will painting a canoe add much weight?

I bought an old fiberglass Yankee Rebel on the cheap. The bottom is pretty gouged up, but it has no leaks. I was thinking of refinishing it to make it look nice. Is there a way to do this without adding significant weight. What about painting? Will that add significant weight? I am brand new to ownership, so I know nothing. Thanks!

People won’t see the bottom when
you’re on the water. Almost certainly the boat has gelcoat over fiberglass, so if you have a yacht shop nearby, get some product that will “renew” the surface of fiberglass craft, and try that first.

As for painting, brush painting won’t work, and it’s hard to do an entire canoe with cans of spray paint. You’d have to pay an auto shop to do it, and that’s going to cost more than you paid for the boat.

I recommend focusing on getting the canoe serviceable with sound seats and fittings, and spending your money on a decent paddle and life jacket. Then go out and have the best time you can. Afterward, you’ll know what sort of boat you want for the long haul.

weigh the bucket of paint?
…just a thought.

reading some other boat forums
seems with the right prep, alot of sanding, you can indeed paint over gel coat.


You are going to remove some finish before you paint so I would not be concerned with paint.

You just want the paint to bond. I have painted wood dacron boats(not gelcoated) with both a foam brush and an aerosol can.

Consider an off white or light grey scuff patch on the bottom. Its a football shape that follows the waterline. Those colors hide scuffs well.

I have been contemplating the same thing. Bought an old fiberglass boat and wanted to make it look real nice, but have decided to redo the seats and leave the hull alone…for now. Gonna enjoy it as it is and save the time and money for later. If I really find I enjoy the boat and actually get to use it often, then I will work on it later…or maybe spend the money on a different boat with less scuffs… :slight_smile:

Don’t waste a lot of time on pretty…
As Tom Bergh of Maine Island Kayak pointed out to me, you can spend 75% of your repair time trying to make that last 10% look perfect.

On the other hand, sounds like you have a good boat to practice on!

no , painting a canoe will not …
… add much weight at all .

The paint on the bottom , chines and stems will get all scratched up and mared in a surprisingly short time though , so don’t put much expense or effort into it .

Buy cheap paint
I painted this boat, well, that and lots of sanding and patching too.


when i finished, it looked like this…


I bought expensive automotive spray paint. It’s not holding up to abuse, the bottom has lot’s of scratches.

The canoe is a 28 years old FG/kevlar Sawyer Summersong. Paid $200 for it.

It will add somewhere between 2 and 4 lbs. per coat.

O’Reilly’s automotive spray paint
works great. We bought two cans and painted a canoe. It wasn’t very expensive, maybe $6 or $7 a can. That was a couple of years ago and it still looks okay.