Old canoe questions

Discussion in 'Kayaker and Canoe Fishing' started by ChannelCatBen, May 21, 2009.

  1. ChannelCatBen

    ChannelCatBen New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    Minnesota
    I have an old Coleman Journey Ram-X canoe. I got it used, cheap, and for my purposes, it's great. Pretty much indestructable, and it was plenty dinged up when I got it, so I don't feel bad about putting some new scratches and scars in it. It's an old warrior, and a great fishing canoe for the small lakes around home. I call it the Sinister Minister (bought it from a church camp).

    There are a couple problems, though, and I'm gonna try to fix them. First: It was stored on it's side, apparently, which has slightly pushed in the gunnel on one side. It's just bent in a little at the center thwart, which makes it pull to the left a bit. I'm hoping that will be easy enough to fix with a vice-grip and a little grunting and cussing. Does anybody have any tips for bringing it back to true?

    Also, the seats are big, uncomfortable, foam-filled monstrosities that sit way too high to be stable. I have a drop-in seat that works just fine (since I usually paddle solo anyhow), and I'll probably just go with that, but is it going to affect the canoe's structure if I take the old seats out? Will I need to make some thwarts out of 1x2's? As it is, the canoe just has the two seats and a center thwart. I don't want to pull the gunnels in any more by putting too much weight on the drop-in seat.

    Any insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. Barry Nelson

    Barry Nelson New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    Tennessee
    You dont mention what its made of...fiberglass,alum, etc. I would put in the thwarts if you decide to remove the seats.
     

  3. ChannelCatBen

    ChannelCatBen New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    Minnesota
    It's Ram-X material... basically a high density polyethylene. Heavy duty plastic.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You'll have to get creative.
    Since laying on it's side caused it that tells you one thing which is a good thing.
    You can train it back true.

    Maybe some temporary bulkheads.
    Even a male mold just like you use if you build a canoe.
    Make a simple strongback with aligned frames attached to it.
    Over the winter store it on the strongback. Once I got it on a strongback I might even explore some low heat to aid retraining it.

    The main thing is if it trained itself that way it can be retrained.
    Even building boats I've had to train curvature on gunnels by using a temporary stiffer gunnel to pull flat spots out. Sometimes a couple of weeks. Sometimes more.
    I know on my latest canoes I had a bad flat spot on a gunnel. I clamped a 1x2to it over the winter and it pulled it right out.
    That may be idea too. Clamping a temorary gunnel to the existing one.
    Building canoes you wind up with a straight sided boat. When you attach the gunnels is when it takes it's shape.

    If you look at the pictures in my "building a pack canoe" thread you may be able to see what I'm talking about.
     
  5. ChannelCatBen

    ChannelCatBen New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    Minnesota
    Low heat, eh? I might have to try that.

    I think I can kinda push and twist the gunnels back into shape. They're aluminum, so I might use some clamps or something to bend it back into shape, make some temporary thwarts or stretchers to hold it in place, and then we'll see about using a heat gun (at a safe distance, of course) to retrain the plastic.

    Thanks for the tips, Mark. I have some serious chin-scratchin' to do.
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You could even build a plasic tent over it and let the sun do the work for you.
    It's getting to be summer.:wink: