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Holy Canoe!

February 18, 2011

  What kinda fool buys a canoe with a hole in it? Apparently this kinda fool.
Old Town is one of the premiere canoe manufacturers, known for their quality . I had been searching craigslist for several months and finally found a good ABS plastic canoe offered at a good price. It looked a little rough in the picture but i called the kid and decided to take the two hour drive up to Stewart Florida and check it out.
  I was a little concerned when I saw that it had been impaled  on something. Someone had done a very shoddy repair and the boat had other issues. It was missing a thwart and looked like it had been severely abused  and stored incorrectly.
 It had somethings going for it. A) It was an Old Town. something I'd always wanted. B) It was large with a stable rocker to it. It would be the perfect size and design for taking people and stuff to Cape Sable. C) It was ABS Plastic. Pretty tough stuff, It could take a bounce down the highway at 65mph and probably be ok. I could also cut the canoe in half and it would still float. D) The price was right.
 Having come so far I decided to buy it, lashed it to the pickup and took a long slow drive down US1 back to Fort Lauderdale.



Amazingly the damn thing didn't leak when i tested it in the swimming pool but since I was able to remove the repair patch with one flip of my finger I thought it best to do a new repair job on it


I was busy with work and all for several weeks but I set Super Bowl Sunday aside to work on it. Getting a good patch onto polyethylene plastic was knew for me so I researched it a little and had bought my supplies ahead of time.
...and of course the first step to any good repair job is Espresso

With that accomplished I proceeded to open up the wound with a dremel tool, rough up the surface with 80 grit sandpaper and clean it with acetone

I had read several sources that suggested FLAMING The plastic surface. What the hell is that you ask? It's basically quickly passing a propane torch over the surface a few times. Something about getting the molecules to line up correctly for the epoxy. (DO I LOOK LIKE A CHEMIST ?) I did this faithfully hoping it would help.

I then tried to get fancy and make the patch look nice. I wanted to give it a biscuit aka football shape. I thought this might be more aesthetically pleasing and was my own little acknowledgement of the biscuit repairs to the wooden boats of yesteryear. 

This was totally pointless. Although the epoxy adhered very well to the surface my attempt to shape it only gave it a slight raised edge which I thought might snag on something. I ended up sanding down the edge and going over the whole football shape with one large rectangular piece of fiberglass while feathering out the epoxy. The next day I did a similar repair on the inside
This stuff. G-flex is the bomb. I could have used an epoxy as basic as JB weld but this was supposed to be stronger, more flexible and adhere better.
My patch looks like crap. But with six layers of fiberglass and really good adhesion I feel safe in the boat.
FINAL PRODUCT outside and in. Kinda like the guy who did the work it's not much to look at but extremely capable .
 I did a few other minor patches on the canoe and replaced the missing thwart with a nice strong piece of oak.
Drake and I took it out for a test last week

The trip was suppose to be a short 5 mile cruise but Dad took a wrong turn and we ended up on a 12 mile odyssey and  didn't get back to the truck until after dark. Drake was a bit angry with me and I'm proud of the way he dug deep and kept on truckin. We were both extremely sore the next day. The good news is the canoe is now a sea worthy craft.

Subversive Outlaw Gorilla Canoeing

January 2, 2011

Google Earth is a wonderful thing. I would never go where I go without the satellite images they provide. You can't find these places on a map. Even USGS maps don't show enough detail. Hell the satellite images don't show "enough" detail but you can at least get a clue.
 New Years Eve had kinda been a bust. I just wasn't feelin it this year and went to bed shortly after midnight. My plan had been to wake up early with the kids and spend the day c...
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Disaster Strikes!

December 29, 2010

 The first trip of the year was one to remember. The picture kinda tells the story. As always it's important to go with the flow. It was the day after Thanksgiving and the kids and I were making an impromptu trip down to the park. It was going to be a quick visit, we were only going to stay at the campground and do a little paddling about. No big deal. The drive down on the turnpike had been super quick. As always I was happy to leave the city and farm land behind and get into the park. Oddly...

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Urban Canoeing

December 28, 2010

It occurred to me that not everyone might  be interested in the total wilderness experience and that perhaps something a little less off the beaten path was in order.
 Fortunately, Fort Lauderdale has several good places to go canoeing where you can still see the natural side of Florida without having to venture far from civilization.
  West Lake behind Dania Beach and near by John Loyde Park  are some of the best. the two places can be combined for a pleasant 1/2 day trip.
 Recently the kids an...

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Strange ride on the wind

December 28, 2010

 Strange ride on the wind!

What compels me sometimes? Any normal person would be home in bed but I had managed to rise early and made it to Loxahatchee by 6am. It was pitch dark and very windy and I was totally alone.
Apparently I had arrived here at the same time as a winter cold front and the wind was very blustery. Early morning is usually a calm  time and the strong wind seemed out of place.
  I untied the canoe and set it at the waters edge,then loaded up my few supplies (a cooler of snacks...

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