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  1. Chip

    Defacing money vs Fender Washer

    Stainless fender washers priced at $0.99 came to $1.04 at my local hardware store. So, my question is, should I just drill a hole in a quarter and substitute those for fender washers? I could get four for the price of one washer. Is it a crime to deface money?
  2. Chip

    Michigan Canoeing

    I passed through Michigan last June on the way back to Maryland from Montana. On the road, I saw many vehicles with canoes on top. It's interesting looking country, and seeing all those canoes made me think I need to make a return trip to Michigan, this time bringing a boat. I have two...
  3. Chip

    Supporting thwarts while varnishing

    Every time I looked at those thwarts, I felt like a slacker. They were still serviceable, but worn. This week, they made it inside, got sanded, and now sport a fresh coat of varnish. Here's the question: how do you support thwarts while they are being varnished? I've previously just hung them...
  4. Chip

    Paddles with offset T grip

    The bent, Bending Branches thread got me thinking. I notice that when I'm paddling, the blade of the paddle is not perpendicular to the center line of the boat. I'm using a paddle with a T-grip. So, I assume I'm wasting some forward power by putting a turning force on the boat. If I put the...
  5. Chip

    Mini-, cordless Chainsaws

    I'm sure these saws have been available and evolving, but it was only recently, at a paddling rendezvous, that I became interested. I came home and ordered one, a Thanos, 2.8 lb, 4" cordless electric chain saw. My friend Steve and I regularly paddle woody stretches of my local river...
  6. Chip

    Beavers

    I stared at these marks on the ice at Liberty Reservoir last week, wondering what made the marks. My theory is beavers crossed here. Anybody know? Also, last week, I snuck up on the biggest beaver I ever saw while it was up on a bank of the Patuxent River. I was floating downstream, so I don't...
  7. Chip

    Solar-powered canoe

    I suppose it's been done before, but I saw my first solar-powered canoe. I was bicycling along a street that bordered the Kentucky River in Frankfurt. When I passed the boat, which was sitting on a trailer, my brain went "whaaa..," and I doubled back to look at it more closely. Two panels were...
  8. Chip

    Transponder Keys (auto)

    I'm a two+ months in on new-vehicle-itis. After 12-years driving an '09 Tacoma, I still reach for controls that used to be there, and then realize, "oh, ya, that's over here now." Old habits. I'm getting used to the fob, but not liking it yet. I really didn't want a key fob. I loved the simple...
  9. Chip

    No Rack. Boatless Summer?

    A buddy recruited me for a trip west. I peered into the back of the van just now: there’s no paddling gear. And I’m wondering if it will be a summer without boats. Backstory: 1) we headed west with no boats because my buddy isn’t a boater. 2) I just traded in my Tacoma for a cargo van. I need...
  10. Chip

    Please put a screw-off lid on my Denatured Alcohol

    I often use denatured alcohol as a solvent when working with glues on canoe projects. I currently have two brands on hand: Jasco and Klean Strip. Both have lids that have to be pried off with a tool. It bugs me to have to grab a tool, usually a screw driver to open the can. Okay, I shouldn't...
  11. Chip

    The Lowly Whistle: Critical Gear

    Returning to the landing after yet another paddle on my local Patuxent, we encountered a pair of DNR officers in full tactical outfit. They looked like they were SWAT, making me wonder if there was a hostage situation or something. No, they were merely intent on checking our fish catch and...
  12. Chip

    Impressive Graffiti

    I live in an urbanized area, and in my travels about I frequently encounter graffiti. As a canoeist, I frequently find myself under bridges—prime graffiti territory. Most of the time the graffiti is eminently forgettable. Graffiti is almost always a crime, and much of it is juvenile, foul...
  13. Chip

    Never expected Gunwale Hardware to be so destructive

    The hardware that sticks up above the gunwale on my Old Towns have struck again. In June I wrote about how my Thule cross bar suffered under the repeated sliding of canoes on and off the rack. Those little finishing washers and screw heads, seen above with incriminating chunks of something...
  14. Chip

    “Plastic Weld” glue v G-Flex for Carbonlite

    I’m planning to help a friend try to mend ruptures in her boat, which is Carbonlite, an ABS plastic with an acrylic urethane. I see recommendations for gluing Carbonlite with Devcon Plastic Welder adhesive. I’m inclined to try it with G-flex, since it seems to glue to everything. There will be a...
  15. Chip

    Dog Rescue

    We couldn’t figure out from where the dog barking noise was coming. There are nearby hiking trails, so on the way upstream we just thought it odd we couldn’t see any person or dog, and jokingly laughed it off as a tree’s bark. when the barking started again as we passed on the way downstream...
  16. Chip

    Combi thwart/seat in Brit comics' canoe

    Flipping channels on the TV, hundreds of channels and nothings on, next channel, next channel, whoa, what the heck is that? It was enough to rope me into watching the rest of this old British comedy, which was predictably stupid. I was surprised when the characters sit in the canoe, on those...
  17. Chip

    Anybody need Urethane Foam?

    From US Composites, I bought 2 quarts of 2 lb urethane foam. It's supposed to make 2 cubic feet, which weigh 2 lbs per cubic foot. They make heavier density foam that has structural qualities, but this stuff is mostly for floatation or insulation. Of the two quarts, I used approximately 1 cup...
  18. Chip

    Replacing Floatation in a FG canoe

    The Mayfly was made in Austin, Texas around 1975. It is an 18.5 foot, fiberglass canoe with unique "shedding" decks. A foam “bun” had fallen out from beneath the upswept deck. This was likely placed in the canoe as floatation. Fiberglass is heavier than water, so I assume the foam was...
  19. Chip

    What to do with the Brownline?

    The Brownline Mayfly is an 18.5' x 34", fiberglass beast. The serial indicates manufacture in 1975. It's a fairly fast hull, but weighs somewhere around 90 lbs. The "shedding" decks are a prominent feature. The builder told me the boat was designed for "pool and drop rivers like the...
  20. Chip

    Destructive Removal of a Thule Bar

    It was only nine years old, but the rear cross bar on my truck cap had become deformed, making some attachments difficult to fit. Some idiot had loaded boats on the bars by sliding them up from behind the truck. After a few hundred slides, hardware protruding above the gunwales had gouged the...
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