How to Refurbish a Canoe? – Everything You Need to Know!

To buy a new canoe, you’ll need a lot of money. The most cost-effective and efficient way is to purchase a used canoe, but a used canoe has many problems. First of all, you need to bring back an old used canoe to a new look. You may find holes or cracks in your older canoe. So, they need to be repaired to make your canoe waterproof. Again, if your canoe is made of fiberglass, fixing it will be a daunting task. 

Therefore, to bring good results in changing the look of your canoe, refurbishing the canoe is essential. However, many of us may not know the method or steps to refurbish canoe. Now, we will discuss the refurbishing process step by step.  

Wound Repair Of the Canoe


Inspect the cracks or holes in the canoe, or inspect any scratches in the canoe. Make sure you draw a circle with a wax pencil so that you can find those places for future repairs.


Holes or cracks are uneven, so rub the edges of any mold with medium-grit sandpaper. Rubbing with sandpaper smooths the concave face of cracks or holes.


Measure holes or cracks with measuring tape. For cracks, take 2 pieces of fiberglass patching cloth and cut them to extend 2 inches longer than the cracks.


Wrap the outside of the hole with a layer of the plastic wrapper, then cover with a layer of cardboard on a plastic wrapper. This cardboard layer can provide a solid foundation for holding your patching fabric.


Place the epoxy–coated patches in the hole to patch the hole. Mix the epoxy in the disposable bowl with something like an old popsicle stick. If you want to repair a crack first, spread the first patch smoothly into the crack with epoxy coating, place the second patch inside the crack and place the epoxy-coated patches again.


Remove the cardboard and wrapper the next day when the patchwork has been set.


When the patchwork is down, rub it on or around the surface with sandpaper. Rub the extra fiberglass with rough–grit sandpaper. You can smooth with medium or fine-grit sandpaper for a beautiful finish.

Refurbish Painting


You can use a heat gun or boiling water to remove the dirty stickers from your old canoe. If you want, remove the glue on the back of the sticker with a putty knife or acetone solvent very easily.


Remove all stubborn stains or pigment by sanding the entire boat with fine-grit sandpaper. Continue this process until the scratches or color stains appear. When all the stains are gone, wash the hull and let it dry.


The canoe’s hull should be coated with a thin layer of fiberglass through a brush or roller. It takes about 8 hours to dry, so give it enough time.


It is crucial to apply the coating of fiberglass paint or marine paint to the canoe hull. Allow the first coat to dry for at least 8 hours before applying the second coat. Pay special attention to creating a streak behind the stroke of your painting and use a foam brush to push the streak.


Use masking tape to protect some areas from paint. If you think the paint may come off with the tape, it’s better to use a putty knife for peeling control.

Wooden canoe Refurbish

You can refurbish wooden canoes. It is not a difficult task. The life span of the plastic canoe, fiberglass, polythene, or Kevlar coated canoes is much higher than that of wooden canoes. There are some vintage fiberglass canoes that many people dislike. Although wooden canoe is not very popular nowadays, some people whose former men used wooden canoes to be maintained.


One of the great things about wood canvas is that it can last a long time, depending on how much you use or how you use it. A canvas lasts about 10 to 20 years, depending on its use. The canvas needs to be refurbished when it starts to fail and is no longer usable. You can make any repairs during refurbishment, and you can install a new canvas instead of the old canvas. Waterproof paint is applied to the canvas to make it waterproof and durable, finally. By completing the refurbishment process of a wooden canoe, you can get a durable canoe.

Preparation and caution of a dull canoe reconstruction

 Preparing a canoe before refurbish is most important. Many people think that painting canoe at the beginning is fundamental. But studies have shown that damaged fiberglass in canoes causes a problem later, so you should replace them. Many canoes also have many cracks in the gel coat. 

It is necessary to sand them to attach them. The holes in the hull become a little difficult to sand, and many people are afraid to sand them. Even if you fill the holes, it leaves stains that look ugly, so apply fresh paint to get rid of them so they can’t be seen.

To fix the thwart, yoke, or deck, you may need to create a new thwart and yoke a lot of the time, or you can buy them. Properly aligned to reinforce with fiberglass can be a bit complicated work if the yoke is hollow.

Final verdict:

Your ancestral canoe carries a tradition, and you may be thinking of reusing it. The canoe may be in disrepair, so all you have to do is rebuild or refurbish the canoe. It’s essential to know the right tools or materials to refurbish a canoe. We have discussed these issues step by step in this article. The refurbishment has a lot to do with fixing a used or worn-out canoe. You may have an old canoe, but you may don’t know how to renovate it. So, when you know how to refurbish a canoe, you can repair it without buying a new canoe.

Leave a Comment