How to Make Boats Last Several Lifetimes – Cedar Strip Canoe Repair

Brenda T. Weitzman

The joys of riding cedar strip canoes simply cannot be compared to any other kind of pastime. The feelings evoked by the sturdy, classic boat floating serenely on a body of water. One can’t help but feel nostalgic and cozy with such an old world feeling.

However since they are not coming by as commonly as they used to, the difficulty of maintaining a boat, not to mention the efforts needed to repair one, could come quite an inconvenience. In this age of modern convenience, people are used to getting things instantly. But if one prefers to call upon timeless pleasures of traditional elegance, one needs to invoke the more earthy elements of such crafts. Luckily, such heritage has not been totally erased as there are still those who chose to preserve such an honorable art.

History of Cedar Strip Canoes

The wooden canoe emerged by means of a long history of woodcraft skill tradition exhibited by the people of the first nations. When the early European settlers ran out of canoes made of native birch bark, their resourcefulness opted then to design boats that used materials readily found in their new found land. It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and such is true about the emergence of this types of canoes. What was once just a substitute material has become a standard feature in what would become an age-old tradition in boat making. More than a century from that original European influence of these boats, people now have designs that are light, fast, sturdy, but still elegant and beautiful, not to mention easy to repair, making it possible to last for generations.

Knowledge of Construction – a Key to Cedar Strip Canoe Repair

Cedar strip canoes are carefully crafted with great skill and discipline. Cedar ribs are first steamed to make it flexible enough to bend over a form. Cedar planks are then skillfully nailed by hand to the outer part of the ribs using brass tacks. This very lightweight system of fastening provides a very strong skeleton for the canoe. Once the installation of planks is done, the form can then be removed. To make them waterproof, a layer of fiberglass cloth is used as a covering, then around five coats of epoxy is spread over the hull. It is then baked to harden the materials, making them watertight. Afterwards, the seats, decks, thwart, yoke, and gunwales are then installed. This is also covered with at least five coats of a special type of varnish that protects against Ultraviolet light degradation.

Cedar Strip Canoe Repair and Maintenance

Though cedar strip canoes are generally durable, wear and tear cannot be avoided totally. Fortunately it is easy to maintain and repair them. To maintain a unit in great shape, it should be stored upside-down, away from the ground. This would prevent it from deteriorating, and therefore needing repair. If the inevitable minor scratches are acquired, they can easily be repaired with light applications of a UV protecting coat that you can get in many boat supply stores or you can order online. Meanwhile, if there are gouges and deep scratches, an epoxy resin could easily cover them. If there is some irreparable damage, it would be best to have the canoe restored, and this can easily be done by professional canoe restoration specialists.

Cedar strip canoes can serve as great pieces of art that can also be considered as heirloom. With proper maintenance and immediate repair, they can be made to last several lifetimes. To know more about maintaining these watercrafts, one only need to look for canoe repair services through the phone directory or the internet.

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