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Mad River TW Special Resurrection

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Last March I picked up this well used Kevlar TW Special from Paddlin Hal (great guy- was a pleasure to meet him). I don't expect it to win any best in show awards, but I would like to get it in usable shape for a couple trips later this year. I have done a fair amount of fiberglass work over the years, but do not have any experience working on such a light layup. For those experienced in such things, I would appreciate any lessons learned or approaches to similar issues that have worked for you. The main issues I see are some hogging, chips and cracks in the gel coat, the v-shape keel line has lost some of it's shape, and a bit of flex (not bad) in the middle.

My planned approach is to put the gunnels and center thwart in first to add some rigidity to the sheer line, squeeze the sides to the correct width, and give something to brace the bottom vertically from the inside with some temporary horizontal pieces to push the bottom into shape with a v-shape board running the length of the keel. After the keel line is pushed back my plan is to sand the skid plates down/off, fill any chips and exposed Kevlar in those areas with thickened epoxy and to glass 6" 6oz fiberglass tape down the keel line. I am hoping that will retain the proper shape. On the inside I would patch any holes with epoxy and fiberglass tape, fair previous patching/reinforcement, and glass a 4oz football shaped cloth in the middle to help with the flex. On the outside I will fill any chips, holes, cracks with thickened epoxy and roll the entire outside with epoxy and finally paint.

I am not certain what I will do for decks. I really don't care for the plastic screw on top the gunnel look. I may just screw in traditional wood decks or glass the top of the foam. I am open to suggestions.

Does this approach seem reasonable? Any suggestions on types of cloth/tape? Where is the best place to get a 5 gallon drum of resin...? Joking. And just for Mike, I will weigh it before and after.


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Bob
 
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Nice! That's a great design. What year is it?

Are you sure the hog and too-shallow V are fundamental and not just a consequence of the hull having no "frame"? It's kind of like diagnosing scoliosis in a jellyfish. I think you're right to do gunwales and thwarts first, that way you'll know what you're dealing with.

Just say no to ugly decks!

FWIW when I de-foamed the tanks in my MR Traveler rebuild I weighed the extracted cruft and it came to about 3 lbs, but that included some critter debris so foam in good condition might be lighter. It would be easier to work on the tanks without inwales in the way, but if you need the brightwork to be sure the shape is right (as was the case for me) that's not really an option.
 
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Thanks Goonstroke.

Are you sure the hog and too-shallow V are fundamental and not just a consequence of the hull having no "frame"?
That is what I was thinking originally, but when I pull the sides in I see little change in the bottom. I’m not looking for perfection, but I think I can get it close.

The foam seems to be in decent shape. I trimmed the top of it with a long sawzall blade as it was proud of where the decks and inwales will be and it doesn’t look compromised.
What year is it?
The serial number indicates it’s from 1976.

I ran out of long ash pieces a while back so I am trying to source some. I can get white oak if need be.

Bob
 
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Bob, Here's a picture from when Matt (Hal) and I had just bought the boat, we went in halves on it! It was a fun fast boat but solo it sucked! ;-)

Click on the image to enlarge it. BTW, it was in pretty tough shape back then!

dougd
 

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Glenn MacGrady

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Just say no to ugly decks!
I agree. Plus, short decks are unnecessary and functionless on most composite lake canoes, and just add weight. Here are Mike Galt and Deb W., probably in the early 1990's, in a deckless Lotus Egret:

EFS 360 MikeG & DebW Axle 1.tiff.jpg

Of course, that leaves the issue of the ugly and perhaps heavy foam. Shape it and glass it over, perhaps.
 
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I agree. Plus, short decks are unnecessary and functionless on most composite lake canoes, and just add weight. Here are Mike Galt and Deb W., probably in the early 1990's, in a deckless Lotus Egret:

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...

Now that's a draw! Nothing tentative about it.

I daresay that ivory Mad River solo in the background looks like a Traveler to me, but that's probably availability bias. My MR radar is still pretty fuzzy.
 
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A fine day in New England to be milling up some stock for gunnels. Low 70s today and I can see the inlet of the lake near me open. I scored some 5/4 rough sawn for $2 a board foot. This 60+ year old saw was chewing up the ash like biscuits. I’m thinking the inwales will be close to 1” thick and the outwales around 3/4”. I’m not small and my usual tripping partner is 6’4”. The scarfs are glued up- always feels good to make progress.

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A fine day in New England to be milling up some stock for gunnels. Low 70s today and I can see the inlet of the lake near me open. I scored some 5/4 rough sawn for $2 a board foot. This 60+ year old saw was chewing up the ash like biscuits. I’m thinking the inwales will be close to 1” thick and the outwales around 3/4”. I’m not small and my usual tripping partner is 6’4”. The scarfs are glued up- always feels good to make progress.

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That's one heck of a dust collector behind the planner! ;-) I mill out my own as well so know the feeling when it all goes right!

dougd
 
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Scarfs came out nice. I hope to get the gunnels in soon. I trimmed down the floatation foam and glassed them over. Tough to get this perfect with foam voids, a shapeless hull, and never doing this before. I figured it would not have come out as good with the inwales in place. I used some tape to bring it in a bit while the epoxy sets. I patched the screw holes from the inside as well. With some sanding, fairing, and paint it should turn out decent inside.

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I was able to get the inwales roughed in. The stems were missing some material. I debated filling the missing chunks and voids with thickened epoxy and cloth, but wound up using a marine fairing epoxy I have used in the past. I took a chunk out of a chine on my bass boat years ago and this goop filled it in nicely, took paint, and is still holding strong. It does go on thick. I will sand most of it off and touch it up and sand again before I attach the outwales.

After the outwales are attached I will brace up the bottom, flip it, and work on the outside. I am hoping the tape and epoxy run down the keel line will stiffen it up and I can get it prepped for paint.

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Bob
 
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I was able to get the inwales roughed in. The stems were missing some material. I debated filling the missing chunks and voids with thickened epoxy and cloth, but wound up using a marine fairing epoxy I have used in the past. I took a chunk out of a chine on my bass boat years ago and this goop filled it in nicely, took paint, and is still holding strong. It does go on thick. I will sand most of it off and touch it up and sand again before I attach the outwales.

After the outwales are attached I will brace up the bottom, flip it, and work on the outside. I am hoping the tape and epoxy run down the keel line will stiffen it up and I can get it prepped for paint.

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Bob
Very nice job so far! Making that old turd look respectable again!

dougd
 
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Attached the gunnels today and got a bit of paint under them. It feels backwards, but I don’t see how to get the bottom in shape without them for bracing purposes. I was going to keep the original color, but the more I stared at it the more I disliked it. The inside is multicolor so it will get painted as well. I am not too concerned with adding weight as I will never solo paddle/carry this. I realize the bottom scratches will be brown, but Rustoleum is cheap and frankly I don’t care.
I believe the oiled ash will look good against the dark red too.

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I was able to get the hogging out and slight v shape back with bracing. I don’t have a good before photo, but this is in a much better shape. I am going to run 6oz fiberglass tape and epoxy between the skid plates and roll epoxy on the outside. I don’t expect a miracle, but I am hopeful this helps. I am open suggestions if anyone has any.


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