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Wenonah Solo Plus with big patches of gel coat missing.

Jun 10, 2013
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This is a "please talk me out of it"

This has been offered to me for probably a bit to much money, and it's a 4 hour round trip. The owner thinks it's a Kevlar Solo Plus, but I won't be able to confirm with out the drive over. The pictures show stress cracks and patches of gellcoat missing but the inside looks clean. I'm thinking the gellcoat loss might be from water getting under and 10 years of freeze/thaw. Any thoughts? Run away?


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And more.


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Wow. I'm particularly wary of older Kevlar hulls that show that much oxidation. But others here are more knowledgeable about what caused this and how to fix it.

But if you think it is too much, then it probably is. Almost certainly it is a total constructive loss, meaning that cost + time + materials will be more than a similar used canoe.

Whether repairing it makes sense depends on your skills, how much your time is worth, and whether you consider grinding and 'glassing fun.

It does have nice lines though.
Yea..free is probably too much. The guys asking $150. His original picture only showed one bad patch. If it's actually Kevlar there's not grinding to do.

The boat is pretty clean, so the jell coat loss might be from power washing. Again if Kevlar and not to soft from being crushed, I would take off the loose bell coat and probably epoxy a layer of cloth to make the heck coat thickness, do a little fairing and paint. Or I could chicken out...
I could be wrong, but that looks like fiberglass/Tuf-weave to me, not Kevlar.

I can’t say whether it’s worth $150 or not…but while that boat certainly doesn’t look nice, if the hull doesn’t leak and you don’t mind the appearance, it may be fine to paddle it as-is?
One can never be sure from photos but it looks like it has been stored outdoors for a very long time, stored upside down with one side up against a wall somewhat protected from UV rot. I think the gel coat is now so fragile that anytime you bump into something it could crack with more pieces falling off.
I concur with @Sliding Focus, looks like tuff weave. Nothing wrong with that, but it means it's already on the heavy side.

Gel coat cracks are like dandruff, but chunks coming off is not. Ideally one would smack it a few times with a rubber mallet and see if anything else comes off.

Still, $150 bucks is pretty cheap for something that floats. The gunwales and seat hardware have some salvage value if the hull is beyond saving.
Others have made good points about the really bad state of the outside.

Also a factor is how much do you want a Wenonah Solo Plus? I suppose some paddlers must like that hull, but a lot don't. Some say it's too narrow and cramped to be a decent tripping tandem for today's adults and too big and hard tracking (no rocker) to be a playful solo.

So, personally, I wouldn't take it for free because I don't want that canoe and would have no motivation to repair it. Other folks have different preferences and motivations.
Sort of agree with Glenn…I would have to REALLY want a solo plus design to undertake all the work and expense necessary to make that solid and aesthetically pleasing.
I agree it does not look like kevlar. The gel coat shows a lot of UV exposure. I have had a boat like that come apart while I was paddling it.

On the other hand, if it did not have all of that UV damage, fixing the gelcoat is relatively easy by grinding and patching with epoxy and fiberglass. It goes quickly. Then just paint it. i just sold my last canoe the OT Canadienne. A guy drove 3 hours to get here to buy it. I paid $250 for it but it was worth around $800 once it was patched and painted. I got only $550 for it here.
i just sold my last canoe the OT Canadienne.
Another Canadienne, but not by Old Town. This was built by the guy who designed it, and OT later purchased licenses to build the boat from him. Actually, I built it as I worked for the guy at the time. It didn't have the gelcoat problems the original poster did, but did have some damage (caused by yours truly), including some gelcoat dings. Glenn, feel free to move this if not in the right place, or delete it outright if so inclined. I always managed to store it inside, so didn't have UV degradation issues. You can see the boat below, pink Bondo all over the place, because I decided I wanted to make some copies of the boat myself (one lighter than any available) and needed to get rid of many of the dings it had accumulated in 20 years of use. I never finished the project, bought another boat instead (a Clipper model for those who have to know), and the boat is now out in the yard with strawberries planted in it (Tristars for those wanting to know that). The pieces of fencepost hold bird netting down so we get to eat some of the strawberries.


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I remember visiting his shop long ago. Interesting place, interesting guy. I have wondered what became of all his stuff in the shop after he passed.