

It’s worth experimenting with for five bucks.

That remark by the person on the phone
about the inside vertical split probably being due to the outside gelcoat not being repaired is just pure stupid. The inside damage occured for the same reason the gelcoat was pocked, because the boat was hit kinda hard there.

When you get a lame response like that, change the subject. That person should have called in someone who knew what they were talking about.

I hate gelcoat. The worst thing about Tufweave is that it’s coated with gelcoat.

I happen to like gelcoat
but never assumed it was structural. At best its like a band aid on your elbow before you fall on a rock.

While you are at it, feel all over the hull for other soft spots and reinforce if they are really spongy.

Thanks guys!
I knew y’all would get me pointed in the right direction. I followed pblanc’s lead. Had a good visit with a gal at Sweet yesterday and a yard of 6 ounce S glass and a sixteen ounce G Flex kit are on the way. We’ll be sure to chronicle the job with before and after pics.

As to the paint thing - I have used Krylon for touch ups on royalex and it works fine if the coulour is close. However, if you want to make a blue boat white, for example, it takes about a dozen cans, so it is really much more expensive than just buying exterior house paint or even interlux topside paint, which is much thicker and easier to apply if you want full coverage.

Do you like portaging a few pounds of

Reflect on how no gelcoat, but an extra layer of cloth, might save repairs.

Gelcoat -
I never thought much about it until I got a boat without it. Gelcoat is a sacrficial layer that keeps damage away from the structural stuff. If you scrape a gelcoated boat across a sharp rock you’ll come home with a scratch in the gelcoat. If you scrape a skin-coat boat across a sharp rock you’ll be looking at fibers in that scratch. The added weight is worth it to me.


Its worth it to me too.
Most of my wear comes from portages on the Canadian Shield… and the stems even though try I wetfoot it out and unload in the water, tend to abrade. Occasionally there is the steep lichen covered face to deal with.