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Dumpster boats

Oct 22, 2014
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I was cycling through Bladensburg Waterfront Park yesterday when my eye fell on a dumpster full of boats. Mostly plastic kayaks, but that’s a Disco 169 on top, cut neatly in half. A8F3FAF9-E13B-480A-8C95-018F79D9281A.jpeg
A park employee in the area saw me eyeing the dumpster and assured me the boats were all too far gone to be repaired. Obviously he’d never seen the wrecks I have resurrected.

The Disco looked like a classic for a gflex advertisement. Aren’t they the ones who had an ad in which they cut a boat in half and glue it back together?
Good one, Mason—made me laugh.

I considered diving in, but stayed firmly outside the dumpster. There was a Pamlico in there and it didn’t look to have much wrong with it (I couldn't see the bottom). isn’t that one McCrae would turn into a soloized sailing canoe? I had to tell myself there were better ways to spend my time,… like, paddling!
Proposed thumb rules by material:
Polyethelene => rubbish (unless it's like a disco with no holes, but who'd throw that away?)
ABS => hmmm, how bad? less than $75 worth of gflex?
Chopper glass => rubbish
Good glass => do I like this hull and/or am I under 40?
Kevlar / carbon => of course

(Even if those poly SoT's are rubbish, I have to admit I'd have probably harvested the grab handles and small hardware before throwing them away. Not worth climbing in the dumpster though!)
Chopper glass => rubbish
Good glass => do I like this hull and/or am I under 40?
Kevlar / carbon => of course
My favorite canoe was a 17' Mohawk. It had sharp ends and a nice shallow arch bottom. But it was chopper gun fiberglass and kevlar cloth, without enough foam to stiffen it up. It needed a brace between the yoke and bottom or the hull would bubble up nearly to the gunwales. Plus some truly pathetic patches from the previous owners. But it was 55 lbs and very very cheap.

It was awesome. It was a disposable Kevlar tripping boat that paddled well. I never worried a second if the river was too low, too rocky, or if it might get stolen or confiscated. We just went.

Funny thing was we never destroyed it. I paddled it blissfully several years until the cheap chopper gun FG/kevlar finally got so flexy and leaky it had to be fixed. I wanted to fix it because I loved the shape so much. But just looking at it for five minutes, it was hopeless. Everything about that hull was trash buried underneath a chopper gun mess.

I stripped out the seats (great cane seats, nicely rounded frames) and yoke. Then it then went to the curb with a craigslist free notice.

My wife ask what I would do when nobody took it. I told her I'd have to cut it up to fit in a dumpster.

It was gone in 2 hours. Poor kid, I saw him struggling so I put the yoke back. I warned him it wasn't usable.

There's one for sale in GA, complete with an improvised yoke brace for the weak hull. Rubbish.

I've had some fun in really cheap boats. My three Folbots ran $150-$260, and the two I sold got my money back.
I've accepted at least one dead boat, and helped my Dad with another. They didn't make it back to the water. The eight boats I own now more than fill my free time.