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Touching Up Finish on Old Wood Kayak
By:Harvey C. Farr Jr.
Date: 7/15/2001, 8:37 am

My wife found an old wood kayak in an antique shop in Rhode Island and bought it for me for Father's Day. It appears to have been refinished with the seams fiber glassed. It is not constructed of laminated strips, so I thnk it is either a plywood stich and glue construction or something similar. I took it for a day trip on the Connecticut River and scraped rocks at some low points a couple of times.

Here are my questions. I have digital photographs of the kayak and the abrasions I would like to repair, but I do not have a web page to post them on. I can attach them to an E-Mail if anyone thinks they would be of benefit.

1.) Based upon what I have read so far it seems that the finsih could be a polyurethane, varnish or epoxy. How do I tell so I can determine what to touch the kayak up with? Does it matter? Along the keel there is a 10 inch strip where the finsih has been pushed back with rounded, bubbled tears, (like skin peeling after a sunburn). The material that has been separated from the fiberglass cloth feels rubbery. The fiberglass cloth is exposed in small spots, but the fibers appear to be undamaged.

2.) After reading your site and a couple of others, I have considered either epoxy coating the bottom or epoxy/fiber glassing the bottom. Would I have to strip the finish off the bottom first? I really didn't bump hard at all on the bottom and while I don't intend to try white water with this beauty, I would like to be able to take minor bumps on rocks and gravel wiithout gouging the finish. I this realistic? What ever I do, I want to preserve the beauty of teh grain on the bottom, so what I have read, carbon fiber or kevlar are out.

3.) If I choose to simply apply another coat or two of epoxy or polyurethane, I assume the only prep required would be some light sanding to provide a place for the material to grab. Am I fooling myself?

I would greatly appreciate any advice you folks have. The only refinsihing I have ever done has been on old furniture, stripping paint, so please pardon my ignorance. I really love the way this kayak paddles and looks and don't want to mess it up.

P.S. If anyone is sitting there thinking, gee pal why don't you just go to so and so's web page of buy what's his name's book on refinishing and fiberglassing canoes....then it's O.K. to point me there in lieu of answering the questions. Hate to barge in on your BBS. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Messages In This Thread

Touching Up Finish on Old Wood Kayak
Harvey C. Farr Jr. -- 7/15/2001, 8:37 am
Don't worry about it yet
Paul G. Jacobson -- 7/16/2001, 12:14 am
Marry her! :)
!RUSS -- 7/16/2001, 9:11 pm
Re: Marry her! :)
Harvey C. Farr Jr. -- 7/17/2001, 9:44 pm
Re: Marry her! :)
daren neufeld -- 7/17/2001, 11:09 pm
Re: Marry her! :)
Dave M -- 7/18/2001, 10:13 pm
Link to Harvey's pics
Jim Pace -- 7/15/2001, 9:37 pm
Re: Touching Up Finish on Old Wood Kayak
Rehd -- 7/15/2001, 10:09 am