Welcome to our INSPIRATION Gallery. Enjoy!
TOUGH NUT TO CRACK
The 1988 Chestnut Prospector canoe highlighted here is a rare example of a one-family owned boat that had truly seen better days. We examined her upturned Kevlar hull having several coats of red paint applied through the years, peeling and cracking everywhere. A massive water stain on the natural Kevlar interior indicated it had sat upright and collected rain water for some time, the stress of which collapsed the starboard gunwales and promoted rot throughout the ash woodwork. How many winters had this canoe sat unprotected to the elements? The real challenge was the removal of more than 60 rusted out screws and other fasteners from the woodwork and hull, many of which were beyond recognition. Nothing was going to be easy for this poor boat, and the clock's a ticking.....
GONE BY THE WAYSIDE
During assessments we often see watercraft in various forms of disrepair and neglect.
On one occasion a Langford Prospector 16-6 was discovered upturned under a cedar hedge where it had resided untouched for several years. This was once the flagship premium model Kevlar canoe Langford promoted in the 1990's. However, to discover moss growing across its hull, dirt and grime packed around her waterlogged and rotten gunwales and decks, holes and cracks in her bilges, it was hard to imagine justifiably bringing her back to life. This canoe was going to be a total gut job but worth the effort in the long-run.
STANDS THE TEST OF TIME
In the early 1960's a newlywed couple gifted the purchase of a second hand 12 year old canoe to each other, a 1948 model Algonquin style glass-fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) canoe. This 73 year old 15'-6" relic is one of the earliest examples of commercially built, Canadian-made fiberglass canoes. We know little about the manufacturer other than the layup is very basic (as one might expect for an early glass cloth canoe) and that her flotation tanks were well designed and stood the test of time without seam cracks or holes. No gelcoat was employed in this early model design as lacquer paint finishes were typical of the period. Sadly this canoe endured years of severe weathering and ultraviolet breakdown on the surface where paint just flaked off when touched. The FRP reinforced keel had severe delamination issues and was separating from the bottom of the hull.
The client's intention were to get it restored and pass it on to grandchildren. Little did we realize this project was going to take a very, very long time to complete, so let's get cracking!
Words alone cannot express the joy and euphoria I experienced resurfacing this old Northland cedar canoe. Built in the 1970's this gal had experienced rot under the decks and gunwales. Her floors were in lackluster shape with layers and layers of varnish flaking away. The seats, thwart and yoke were losing their ability to perform adequately. A makeover was imminent and the assessment was provided (albeit the owner was perhaps a bit skeptical we could do the work adequately, but developed enough trust in us giving the go-ahead to proceed).
While performing work on this great canoe we uncovered several issues making her a job-and-a-half, yet were able to get the work done and delivered to the rightful owner. Needless to say, 'overwhelmed' is the only word I can use to describe his disbelief on receiving it. The photos look great but one would really need to see this canoe in the flesh to truly appreciate her full beauty.
Dry-fitting deck to gunwales
The Evergreen Canoe Company has been out of business for many years now, and for whatever reason the company folded you can be assured it wasn't due to bad quality. In our humble estimation, Evergreen's were some of the finest built canoes available. Period.
These 'workhorse' canoes continue to survive to this day, many well loved and in excellent shape while others not so. Hulls that bare wood gunwales, decks and other interior wood appointments were the highest risk for neglect, being left outdoors to the elements and sadly just fell apart. The one highlighted here is no exception. A splendid example of a rags-to-riches transformation ensues, restoring it to her former glory, making her forever green again.
Preparing for the work at hand.
HEAD OVER HEELS
The Prospector Canoe Company has been a well respected name in quality Canadian canoes for years. The Kevlar sixteen footers are just gorgeous and extremely light for portaging, while their classic lines and use of wood are a celebrated blend of 'natural-meets-composite'. Here's one from the mid 1980's getting a complete makeover and sparing nothing of the handmade ash interior, gunwales and decks. The original owner fell head over heels in love with his old flame once again!
Application of multiple coats of color
Dry-fitting deck to gunwales
Apply custom designed vinyl graphics
In the 1980's Canadians became aware of the reputation and quality of the Quebec-built Cadorette canoe, mainly due to their affordability, simplicity, availability and popularity. The hull styling was classic and yet had simple slat-seats and 'bottle-opener' aluminum decks. It isn't any wonder that these great boats are popping up everywhere these days. Here is one sixteen footer that blew us all away when we took it to the limit for a full refit, and appoint it with quality, handmade woodwork and our own custom vinyl graphics. Wow!
WASH & REPEAT
Here's another Cadorette (albeit a fourteen footer) which was stashed helplessly along side a garage, waiting for this transition moment to arrive. This forty year-old boat donned padded wooden seats over her broken fiberglass hull. The aluminum gunwales were also bent and with a slight twist along one side. The client had an emotional attachment to this old girl and wanted the full makeover to bring her back to life. So, here we go...
BEAST OF A CANOE
Often we come across some very interesting prospects to rebuild, however on this particular assessment a canoe our team affectionately named 'TANK' became a rebuild project. Who knows what brand or where she was made, but it was a heavy and ungainly beast that had been left for dead, filthy and donning delaminated patchwork from a previous repair, broken seats and hangers, and destroyed flotation tanks on bow and stern requiring full rebuilds (they were made of paper with glass cloth on top). A real challenge, so off to work we go!
The entire canoe was taken apart, cleaned inside and out, hydro-jet wash the gunwales and rebuild the fiberglass decks. New patchwork and re-fairing was installed to replace the previous botched repairs. Flotation tanks were rebuilt with lightweight marine mahogany plywood and glass cloth. Brand new interior and exterior finishing was applied, new seats and hangers attached, ash yoke replacement installed and custom graphics applied.
The owners were shocked at the results (as were we). She looks pretty sweet, and will bring years of joy and pleasure to the paddlers in the family.
HAD SEEN BETTER DAYS
In the mid 1960's a new breed of canoe came onto the market which offered a very different range of components for their fiberglass canoes; manufactured aluminum seats, yokes, thwarts, carry handles and deck plates. The Scott Canoe Company of New Liskeard, Ontario entered the small-boat scene with great applause, offering durable canoes constructed of metal on fiberglass and Kevlar.
The project we highlight here is a recently transformed 1998 Scott canoe that had definitely seen better days. The client requested some hull repairs, a new paint job, new seats and interior components of ash wood to replace the aluminum ones; effectively giving the canoe a new lease on life.
There were interior cracks and field patches to tend to. Four layers of paint of different colors were built up through the years, the final being a thick coat of yellow latex which had to be scraped off prior to any sanding and body work could take place. This project was going to take some time, but in the end the canoe looked spectacular!
Great job BOATFIX.CA!
There was a time when York River Canoes of Peterborough, Ontario were a prominent player amongst Canadian built canoes, serving up affordably priced boats from the mid 1970's to the later part of the 1980's. These canoes typically donned solid fiberglass shells with foam-filled flotation tanks, anodized aluminum gunwales and deck plates, ash seats and ash yokes. Some budget variants came with aluminum thwarts and metal plank seats (very uncomfortable without a cushion).
This 13', 1984 fiberglass model has seen better days, taking on considerable water giving passengers a short wet ride. The keel has previously been repaired several times however the mend was less than satisfactory. The port bilge amidships showed signs of trauma due to impact stress, and has severe cracking and breakage.
The client requested a complete overhaul of the hull with a new deep-red paintjob, new ash seats and yoke. The overhaul comes complete with free custom white vinyl graphics, giving her a beautiful retro look. Today this little red has a new lease on life, ready for 2021.
LOTS OF LIFE LEFT IN THIS GAL!
This 1980's York River canoe has been well loved and used. Unfortunately, time hasn't been kind to her. Over the years the sun has worn down her UV protective barrier on the gelcoat and is completely sunbleached, as is her broken down seats and thwart. Her hull was in fairly fine form however, but could really use some love; a thorough stem-to-stern makeover was in order.
BOATFIX.CA was contacted to provide a free assessment of her bones, to determine if she could be brought back to life, and more importantly at what expense. The client really liked the resulting quote for the refit and gave us the go ahead to provide the bodywork and paint job to the exterior and interior surfaces. New ash seats and yoke were installed, as well as ash carry handles which were adapted to the bow and stern deck plates. The finale included vinyl graphics on the bow to help show off her new do.
She looks great now, and ready for the high-seas yet again! Merry Christmas mom! Love Claire
MOST ANCHORS WEIGHED LESS
Here's a canoe that required a special uplift. Although the shell was in impeccable shape for an original 1976 York River canoe, she was extremely heavy. Her appointments were dated and very uncomfortable. The original seats were 1" thick plywood, and clad with heavy gage sheet metal. The decks were also of sheet metal, and the thwart was a galvanized tube pinched at both ends, all of which attributed to the unbearable weight of it all.
The backstory tells of a young married couple having a beautiful, new canoe to enjoy. Through the years their family grew and grew, and so did their need to get the kids out of their canoe and into their own. And that's where this off-white, 1976 prospector-style, fourteen-foot anchor comes in.
(This is a Christmas gift to the husband and father, Phil from wife and mother, Michelle for the kids to make full use of. And as such, we have to be very quiet about this).
BOATFIX.CA was approached by Michelle late in the autumn, with a special request to fully clean, detail, and upgrade the canoe with wood appointments, like webbed ash seats, ash decks, yoke and carry handles. With some hope, she'd be a lighter canoe as well.
The craft was carefully disassembled, scrubbed, waxed and polished, gunwales cleaned and beautified. When we were satisfied of the work and effort, we finished her off with custom designed vinyl graphics as a final salute to Phil.
Merry Christmas, Phil! (Love, Michelle)
THE PROSPECTOR CHALLENGE
BOATFIX.CA was presented with a real challenge in bringing back this 1991 Prospector Brand Kevlar canoe to a condition of it's former glory.
On first appearances the hull had multiple layers of green paint applied during its 30 year life to date. The exterior bottom had severe wear and tear with the addition of a long fiberglass patch running along its keel. A huge Kevlar patch on the interior floor indicated some trauma from the past, however was applied quite well and required no additional work.
The ash decks were rotted out on the ends as well as rot forming on the edges. They would all have to be replaced. The gunwales were showing signs of rot and the port side inner and outer gunwales were held together with duck tape; also requiring total replacement.
The yoke had significant rot on the port side and would be replaced with new. The seats were in fair shape however were showing signs of delamination and the owner opted to keep them if possible.
Needless to say, our work was cut out for us!
The hull was indeed a challenge, resurfacing the bottom of the canoe, leveling out the existing patchwork, and filling the gouges and scratches of days gone by. Once the epoxy primer coat was laid, creating the ultimate foundation for the colour to go down, a special marine finish was applied in multiple coats.
The outer gunwales were specially milled from long white ash and installed with the new decks. Inside gunwales were added as well as seat blocks, new polypropylene webbed seats and a deep-dish contoured yoke, all from white ash. The interior Kevlar was treated with a special finish to seal and rejuvinate the surface, making her look new again. Finally, a vinyl logo was created and applied to both sides at the mid section, producing a uniquely personalized boat.
Here's the final product. Enjoy!
CEDAR HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS
This very old and worn out cedar canoe came to us with a requirement for new ash decks and gunwale rebuilds, inside and out. The client also requested new ash contoured yoke and new ash seats and hangers.
Although the typical seating for cedar canoes are sinew or cane, the client requested a more comfortable ride with polypropylene webbing, ...but first thing's first.
The decks were completely rotted out taking some of the gunwales and some of the original cedar ribs as well. The outer gunwales and decks were removed. Inner gunwales were scarfed just short of where the decks would be. Cedar ribs at the decks were addressed. New cherry decks installed. Outer gunwales were saved (just!), sanded, oiled, oiled, and oiled again. Also, the interior was fully cleaned and clear coated, bringing back luster and waterproof abilities.
With some help from the client (oil, oil, oil), this canoe will be well looked after in the future and bring years of enjoyment to all.
THIS FISH NEEDS SERIOUS HELP
Sunfish sailboats are extremely popular boats and can be found world-wide due to their ease of use and handling abilities. Our client discovered this gem for sale at a bargain price and quickly snatched it up. BOATFIX.CA offer their assistance to resurface the hull and give her a bright, new paintjob. Along with that, the mahogany centerboard, rudder and tiller components were restored.
This boat looks new again and ready for yet another season of sailing in the heart of cottage country. Great job BOATFIX.CA!
The process to restoring the surface of any boat hull begins with a thorough sanding. Areas of repair are dealt with, then filling and more sanding...
The BEFORE and AFTER work on the hull indicates the makeover was really worth the investment and effort!
A SPECIAL WORK-IN-PROGRESS
BOATFIX.CA prides itself on producing quality repairs and upgrades to suit the client's budget. Often is the case where a full refit of the boat is required and a full tear-down takes place. This project tells the story of an aging Langford Nahanni who's shell is so badly sunbleached on the outside it is difficult to discern her original deep plum color.
The ash inner and outer gunwales are rotted to beyond help. Her bow and stern decks are waterlogged and must be replaced. The interior cherry seats and hangers, kneeling thwart, yoke and carry handles are salvageable but will require some serious work to bring them back again.
Follow along this work-in-progress as BOATFIX.CA brings this once beautiful boat back to life.
Removal of all internal wood components, gunwales and decks making ready for full prep and paintwork.
Two coats of marine-grade polyester (polyurethane) for the white and deep red finish we're looking for.
Refinishing the old and grey sunbleached cherry appointments, bringing them back to life.
New white vinyl logos cut by BOATFIX.CA were applied to the hull. The finished product BOATFIX.CA provided looks outstanding! The client was over-the-moon after reunited with his old friend, ready to share new travels in his new canoe.
Last winter this Evergreen canoe made an unsuccessful escape from under a cottage porch, down an icy hill and into a tree or two (possibly more). She was a mess to say the least. Come spring the owner hauled her back home and figured she was done for until a little birdie told the owner about BOATFIX.CA and signed up for a free assessment.
On our arrival we were totally astonished at the damage she sustained. The gunwales at the bow had lifted clear away from the hull and bent in three axis, her forward hull was smashed on port, center and starboard, and the forward flotation tank was badly punctured, ripped and delaminated from the hull on her interior. This was clearly going to be a challenge for the BOATFIX.CA team.
Rather than purchasing a new and expensive set of gunwales we opted to springing the twisted metal back to right with the help of some clamping dynamics, working the X, Y, and Z axis individually till they lined up appropriately.
The flotation tank was repaired in time-sensitive stages, allowing the individual areas to cure and harden one-at-a-time.
The forward exterior damages were rebuilt and reinforced to help strengthen what was left of her bow. A Kevlar skid plate was installed at the stem to add rigidity and protection, safeguarding the next solo toboggan run would be less stressful on her and on the trees she connected with.
Now, there's a success story! Good job BOATFIX.CA!
FADE TO GREY
This once beautiful Langford 17'-4" had surely seen better days. This boat had been left to the elements one winter and due to extreme freezing forced trapped moisture to expand, splitting the aluminium gunwale wide open.
The untreated interior cherry woodwork also suffered from UV exposure, becoming sunbleached and grey.
With some tender loving care (and brute elbow grease)
BOATFIX.CA treated her with the best makeover possible, bringing her newly reconditioned wood interior back to the vibrant cherry she once possessed. Her seats were also rebuilt and rewoven with heavy-duty webbing.
To say she looks fine is merely an understatement. This boat is good as new. Her owner has happily reunited with his beautiful canoe once again promising to take better care of her from now on.
SHERWOOD'S DIRTY PAIR
The beautiful Sherwood Inn requested a resurrection of two Evergreen canoes, produced by a company long out of existence (translating to unavailable parts). The two canoes were in very poor shape yet still had many years of useful life after an overhaul and makeover. The client was in awe of the results.
Today the two Evergreen canoes continue their duties, delighting Sherwood's guests on beautiful Lake Joseph, Ontario.
THE CEDAR CHALLENGE
BOATFIX.CA pulls out all the stops! According to Muskoka's Sherwood Inn Resort, this 1991 Cherokee soloist cedar strip canoe was the centerpiece of their special events, and is only brought out for special occasions. The unfortunate problem with this cedar strip canoe is the aging, cracking and delamination of the glass cloth to the cedar due to excessive weathering and being left in the harsh sun.
The newly resurrected boat was delivered to the client in the spring of 2019 and was accepted with great thanks for a seemingly impossible task.
LIBRA TANDEM KAYAK REBUILD
I really enjoy wilderness camping and trekking long, lonely river passages with my partner and our Current Designs LIBRA XT tandem kayak.
After returning to Ontario from a long trek on the Columbia River, BC, I really noticed the wear and tear it received over the past 25 years and decided to give her a full refit. I read about BOATFIX.CA in a kayaking magazine article and immediately contacted them for more information. I really felt great trust in them and the quote they offered to rebuild our yak was more than reasonable, so they proceeded to the task at hand.
Two weeks later the LIBRA was complete. She received all new paint, new combing and hatch upgrades, revised deck rigging, rudder hardware, seats and backs, even the graphics were new and improved upon. This boat looked brand new again!
The people at BOATFIX.CA should be commended for this amazing craft. My partner and I can't thank them enough for such a beautiful work of art. Simply amazing!
Kimberly Y., Toronto, Ont.
TOO MANY HOLES & CRACKS
Yes! Way too many holes and cracks for this poor old canoe to stay afloat. 28 holes to be precise. When seeing the photos before it came to BOATFIX.CA we felt another nightmare on its way.
Rachel picked this canoe up for a song and realized why after getting it into the water for the first time. Checking her options of turning her hard earned money into a planter or having it repaired she came to see BOATFIX.CA .
This fiberglass canoe is a testament to worn-out boats, at least that we've ever seen. There comes a time when you have to decide when her time is up. Is it worth the repair? Can I get something newer for the price of the repair? And perhaps there is an attachment to your boat, and you just can't let go.
Now we may not be miracle workers by any stretch, but managed to resurrect this 60 year old from the landfill site with a lot of elbow grease and sweat. A budget was given to work with, which we happily did, and then threw in a couple of 'extras' giving the value-added component to top it off.
We think Rachel's eyes fell out after reuniting with her boat and sent her on her way with some words of caution. The boat is old. Her bones are weak, but if you treat her nice and gentle you'll get some good mileage out of her.
Another happy customer
NICE WORK GUYS!
Rocky Crest Resort & Country Club located on Lake Joseph in MacTier, Ontario had urgent need of rebuilding two of their aging Evergreen canoes. The surface gelcoat finishes had hazed so badly due to long exposures to the sun over the years requiring UV inhibitor coating treatment, bringing the finish back to life. The floatation tanks were split and required rebuilding. The seats, decks and yoke were replaced with BOATFIX.CA's own high-load & wear wood components.
The transformation was a huge success, and also greatly appreciated by the resort's director.
Another happy customer!
A TYPICAL MAKEOVER
Here's a basic refresh to a yellow gold Evergreen canoe. Typical of many older fiberglass canoes, the flotation tanks fail due to splits on the seams and require a simple reinforcement. Also seats, yokes, thwarts decks and carry handles get beat up, dry out and become sunbleached. Seat hangers tend to fatigue and break and require immediate replacement. Hulls also suffer from UV breakdown and become hazed, often well beyond what the original color should be.
Here is an example of a total overhaul and makeover, giving years of use to the owner.
BOATFIX.CA puts your boat back into the water again!
Camp Kirk's canoe fleet was in poor shape this summer.
Many of our canoes were out of commission due to damage, and the others were in precarious shape due to lack of proper care and maintenance over the years. It has been a struggle to find a company who can provide timely and good quality service however meeting BOATFIX.CA was a true blessing.
They came to our property and did a thorough assessment and provided us with a very realistic and affordable maintenance plan. When the canoes were returned to us, it was evident that a great deal of energy and care went into each and every boat. After the canoes were delivered to us they presented a thorough service report and offered tips to keep the fleet in optimal shape and moving forward.
BOATFIX.CA went above and beyond, providing professional care to our fleet. We hope to continue our partnership with BOATFIX.CA to ensure our canoes stay in tip top shape!
E. Coutts, Director-Camp Kirk, Kirkfield, Ont.
Camp Wenonah, located in Bracebridge, Ontario, has been a regular patron to BOATFIX.CA when repairs to camp canoes and sailing dinghies are required. Many of the canoes we repair for camps have seen better days and therefore undergo some very serious transformations to have them back in service again. Camp Wenonah's number 18 (shown below) gets a workout to bring her back into the water again.
BRINGING HOME THE FLEET
BOATFIX.CA prides itself on the boat maintenance programs available for camps, schools, resorts and associations. We're driven to provide the best possible care to your watercraft fleet. Operating year-round, we accommodate your high-season with our mobile, on-site repair program or off-season where we bring the fleet home for the winter and prepare them for the busy season ahead.
YOU ASKED FOR IT!
Cottage Care Rentals & Property Management loves to treat their customers well. BOATFIX.CA was approached to do a conversion of an older fiberglass canoe to present to the current owner as a gift. As the owner was on holiday (and unbeknownst to them) BOATFIX.CA did major upgrades and repairs to bring this boat back to life including new hand-made wood appointments such as gunwales, decks, seats and yoke. The exterior had a new makeover as well giving the boat a brand new classic look and feel (it may have taken a few pounds off her as well).
Happy customer yet again!
This canoe is literally roadkill.
It was found off the edge of the road in the country and stripped naked of its essential components and having all assortment of plant life growing inside her. She donned a fiberglass shell and some serious holes, road rash and a top-line which was in serious repair. Our staff determined her age was about 50 years and felt she deserved a second chance to be recycled back into use again.
After 2 weeks of intense work the new upgrades were completed and later given to a very happy customer!
This expensive paddleboard had a collision with a dock after being windswept, according to one upset client. The fiberglass took a significant edge-beating and chipout occurred, intruding water into the core. We did our magic by rebuilding the edges, fairing her true, and getting this paddleboard back into the water again.
“BOATFIX.CA repaired some damage and cracks on my paddleboard. BOATFIX.CA did a great job on the repair - in addition to being meticulous and timely, they were courteous and professional. Highly recommended. - D, 2020”