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  1. Mike McCrea

    Canoe Maintenance, once every gol dang year

    Without a current rebuild in the shop it was time to turn my attentions to annual canoe inspection and maintenance on the family fleet. Blimney Crickets, that’s a bunch of boats to Futz with washing and inspecting. The Mohawk Odyssey 14 first. Sufferin’ Succotash that is my all time favorite...
  2. Mike McCrea

    Weather Forecasts (are today’s whippersnappers spoiled?)

    Watching the weather forecast for a trip it occurred to me that we’ve never had it this good. I can go on-line and find an extended 5 to 10 day weather forecast for darn near anywhere on the planet. Or maybe that isn’t such a good thing. Back “in the day”, before all this on-line computer...
  3. Mike McCrea

    Lost (misplaced) a tool

    I know I used my treasured 1.5” hard roller on the selvage edges of E-glass tape on the most recent rebuild. That little tool is multi-functional handy; for compressing fabric under peel ply especially, but also for thin foam pads and neoprene, tape and label bubbles, etc. Anything adhered that...
  4. Mike McCrea

    Most hull abusive trips?

    Blackfly’s Blue Steel scratches got me thinking – and I am sure there are stories – what single trip did the most damage to a canoe you owned? I expect this will pale in comparison to sundry wrecked and irretrievable pins, but the very first trip in the Mohawk Odyssey was as willfully abusive...
  5. Mike McCrea

    Furthest you have carried to launch a canoe?

    I don’t mean long carries between lakes or watersheds, I mean the furthest you have carried to first day launch the canoe at water’s edge. I don’t recall carrying more than a few hundred yards, a quarter mile at most, and I cart canoe and gear at launches with whenever I comfortably can. But...
  6. Mike McCrea

    No advice is better than bad advice

    Posted on another board is response to a question about replacement gunwales: Shipping gunwales in the mail is difficult because they are so long. You can make wood ones. You can order vinyl or aluminum ones cut in half. WTF?
  7. Mike McCrea

    Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

    With an even longer subtitle “A Magnificent History of How the West Was Really Won - a Sweeping Tale of Shame and Glory”. Set in the desert SW, so not a lot of paddling. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/109487.Blood_and_Thunder?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=N0GfjUWEiK&rank=1 Hampton...
  8. Mike McCrea

    Interpret an old HIN?

    I believe the HIN on my current rebuild project pre-dates the current standardized format of a 12 letter/number sequence. Modern HINs consist of: A three letter code denoting the manufacturer. A five character code than can use numbers and letters to denote the manufacturer assigned serial...
  9. Mike McCrea

    Dreamboat Rebuild Rebuild

    The Dreamboat is a flat bottomed Royalex tandem that I originally rebuilt years ago and gave to needed-a-boat Tom. Tom really needed his own canoe. First paddling trip with Tom in his wife’s Mohawk Rogue - high sided deep and well rockered for serious whitewater, with a Perception saddle – we...
  10. Mike McCrea

    You kids get off my lawn! (way off topic)

    My neighbor Wayne, who only lives in his house on weekends, called me to say that he had hired a new lawn care guy. The new guy and his weed whacker helper showed up today. I got on the riding mower, drove over next door, parked beside his mower and bellowed “Boy, what the HELL you doin’ on my...
  11. Mike McCrea

    Denatured vs 90% isopropyl alcohol for prep work/cleaning?

    I’ve heard people specify “denatured alcohol” in discussing boat repair prep work. But I’m still unclear about any advantages or disadvantages between the two, especially for cleaning/prepping different surfaces. Not intended for cleaning electronics, antiseptic or glug-glug reasons if I run out...
  12. Mike McCrea

    How is the varnish “Epifanes” correctly pronounced?

    I’ve always said “E-pif-ah-knees”, like an epiphany. I’ve now also heard “eh-puh-FAWN-eeez” and “eh-puh-FAINZ” The south Texas local’s amusement at my east-coaster pronunciation of Boquillas Canyon, “BO-quill-E-ass”, was hard to live down. I still don’t know where the hard “-E-“ came from...
  13. Mike McCrea

    Attention Grandparents re PFDs

    An upcoming REI “Deal of the Day” is a Stohlquist Infant/Toddler PFD. Deal of the Day priced at $24.73 on Monday 5/16. https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/198176/stohlquist-infant-pfd-infantstoddlers Fits up to 30lbs. They grow so fast, but like all the baby/toddler stuff a teeny PFD can be...
  14. Mike McCrea

    Bucket Seat Pans

    I had been looking for a used bucket seat pan or two. Doug wanted one to replace the simple foam pad in his Rob Roy (mid-90’s $1200 MSRP decked canoe in glass, with a ten cent foam seat). And I wanted one to keep as shop stock for the next decked canoe conversion. The manufacturers have needed...
  15. Mike McCrea

    Sizing on fiberglass cloth – age?

    A conversation this morning with a frugal friend who found a disaster in his box of fiberglass, Dynel and peel ply, some of his leftover glass approaching 20 years old, got me thinking about the ageing out of sizing on fiberglass I expect that how and where fiberglass is stored makes a...
  16. Mike McCrea

    Camp/Foxworx Paddles

    Not so much paddle technique as paddles themselves; FoxWorx Paddles shutting down According to the company website 2022 will be the last year for FoxWorx paddles. https://www.foxworxpaddle.com/ Mitchell Paddles is rumored to be going the same way. The world of canoes and canoeing gear...
  17. Mike McCrea

    West System 423 Graphite vs 420 Aluminum Powder?

    I was recently given a full unopened can of West System 420 aluminum powder. https://www.westsystem.com/420-aluminum-powder/ I have used 423 graphite powder often in the past on skid plates and keel strips. https://www.westsystem.com/423-graphite-powder-2/ Other than the aluminum powder...
  18. Mike McCrea

    BMO Trip

    ALSG, Tom and I made a trip up to Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville PA today. I had e-mailed them a list of stuff I was looking for the day before: Plastic or composite seat pans. Old Wenonah stuff, new Wenonah stuff, Mad River IQ stuff, etc. I need a seat pan, my friend DougD needs one as...
  19. Mike McCrea

    Possible source for used blue barrels

    I am still ISO a local source for used blue barrels, preferably not ones used for chemicals or fertilizer. On another board a poster offered this: I used to work next to a factory that made jam and marmalade. They had, literally, hundreds of those barrels. They arrived full of fruit of various...
  20. Mike McCrea

    Kevlar Curtis Nomad

    Not mine. Not cheap. https://annapolis.craigslist.org/boa/d/annapolis-solo-canoe-handmade-of-kevlar/7478280268.html