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$50 Sawyer DY Special restoration

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I bought this canoe for 50 dollars (and a 400 mile round trip drive) off Craigslist. It is a 1985 DY Special, I believe in superlight kevlar (based on the weight after I got all the wood planking off last night). I got it from the original owner who, after years of using it in the BWCA and various Montana lakes, ended up taking it down the middle Yaak River with a lady friend on board. I've floated the middle Yaak (below town, above the falls) in a packraft, and it isn't especially rocky nor especially twisty, but I can imagine that a nearly 17 foot canoe with no rocker would on that stretch be hard work. The gentleman intimated that the influence of his companion led to unwise choices, and much boat damage. Long story short, his repairs amounted to 3/4" redwood planking, inside and out, glued to the hull, screwed through the hull to each other, tapered at the ends and edges, edged with spray foam or gorilla glue, and then glassed over with what appears to have been 4-6 oz glass and vast amounts of auto epoxy. He completed this repair and then put it away in his barn, where it stayed, lent out once, for the past 15 years. That one use was cousins crossing the Missouri just above Fort Peck during hunting season, and my assumption is that it was they who (as the gentleman put it) sat on the middle of the hull when it was upside down, adding some substantial but not full thickness cracks to the widest section of the tumblehome

I did take it for a paddle on the drive home, and aside from one little 2 tsp/minute crack near the seat, the thing floated no problem. Paddling characteristics were a little peculiar.

Getting all the planking and glass off wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, due to the poor epoxy and dodgy glass work. The bow end wood was extensively rotted inside, as the glass job was just enough to let a bit of water in, then keep it there. After ~4 hours of cutting, prying, sanding, and a wee bit of swearing, the hull is almost back to the original state, with the addition of a bunch of cracks, 3 dozen screw holes, and a section towards the stern (where I assume his lady friend sat that fateful day) with water intrusion under the outer layers and plenty of puffy/crunchy kevlar fabric.

Unfortunately, being sandwiched between those wood layers for so long has crunched up the keel line of the DY Special, with 2/3s of the boat being 1 to 1.5 inches oilcanned below where it ought to be. I have a few repair questions I was hoping for help with, the first being how to best restore the hull line.

My thought is to make a mold (in essence) out of a 16 foot 2x4 or the like, with an angle that would mimick the gentle angle the boat held through the keel originally. Bracing this off the thwarts ought to hold the original shape while repairs cure and then hold that shape for the duration of the restoration. My question is how much fabric and/or epoxy will be adequate to establish this restored shape, and whether the inside or outside of the hull is the better place to start.

I anticipate using this in the MR 340 this coming year, and the TWS perhaps the year after that. Mostly, it will go on local lakes for fitness, and down flat but twisty central Montana rivers (Musselshell, Missouri, Milk, Marias) where the hull speed will be an asset. I would like the add enough layers of the right fabric to the outside to be able to run into the occasional log and rock without excessive worry. Keeping a low overall weight is not a huge priority.

My initial thoughts, based on research but no personal experience, is two layers of 6-7oz basalt/innegra externally, with multilayer spot patches of glass on holes and cracks and then a full layer of 4 or 6 oz glass internally. Epoxy resin seems like the way to go.

So in summary, the main questions are:

Internal v. external fabric and epoxy work to restore the keep line?
Is my plan for added composite in accordance with my intended use?

I'm a confident DIYer, but have never attempted anything like this before. All thoughts welcome.
 
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Getting all the planking and glass off wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, due to the poor epoxy and dodgy glass work. The bow end wood was extensively rotted inside, as the glass job was just enough to let a bit of water in, then keep it there. After ~4 hours of cutting, prying, sanding, and a wee bit of swearing, the hull is almost back to the original state, with the addition of a bunch of cracks, 3 dozen screw holes, and a section towards the stern (where I assume his lady friend sat that fateful day) with water intrusion under the outer layers and plenty of puffy/crunchy kevlar fabric.
Photos.
 

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So, “repaired” with ¾” redwoods planking inside and out and spray foam of Gorilla glue covered with glass fabric and auto store resin, and you say the paddling characteristics were “peculiar”?

Imagine that ;-)

I’ll hazard a guess in answer to the first question:

Probably easiest to restore the keel line from the inside. Maybe slender wood ribs, or some kind of stiff foam glassed and epoxied in place. I would do any other repairs, especially if they extend past the chines on the outside because, uh, gravity and wetted cloth.

And I thought I saw the fugliest canoe ever last weekend. A late paddling friend had not used his boats (plural, as in a half dozen) in 15 years, all stored outdoors near a pond under some tree limbs. Every single piece of brightwork was mulch, including the wood gunwales on a Yellowstone Solo, which were mostly absent.

But the weirdest thing was that he seemed to have a rotting log stored on his canoe rack, completely covered in moss and lichen. On closer inspection it was actually a kevlar Wenonah Voyager.

That one, and some of the others, will likely come home with me this fall to be rebuild/refurbished so his widow can sell them.
 
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On closer inspection it was actually a kevlar Wenonah Voyager.

That one, and some of the others, will likely come home with me this fall to be rebuild/refurbished so his widow can sell them.

Could this be the lightweight solo you've been looking for? Sounds like a good payment for getting the rest of the boats ready to sell.

Alan
 
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Not to hijack this thread, but my unicorn canoe is a cheap, used, needs work 14 ½ to 15 ½ foot lightweight solo, 32-ish inch gunwales/waterline with at least a touch of rocker.

I’d have to chop a couple feet out of the middle of the 17’ 6’ Voyager, widen the 21 ½” gunwales and induce something into the zero rocker.

The Voyager is a great boat for the right purpose and right paddler. I am not that paddler, and have not that purpose.

Apologies to the OP, but I cannot resist a Voyagers story. Friends Brian and Tom had both recently purchased used Voyagers. Their first outing was a paddle-in trip at Assateague. DougD was there, paddling my soloized Royalex Explorer, not exactly a water rocket.

Kathy was paddling her sea kayak and I was in one of the converted decked canoes. Kathy and I stayed nearer the shoreline, paddling point to point. Brian and Tom inexplicably headed out into the middle of the 5 mile wide bay before turning south. DougD, even more inexplicably, followed them.

As Kathy and I neared our intended campsite she mentioned “They are still a long ways out there”. We carried a load of gear into the site, and when we returned they were still a long ways out there, and several miles past the site, with DougD still following.

They paddled an extra 5 miles down bay before they realized their mistake. I should here mention that they were riding a fairly strong tailwind. The turnaround north and paddle back into the wind was less fun than the ride down. Especially for DougD.

Seriously Doug, you opted to follow Tom? Had you never met Tom before?
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Welcome to membership, DChenault. I don't do restorations but enjoy watching them, and predict that if you can bring this $50 patchwork creature back to life, Mary Shelley may write a best selling novel about it.
 
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D,
What a mess!!
I built a DY Special in woodstrip. with hand drawings direct from DY himself. He altered the shearline to make it easier for me to add gunnels, but the hull shape should be the same.
I have an awkward DWG file with all the hull forms drawn to scale, if you have the capability to interpret them, I'll gladly share. You could reproduce a few of the forms near the center to force your hull into compliance, to resurrect the keel line.
Or maybe you'll want to make a few female patterns to support the hull from the outside, freeing the inside to accept some 1/8" H80 Divinycell. This would stiffen your hull immensely while maintaining DY's original profiles.

VjF5PmYWIpJ_lmFTnKg8TrtXkWUSeLTVyFaIeE4wiL1dP4Q4Qr5H29XshVK5mTB_hxGvnJwyybp17kehopuW7AQLvyy8vtMf3JrCZuqCgR1lSx7sxaYviRHvxCc5Pbhwc8CPOi9o-OdBvRSbfi9ar-yZnQ0QcISnOtZ-E04pflPMYE-r0vhrdGKWkf117gmYiYB1hzcY7ftOJGYCACbC9-lmE6VKJVBu0aV1DVAEHZMDb8IiyBsCNXXDmLy_sEMIRIYKx21CtuRLIbYgFlOt2fsgm-3BqTcDce_uFz9Vy1aVx-amM_v9EWvITM0ukDvG-c-lYare1r0YneAkhBLam9iFVXFuQi8Ul6j94ZIGgyAqWPKfg5YJCdLt3_-Ds0mwqvwnilKnMv6hU-dgj44qkWZRPU89e3RRJ9cVcFnPPMPUu_FioBsbKmBriukvJ3bbJQ3QZNR4EQFv-DqscKcmsuxsHX8PiYKLdvFmHg9EKhiaiwDH-TuR62HsQT_B5Ueg6Yz6iydOSzPVlVUWrJGbTav7FvvxrHHDU3mug12iN5Oy_reqfyznCpDGQ6wUuhkX0GIAqfkWwdscaxPK9mEC_ZcIk-oFb7CLRXpbgO_V0TAb-eIEbu8Zx5aq8smyjeUViCfHgrBLd8dTzi_27TK7Ve2BiuIYp_yvnoS6IeTeJqAJqDTOQ0ZNEBhxClne0b_NNDXEpj_OitE8O2V5Yu3_rWI=w1297-h868-no
 
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D,
What a mess!!
I built a DY Special in woodstrip. with hand drawings direct from DY himself. He altered the shearline to make it easier for me to add gunnels, but the hull shape should be the same.
I have an awkward DWG file with all the hull forms drawn to scale, if you have the capability to interpret them, I'll gladly share. You could reproduce a few of the forms near the center to force your hull into compliance, to resurrect the keel line.
Or maybe you'll want to make a few female patterns to support the hull from the outside, freeing the inside to accept some 1/8" H80 Divinycell. This would stiffen your hull immensely while maintaining DY's original profiles.

VjF5PmYWIpJ_lmFTnKg8TrtXkWUSeLTVyFaIeE4wiL1dP4Q4Qr5H29XshVK5mTB_hxGvnJwyybp17kehopuW7AQLvyy8vtMf3JrCZuqCgR1lSx7sxaYviRHvxCc5Pbhwc8CPOi9o-OdBvRSbfi9ar-yZnQ0QcISnOtZ-E04pflPMYE-r0vhrdGKWkf117gmYiYB1hzcY7ftOJGYCACbC9-lmE6VKJVBu0aV1DVAEHZMDb8IiyBsCNXXDmLy_sEMIRIYKx21CtuRLIbYgFlOt2fsgm-3BqTcDce_uFz9Vy1aVx-amM_v9EWvITM0ukDvG-c-lYare1r0YneAkhBLam9iFVXFuQi8Ul6j94ZIGgyAqWPKfg5YJCdLt3_-Ds0mwqvwnilKnMv6hU-dgj44qkWZRPU89e3RRJ9cVcFnPPMPUu_FioBsbKmBriukvJ3bbJQ3QZNR4EQFv-DqscKcmsuxsHX8PiYKLdvFmHg9EKhiaiwDH-TuR62HsQT_B5Ueg6Yz6iydOSzPVlVUWrJGbTav7FvvxrHHDU3mug12iN5Oy_reqfyznCpDGQ6wUuhkX0GIAqfkWwdscaxPK9mEC_ZcIk-oFb7CLRXpbgO_V0TAb-eIEbu8Zx5aq8smyjeUViCfHgrBLd8dTzi_27TK7Ve2BiuIYp_yvnoS6IeTeJqAJqDTOQ0ZNEBhxClne0b_NNDXEpj_OitE8O2V5Yu3_rWI=w1297-h868-no

Gorgeous boat. And yes, those files would be an immense help!
 
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Hunting season and the general fun of October and November put this project on the rack. I picked things back up a few weeks ago, with lots and lots of sanding to get the hull cleaned up and ready for epoxy. As mentioned, the area towards the stern proved the most recalcitrant, with degrading kevlar and a number of waves crunched into being by the wood planks. It became obvious in short order that any decent semblance of a smooth hull would require more than 40 grit sanding discs, so out came the hand planer. Plenty of exposed foam core now, but a almost smooth hull and plenty of lightly fuzzed fabric ready to have more stuck to it.

Thanks to stripperguys' DWG file I was able to verify the stock dimensions, and that my plan of wedging a 2x4 in would straighten the keep and in the process bring the rest of the hull back to the original shape. The DY Special is now waiting in the garage while supplies accumulate. I imagine I'll get around to the full build in January.
 
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This past weekend was the weekend. With everything assembled and a mild (for Montana) weekend I was able to get the garage up to 65F and dove in. Turned out a gallon of epoxy resin wasn't quite enough. I have a little bit of the full wrap left to do near the gunnels, and some detail work to do on the bow and stern, but yesterday afternoon I went popped the 2x4 out, and the hull held it's shape! So mission accomplished.

I started with a 8" wide stip of 3k carbon plain weave stern to almost bow, then a layer of 3.6 oz/yard innegra plain weave on the football, more layers of the same on the stems, and a final layer of innegra wrapping the whole hull. Everything was straightforward (given this was my first time working with composites) until it came time to wrap the innegra around the most curvacious bits of tumblehome...
 
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That resulted in a good bit of epoxy on my forearms, so running out was probably a blessing in disguise. With more epoxy on order and some more fiddly finish work on tap, I ought to have it in the water in a monthish, which is ideal.
 
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Wow, I thought I'd seen some ugly bottoms.

Looking forward to progress photos with the carbon and innegra layers.

The crack you can see along the keel line formed when I tapped the inner form into place. I worked plenty of epoxy into that and the problem area towards the stern (the one with all the foam stained black from flex seal). I was supremely psyched when the form came out and that area felt rock solid. The carbon seems far from overkill now.
 
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With the wonderful redwood planking, spray foam and quantities of poly auto epoxy & glass, a pre-refurbishment weight would have been pointless, though perhaps comical. Did you by chance weigh it before relief?

Any idea what a kevlar DY Special was speced at weight-wise?

When you are finished, or even along the process, please do a weigh-in.

There are a number of things in the shop that I picked up from Canoe Tripping suggestions. The cyclonic dust extractor, various epoxies and materials, even foam inter-face pads for the RO sanders (duh; I don’t know what all I don’t know).

One shop accessory suggestion (thanks Robin) that I appreciate with full-on rebuilds is the hanging Taylor scale.

https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Preci...736638&sprefix=hanging+taylor+,aps,573&sr=8-3

Jeeze, the 70lb version was $17 a few years ago, and working on heavyweights I needed the 280lb version, now twice the price. Would buy again, even though I have a bathroom scale in the shop.

That scale just stays hanging from the ceiling at shop center. I weigh boats using a single cam strap around center hull, which give me the balance point as well.

On the current rebuild, after extensive repairs and outfitting, the balance point move by 1 ½”, and would have been awkwardly bow heavy. I’d rather the bow be just a touch light, so that is getting fixed.
 
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With the wonderful redwood planking, spray foam and quantities of poly auto epoxy & glass, a pre-refurbishment weight would have been pointless, though perhaps comical. Did you by chance weigh it before relief?

Any idea what a kevlar DY Special was speced at weight-wise?

When you are finished, or even along the process, please do a weigh-in.

Stock spec was 29 pounds. I did not weigh it, but that sounded about right. Will definitely weigh the final product.
 
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