Saturday, May 4, 2013

Canoe Redo

By Vicky Nardone


The canoe makeover I am going to be discussing today we actually did last summer but since I didn't have my blog last summer, you get to read about it now.  It's getting to be that time of year where it's nice to take a ride on the river on a warm day.  Matt has always loved boats.  His friend Mel's dad owned a boat and he used to spend a lot of time on it.  He actually was thinking of buying it a couple of year's ago when Mel's dad was thinking of selling it, but it was a little more than he could afford at the time.  However, this canoe was not.  Mel found it at the side of the road - someone was throwing it out.  I get home one night and there's a giant canoe sticking out of the back of his truck.  It was in pretty rough shape when he got it and I had a serious doubts that it would ever float again.

It may not actually look too horrible in the picture above, but take a closer look:
Yes, that is the grass through that GIANT GAPING HOLE in the side of the canoe.  So when we got this canoe, we still lived at our old house.  This thing sat for a while doing nothing at our old house and then sat for a while in the garage at our new house.  I was beginning to think nothing would ever get done with it when one summer day, Matt decided he was finally ready to do some work on it.  I had told him at the beginning that this was his project.  I was unwilling to invest any time or money into it.  He did end up paying for it himself, but I pretty much got dragged into the fixing process.  About $140 and 8 hours later we had ourselves a canoe.  When we checked out the prices of buying a new canoe in stores, it was about $800, so we figure that the $140 spent fixing this one up was a bargain as long as it floated when we were done.

This project required about 6 trips to Lowes and Walmart.  We just kept running out of and forgetting things.  I was sooo tired of those two places by the end of the day.  We barely every shop at Walmart and I'm very glad.  The prices are pretty cheap, but that store is huge and hard to find anything in and sometimes the quality of the stuff you buy there stinks.  So here I am mixing the resin in the repair kit we got.
The process for repairing the cracks is very simple.  You get a kit and it has these fiber glass sheets in it.  You cut the fiber glass to just larger than the size of your hole.  Then you mix up this fiberglass resin to be applied over the fiberglass patch.  You hold the fiberglass sheet over the hole and the apply the resin to it until it melds to the canoe.  When it dries it becomes really hard and waterproof.  Here's what the big gaping hole looked like after we patched it.
After the patch dries you sand every thing down so that it becomes smooth and non-bumpy.  Is that even a word - non-bumpy?
You get a lot of dust created during the sanding process so we hosed it down and dried it off after we were done sanding before we painted.
On one of our million trips to the store, we were trying to think of a name/design for the boat.  Matt really wanted to paint it red and black so I suggested we call it the bug and paint it like a lady bug.  Bug is my nickname for our dog Maggie - short for lovebug, but also because she bugs the heck out of us sometimes!  Matt liked the idea so we went with it.

Before spray painting the canoe red, we taped off the edges to keep them silver.

I actually cut out the designs for the canoe on my cricut.  I cut out two different size circles from my George and Basic shapes cartridge for the lady bug spots.  I can't remember anymore which one the lady bug icon is from, but I cut all the different layers of it on different sheets of paper so we could layer them on to the canoe.

Here's a close up of the lady bug.
Once the outside was dry, we flipped the canoe over and taped the seats and the bars off on the inside and painted it black.  If you can believe it, it was actually my first time working with spray paint.  I got the black on my hands and they were black for a couple of days.  Spray paint does not wash off very easily.  I used some nail polish remover, and that seemed to help, but they were still a little painted.


So I think we worked on this project from about 11am until 7pm that night.  It was a Saturday and so of course on Sunday we had to see if it would float.  We headed out to Dick's Sporting Goods as soon as it opened to buy paddles and life jackets.  It's always a good idea to have life jackets on board in case something happens but in our case, it was doubly important.  We weren't even sure this thing was going to float.  We patched it ourselves and you saw that gaping hole in the side!

We took it over to Niawanda Creek over by where we used to live and put it in the water.  It didn't immediately sink so that was good news.  I think I made Matt get in first just in case putting a person in it triggered the sinking.  So far so good.  We ending up taking it up and down the creek for about an hour and a half.  Midway through our ride it started raining, but luckily we were able to find a bridge to hide under and it was a short storm.

Doesn't it look ridiculous hanging out of the back of Matt's truck?  The worst part of the whole process is carrying it to the dock.  Since it's not a big boat we have to park in the lot and carry it over to the dock which is a bit of a distance from the lot.  It's actually decently heavy - especially for me, a self proclaimed weakling.  After this trip we had lunch at one of our favorite summer restaurants, Mississippi Mudds which is actually right across the street from where we put the boat in the water.

We are going to be taking another canoe trip tomorrow since the weather is supposed to be in the 70s all week here!  Anyone else have any fun weekend plans?

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