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Square stern rebuild

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After a few wood working projects recently, this sauntered into the shop.
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I knew it was rough. I had no idea who made it. I knew it had several not so subtle layers of “repair”. The reason I bought it was an easy boat to launch or keep near the water for my 6 year old son and I to fish from. He is a fishing addict. I have a vintage Johnson 3hp that will work well for this.

The deck was covered so I figured that was mush underneath. What I didn’t figure was that the upper 1/3 and stem was bondo…
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And I was peeling back fiberglass not canvas to discover this. Oh crud.
It gets worse. As I start peeling the onion, I find not one, not two, but three layers of fiberglass and the outmost is encapsulating a rotten outer stem.
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What did I do in a past life to deserve this?

The only bright side is the outermost layer of fiberglass is local to the bow. The rest is coming off easier. I imagine this was applied with older style resin.

So I’m looking at several ribs, couple cant ribs, stem, possible full inwales, outwales, deck, some planking, transom, transom knee, corner transom braces, outer stem, keel, rear seat, canvas, filler, paint, and losing my marbles. I am not going to worry about the rib ends being perfect as I am going to cap them.

Fortunately I can source all of this locally relatively cheaply and I like a project.

Any suggestions on transom material? I would like to keep it as light as possible, but I don’t want it denting from the outboard clamps either.

Bob
 
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you can get 1/2" pressure treated plywood and laminate it using deck adhesive and a spreader, to avoid using screws laminate the 2 pieces then weigh them down overnight with 4-5 concrete blocks, trying to get as even coverage and pressure as possible.
 
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Nice boat, how wide is it? My grandkids enjoy fishing out of my square stern, well worth the effort to bring her back to “like new” condition.
Skyuler Thomson added this to the transom when he built my boat, it does a good job of protecting it from the clamps.4AF3E4A1-E154-4085-866C-C0F513FA3070.jpeg
 
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Thank you. I’m not sure where I can get marine grade plywood near me, but I’m sure I can find it. I would prefer the look of solid wood, but definitely worth considering. Maybe I could cap it with something pretty.

Skyuler Thomson added this to the transom when he built my boat, it does a good job of protecting it from the clamps.

Thanks Robin- that’s a fine idea. I will be seeing him soon to pick up some rib stock and pick his brain as usual. It is 36” in the center.

There do seem to be some faint numbers on the stem. Was Old Town the only maker who located a serial number or model there?

Bob
 
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Getting this fiberglass off is a nightmare. To be honest I wish I would have walked away from this canoe. I tried heating it with a torch and pulling the layers off and it worked to a point, but was slow going, the fumes were bad even wearing a respirator, and it didn’t get it off cleanly. The inner most layer is pulling some of the planking off with it.
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So I tried a flap disk on a grinder. What a mess. Slower going, but I can get a smooth finish.
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The layers of glass and bondo is over an eighth inch thick…
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And the upper fastener was a threaded rod through the entire transom. 😞
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I’ll keep at it, but this is going to take a while just to get to the point where I can start repairing it.

If anyone has any ideas please share.

I’m tempted to throw it in the kids pool and sink it for a few day, but I don’t see that going over well. The lake frontage I have is pretty mucky right now, so that isn’t feasible.

I was hoping to have this canvased and filled by winter. I don’t see that happening.
 
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You could always chop it up and build a new one from scratch. Looks like a lot of pain and suffering. There is a lot to be said for persistence, but I'm a big fan of applying it to building new things. That's just me though.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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If anyone has any ideas please share.

My idea is that you can find a cheap fishing boat for a child that doesn't require Dr. Frankenstein levels of time (= money = lost opportunities) or multiple organ transplant efforts just to float. But if it's your passion to work on such a project, then who are we to say.
 
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Ha- thanks Glenn. I have other non-canoe boats, but I am a sucker for pretty old esoteric things. Don’t tell my wife I said that.

I believe I need to put it in deep storage for a bit and wait till I am desperate for a project mid winter.
 
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