August 28, 2016
As I was completing the restoration of an 18′ Chestnut Prospector Vee-Stern canoe for a client, he asked me to create a wood-canvas canoe field repair kit. He lives in Whitehorse and plans to use the canoe on hunting trips in the Yukon. A few basic supplies along with a hammer, a screwdriver and the ubiquitous roll of duct tape are all you need to hold your canoe together until you get out of the bush and back to civilization.
The kit fits into a small food container (900 ml or 30.4 fluid ounces) and consists of the following items:
- a piece of #10 (14.5 ounce) canvas 12″x12″ (30 cm x 30 cm)
- 10′ (3 meters) of 3/16″ rawhide lacing (babiche)
- a tube of waterproof glue
- 30 – 3/4″ (19 mm) brass canoe tacks
- 20 – 3/4″ (19 mm) silicon bronze 14-gauge ring nails
- 12 – 1″ #8 silicon bronze flat-head square-drive wood screws
- a small container of alkyd enamel paint
You also need to pack a clinching iron (auto-body dolly) in order to clinch the tacks when the time comes to use them. Most of the supplies are self-explanatory except for the babiche. It is very useful for lashing a broken thwart back together or holding a make-shift thwart (tree branch) in place. Soak the babiche for a few hours, do your lashing and wait a few hours for it to dry. The babiche will tighten and hold anything without fail.
All of this (and much more) is described in my book – This Old Canoe: How To Restore Your Wood Canvas Canoe.
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