HELP Cedar Strip Canoe In Distress

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I have a cedar strip canoe that needs TLC.  It needs refinishing due to being left out in the weather for I don't know how long and ALSO at some point suffered the abuse of a tree branch falling on it.

I have neither the experience nor the space to undertake this work by myself.  Can sombody point me to a company that does this sort of work, or better yet, a person or place where I could take it and work WITH sombody to get the job done.?

I am in DC.  The canoe currently is in southern WV and I plan on picking it up in a week or so IF I find a place to take it.

Thanks for any advice.

RE: HELP Cedar Strip Canoe In Distress


i saw your note and i would say that how you approach this depends on your objective and budget.

are you trying to 'restore' it or are you just trying to make it serviceable or would you simply want a new canoe of similar or different look and feel (if it was cheaper than a repair)?

that said, the boat you are showing is not a typical epoxy/cedar canoe.   it is truly a classic.   most restorations of craft in this kind of shape (or at least what i can discern from the picture) involve basically re-building the boat. and that is expensive because of how labor intensive it is.  is a link for a maryland-based wooden boat restorer.  they may be worth a call to get some advice.

if it is just trying to make the boat serviceable....there may be cheaper options.  but i honestly would question if it makes sense and frankly, i would probably just say build a new project (or have it built for you). is a good example of a first class builder....and you could get a quote from them or buy and build a kit. (while this appears as a kayak site...they do do canoes as well)

you could also check in with the folks at old town  who still make classic wood canoes like yours and get their opinion.  it may be easier/cheaper to buy a new one or perhaps they have a perspective on restoration

the major challenge in your project is that the wood is water stained/has mold that discolored it (that's the black marks) and shows sign of dry rot..  and its near impossible to make those marks go away and make it look like the original. unfortunately, wood boats, if they are left without routine maintenance can easily get away from you with respect to being reasonable and easy to repair.

anyway, i would seriously encourage contacting some of the references i have put up here.  there is a lot of experience on this site....but my guess is that most of that restoration or repair experience involves epoxy encapsulated wood boats where the basic material is in substantially better shape than what i see in your picture.

 all the best



RE: HELP Cedar Strip Canoe In Distress

one other good reference:

they specialize in wooden canoe repair and are referenced in the old town site.  i suspect they would be in the best position to size up your project.


RE: HELP Cedar Strip Canoe In Distress

Go to WCHA forum (Wooden Canoe Heritage Association)   they will help you out and answer any questions.

RE: HELP Cedar Strip Canoe In Distress

   Thank you both so much for your replies.  It is indeed a classic, built in 1968 outside of Huntsville Ontario.  

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