the dreaded fiberglass

Remember a while back Jon and Amanda found an old rotten beat up canoe? Well last night we started to fix it and make it fit for water. The front end was a big problem.

After work I checked in on still sick Heath then got busy cutting potatoes, broccoli and getting burger supplies together. Jon came over and Matt came up and we all went outside and grilled a pile of burgers and fried french fries and cooked some broccoli. The weather was great and we just relaxed and we all enjoyed it for a while.

After dinner Matt went on a beer run, Heath did some work and Jon and I got busy on the canoe. Well the top of the front end was missing, the fiberglass around it was broke and loose and without a rope tied around it the whole thing opened up.

Jon and I set to finding something to make a new top for it. We tried several things we found around the basement and garage but none were quite right. Eventually we found a metal lid for a 55 gallon drum. We put it on the boat and drew a chalk outline on it then cut it out of the lid. Matt came back with the beer about now.

We cut about an inch bigger on each side so we would have a lip. Then Jon and I pounded the lid with a hammer to bend the lip around the sides. It fit really well but it had a sharp spear sticking out the front. We pulled it off and cut out and bent the front some then Jon got out the torch and welded the front together.

The lid was about ready so to help prevent rust a bit I got out some old spray paint and put on a coat. I painted the whole thing white. While it was drying we got out the fiberglass and flipped the canoe over.

There were several cracks and puncture marks in the bottom that could possibly leak but the worst part was the worn spots at the front and the back.

You could see several layers of fiberglass had been scraped away over time and we started our efforts on one of these. Jon sanded it down real well then we mixed up a bit of resin and cut out some fabric and started patching.

We started with small pieces of fabric in the worst spots then quickly added more larger pieces of fabric. The resin goes from a liquid to a useless Jello very quickly so we had to work fast getting the fabric all coated and in place on the canoe. Jon and I had worked with fiberglass a lot on my boat before so everything went really smoothly. I even had rubber gloves for our hands so today my fingers are not itchy and burning.

It dried really quickly but before it did we flipped it over again and got the newly painted lid. It was dry so we worked it into place then secured it with 4 small and 1 large bolts. It feels very solid and holds the front of the canoe together really well.

Everything was dry but the sun was going down so we did not start on the other fiberglass work yet. We have a few more spots and corners to fiberglass and it needs a support across the middle and then it will be ready for some creek/river adventures.

Jon went home and Matt and I had a beer and enjoyed the night for a bit. Then I went in to check on Heath and then get some exercise from a workout video. I found Heath asleep with the lights and TV on so quietly shut everything off. I was not quiet enough though and she woke up as I was shutting the door. I sat down and hung out for a bit and we ended up playing with the new computer.

It had restarted and a few of our modifications had taken affect. The screen was easier for using the computer from bed and we got sucked into youtube and other video sites. We watched some music videos and funny videos and water powered car videos all from the comfort of our bed. It was kinda cool, actually so cool that I never made it to my workout video and ended up playing with it until bed.

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4 Responses to the dreaded fiberglass

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let’s go, I’m tired of waiting !!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Not a coward, don’t know how to get my name on. I’m Ralph, an old friend of your dad’s – I remember you from way back – used to work with and then for your dad.  

  3. thePrewitt says:

    Just teasing. Hey Ralph I remember you too. Good to see you on the site. 

    Ohh and to have your name show up you have to create an account.  

  4. Heather says:

    When the canoes are water worthy, and Jon has adequite number of paddles, maybe we can be like the indians (feather, not dot) and go exploring on near by streams and/ or rivers?  Laughing

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