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Spirit II

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Yesterday I picked up an older Wenonah Spirit II. The material is their Tuf-Weave, and not the lighter type either, but it seems manageable for weight. If I remember the key to Wenonah's serial numbers right, the canoe was made in 98. There are a few questions I have for you experienced re-building / re-finishing folks, or anyone experienced of course.

Someone dribbled "house paint" (that's how it was described to me) on some of the outside of the hull. The paint does not seem to be the water soluble type, and I am guessing something oil based. Any suggestions (other than sanding) on how to take that dribbled paint off? I tried Coleman Fuel (the only solvent I had around), which takes it off, but requires lots of rubbing, but it did not seem to touch the gel coat.

Some of the gel coat is faded, likely due to UV light exposure. Any good and easy processes to "polish" or reinvigorate faded gel coat?

The boat is not designed for solo paddling, but I might like paddling it solo some time. I was thinking of removing some of the aluminum thwarts and adding a comfortable kneeling thwart a few feet in front of the stern seat, or more or less right behind the bow seat, such that the canoe can be paddled backwards. Since the bow of the boat is quit high, I am favoring the paddling backwards idea. That way I might not have to fight the bow on windy days.
Has anyone here done this type of mod to a Spirit II? Any suggestions as to the construction (width, material, angle...etc.) of a comfortable kneeling thwart?
 

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I'd try acetone for removing the paint.

Giving the whole hull a light sanding and then a couple coats of Spar varnish will bring back the shine. If you want to spend a little more money and get a more durable finish something like Epipahnes or System 3 WR-LPU would fit the bill.

Alan
 
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I would not paddle from the bow seat backward. A stern breeze with a high sheer line is a good way to slew and broach
It's time for a tripper hack. Some sort of adjustable removable thwart so that you can move it forward of the yoke in a bow wind. Of course you can always use a aft of center thwart and spin around to face the lower sheered stern into the wind. But a permanent installation needs to be carefully measured for clearance for your legs to avoid entrapment
The other issue though with stern to the wind is that end is not sufficiently flared to deflect waves. You may get soaked
 
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Good point with the soaking. The stern is quite a bit lower than the bow. I might use a 18" (or so) aluminum angle piece on each in-side to set an angled kneeling thwart on. That way the thwart remains adjustable for trimming. I'll send photos.

Alan,
Thank you for your suggestion. I just hope the acetone doesn't eat the gel coat...:)
 
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Ain't no flare in that hull! I loved our Spirit. It got us through some pretty hairy stuff off the west coast of Scotland but the bow was very strictly up and down. I think they are dry purely due the extreme height of the bow.

I can't remember if the rocker is assymetric but that may be an issue. I have seen them paddled backward by a large fella.

Why not just make a pedestal that you can place where you want it. A styrofoam block would do or upgrade to grey closed cell foam or something fancy in wood or aluminum.
 
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I like heeling my Dagger Legend 16 when I solo it. The Legend is also about 4" wider compared to the Spirit II, so I need to get closer to my paddling side. I think I want to heel the Spirit II as well. A thwart would give me more freedom to move around compared to using a pedestal (I think). Most pedestals I have seen are anchored in place, even if it is just velcro. Shifting it while on the water might be tricky.

Wenonah only states the rocker as 1.5" on their web page. It seems they don't make any canoes with differential rocker.
Good point though!
 
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I use a wooden t bench on a base also wood. And of course a kneeling mat. The bench is fully movable and 11 x5 inches and for me five inches high. I wrap my legs atound its center column. Another way would be to install something to hang a leather sling like an Azland strap from the bottom of the gunwales. Another hack needed to make fake scuppers
While the usual pedestal is glued in that is not a requirement It will stay put under your own weight
 
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Can you post a photo of that bench?

I just looked up pedestals. They cost more than I thought...
 
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Acetone worked great Alan!

You know of a good way to fix spider cracks in the gel coat? I used cutter, followed by polish, followed by 3M finishing wax on 2' x 2' area, and it came out great. I'll do that to the whole boat, but I was thinking I can deal with the spider cracks as I go.
 
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I use a foam(grey outfitting foam) pedestal in tandem canoe that I paddle solo, it is loose in the boat, so I can adjust the trim on the fly front and back and side to side!! It works like a charm!
 
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A flat piece of ash with radiused front and rear edges about 3.5" wide makes a good kneeling thwart. You want to suspend it at an angle canted forward about 15-20 degrees. The optimal angle will depend on the height of the thwart off the hull, your femur length, and personal preference. The height of the front of the thwart off the hull bottom will depend on your shoe size and preferred footwear. You want to be sure that there is enough clearance between the hull bottom and the lower front edge of the thwart that you can easily extract your feet in the event of an upset.

Suspending a thwart from a canoe with lightweight extruded aluminum gunwales like Wenonahs is tricky. The inwales are not thick enough, strong enough, or shaped properly to drill holes through to mount hangers. There used to be one piece aluminum hangers specifically designed for kneeling thwarts, but I have not seen them for some years. If you are handy, you could probably make a pair out of stock aluminum sheet. You could probably also modify aluminum hangers like these from Eds canoe:

http://www.edscanoe.com/alsehakit.html

Eds also sells kneeling thwarts. His come with wooden hangers and mounting hardware that you will probably not be able to use, but if you call him he might well sell you a thwart alone at an adjusted price.

The kneeling thwart would mount on top of the L shaped portion with the holes with 2 hangers on each side of the thwart. The tops of the hangers would need to be cut off at your preferred angle so as to mount the thwart at the desired height. The tops of the hangers would mount to the insides of the aluminum gunwales using pop rivets or stainless machine screws and nuts. If the aluminum bracket is thin enough you could slide the top of the bracket up between the hull and the aluminum inwale but you might have to drill out some gunwale rivets and later replace them to do this. Otherwise the top of the bracket would be inboard of the aluminum gunwale which is OK.

Before you mount a kneeling thwart assess the strength and rigidity of the hull at the point you wish to mount it. Some canoes are not built to withstand the stress of a seat or kneeling thwart suspended from the gunwales. Note that your seats are mounted to the sides of the hull, not suspended from the gunwales. You will also need to remove a thwart to mount the kneeling thwart, and the suspended kneeling thwart will not be as rigid as the stock thwart. With a Tuff-Weave Spirit II I think you would be OK, but if in doubt call Wenonah.

Wenonah does make canoes with differential rocker. The Argosy is/was one.
 
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You know of a good way to fix spider cracks in the gel coat?

As far as I know there isn't one. At least not an easy one. Just think of them as battle scars.

Alan
 
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Many canoes are asymmetrical.
there are two types
Asymmetrical rocker
Asymmetrical hull shape. from the waters view.. Not the sheer that you see from above.
 
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I kind of like the pedestal idea, but the area already has a thwart and a foot brace. Adding a pedestal might clutter it up too much I think. Unless I remove both. Certainly an option to be considered.

Right now I am thinking of moving the foot brace as far to the stern as possible, and removing the thwart above it all together. The kneeling thwart (yellow marker line) would go in lower than the gunwales and about 8" to 12" further toward the bow from where the aluminum thwart used to be. Perhaps I put the thwart on the foot brace rail, with Ed's hangers cut at an angle and used as props rather than hangers. Who needs a foot brace anyways...:cool:

Allen, 10-4 on the battle scars!
The acetone took the ugly paint splotches right off, and the second photo shows the gel coat after cutter, polish and wax, on the left side of the photo.

Thank you guys!
 

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I spent about 5 hours yesterday, cleaning the boat and tending (power buffer) to the faded gel coat. Heavy cutter followed by a good polish did the trick. 3M wax gave that little extra shine and UV durability. The photo shows the result...

In the afternoon we took the boat out on a local lake for a spin. Aside from the weight, my wife and daughter agreed with me that it was a joy to paddle.
 

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I had the Spirit II out for a solo trip yesterday. It will not be my preferred solo tripper, but I sometimes like heeling a tandem and using it solo. I don't know why, but that, more or less born out of necessity, traditional paddle style has something.

Anyhow, I could not really find a comfortable kneeling position due to the cross ribs in this boat, and sitting in the stern tractor seat makes me pop a wheelie. Wenonah stopped making boats with those ribs and went to a flex core system. However, mine has the ribs, and they are spaced such that no matter wher I kneel, a knee or shin always end up on a rib somehow. You can imagine how comfortable that is.

I finally ended up using my stuffed dry bag as a kneeling pedestal, which took most of my weight off my legs. Still, any paddling over 30 minutes would be impossible that way.

I am thinking of either cutting one rib out all together and creating a flat spot to kneel in, with my back side resting on a kneeling thwart, or filling the space between two ribs with foam or something, also to create a flat spot.

Any suggestions you guys can think of...other than just using the boat for it's intended use? ;)
 
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We borrowed a spirit two from Memaquay this summer. Yes it is a nice dry boat, but rather unwieldy. We christened it the party barge. I was actually soloing it a bit to fish at night and had no problems but it was dead slow speed for trolling and in the river with no wind so not much of a test really. Take the tractor seats out and put regular ones in and then you can go backwards from the front seat.

Christy
 
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