Wood canvas question

-- Last Updated: Mar-18-10 1:07 PM EST --

So I am looking at a new boat and will use it likely not just on with Wisconsin river, but also in the canadian shield. I have been playing around with the idea of having the bottom shaleced. It figure it would be a bit more slippery on rocks, but mainly just easier to touch up after sand bar and rock issues.

Any comments?

W-C canoe questoin
I’ve tried it both ways on my canoe and it makes little difference in my opinion. The shellac bottom didn’t seem all that slippery and touch-ups were definitely visible. Touching up bottom paint is just as easy and less visible. On the other hand that shellac bottom just looks great and gives a good line to judge how level you’re paddling. It’a all aesthetics inmy poinion but aesthetics are pretty darned important. Your choice.


Shellac? Based on my furniture
experiences, shellac is wonderful for sealing soundboards, but not for sealing against water. You got better bugs in your shellac?


– Last Updated: Mar-18-10 7:18 AM EST –

I have a friend the used it on the bottom of his Prospector and he really likes it. The two tone looks nice too. I think Steve is right, you could go either way.

I like the very short dry time of shellac, and relatively less toxicity and use it as a sealer before varnish on the hull interior.

Reportedly, some Maine guides used shellac on their hull bottoms instead of paint for the reasons you state. I suspect it comes from the Maine boatbuilding tradition where shellac and things like "boat soup" were readily available and frequently used. Someone tried it once and its use went from there.

Maybe orange shellac is more
water resistant than the white shellac I use on soundboards.

Shellac is a good option
It works great as a sealer for the wood before varnish. Environmentally friendly and I use less expensive varnish.

On the hull exterior, it may turn a little milky with use, but that clears up when it dries. You can rub the scratches out with a little alcohol. Try doing that with Royalex.