Restoring Old Wooden Folbot Kayak

Submitted byteejay onTue, 08/11/2020 - 14:41

Hey folks!

My father and I are restoring my great grandfather's old Folbot kayak, circa 1981-ish. It has a wooden frame, naugahyde skin, and is non-folding. We're hoping to save and reattach the skin as it is in relatively good condition, although we need to find a way to remove it so we can continue disassembly in order to sand down and refinish the wooden frame.  

Does anyone have any advice on how to remove the skin while maintaining the integrity? Its a bit crusty from buildup and age, no holes or other problems. Its attached with some sort of glue or adhesive and then tacked on. I'm guessing we should treat the skin somehow first to try and soften it and then work on removal. 

Any advice or research resources would be greatly appreciated! Its our first project of this nature, and while we both have some woodworking experience, vinyl is uncharted territory. Thanks for reading along and happy sailing!