Project Canoe – update

So my neighbors at the lake have had this Wenonah Kevlar Canoe sitting on their property, unused, for about 15 years. I would see it whenever I paddled by their camp.

I have canoes the way some folks have skis– different canoes for different purposes. I currently own two– both Wenonahs, one solo and the other tandem. I have owned two other Wenonahs, and also had a Grass River carbon fiber solo racing canoe. I love paddling a canoe, especially getting in sync, when paddling with Paula.

I was talking with my neighbors yesterday, and asked them about the canoe. They don’t use it, as they don’t find it to be stable, especially when paddling with dogs. Then they gave me the canoe! It is an Odyssey, no longer in production. This version had wooden gunwales– which have totally rotted. Other than that, it is structurally sound.

So now I have a new project boat.

And yet another canoe.


Well, the canoe is done.

I had to order new wooden gunwales from Wenonah. They shipped them free to Mac’s Canoe Livery for me– when they were delivering new canoes to Mac’s. Each gunwale is three pieces. They also sent the bow and stern end caps. Everything needed trimming, and the end caps had to be shaped to fit the Odyssey.

The first thing I did was clean the canoe, and strip out the rotten gunwales.

The next step involved putting 4 coats of teak oil on the gunwale wood. That was followed by 8 coats of urethane.

I traced the old end caps onto the new ones; I had someone who is an excellent wood worker make them for me (Thank you, Ken!).

We epoxied the end caps in place, and then installed the outer gunwale on one side, we put the two interior pieces in and Paula epoxied everything very neatly (using a cake icing decorating bag). You can’t have enough clamps. After sanding everything, and multiple coats of epoxy, I installed the screws.

With the gunwales installed, I then applied 8 more coats of urethane.

The last step was reinstalling the thwarts and carry yoke.

We finished this weekend. It’s done, except for a good general cleaning and waxing.

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