Wednesday 5 December 2012

Langford Canoe rebuild

Into the shop comes a 15' Langford from a cottager in Muskoka who identified it required new canvas. An earlier Langford, it shows very nice lines and volume for  its size, but typical build quality that is usually associated with these boats. Woods used are not premium, milling is variable, and fastenings are a mix of brass, steel, etc. Aluminum stembands and countersunk seat hanger bolts are consistent with these models.

On inspection, the boat had several areas of concern, mostly associated with its age and the woods used. Red Oak has been used in many areas, including seats, rails, the thwart and decks. As cottage boats spend lots of time on shore in the weather as well as on the water, much rot had begun. While Red Oak has been used by several builders with varying degrees of success, it has among its characteristics poor rot resistance, and heavier weight.

Tip rot, poor quality gunwale stock, and stem rot on both ends. Remants of old decal confirm the boats lineage. Despite build quality, a very nice shape and paddling boat. 

 Oak seats originally strung with rawhide. 
Seats were hung on bars, a bulky touch but good for reinforcing smaller gunwales. Seats and thwarts  were hung with fine thread steel bolts, countersunk into the wales and plugged. These were drilled out, the holes filled with epoxy then drilled and countersunk to accept more suitable bronze carriage bolts.

Worn canvas and aluminum stembands.

Interior with several coats of gloss varnish and new canvas after new decks, tips, and seats intsalled. Boat was totally stripped, and proved frustrating as it was originally covered in polyurethane which stripper often struggles with. Boat was also reclenched in many areas as several fasteners were pulling out. Protruding heads make a smooth canvas job next to impossible.

Owners selected Grey Mist as their paint colour, which looks fantastic on this boat. New decks and caned seats in ash, and spruce outer rails were put in as part of the rebuild, and after 4 coats of gloss varnish, subsequent coats of matt varnish dulled the finish well and evened out the contrasting new wood. This in turn compliments the hull finish well, and makes the interior warm.
Camera flash off 

 Flash on, contrast of new wood minimized.
 New stern seat, back on hangers, waiting for new 6061 aluminum stembands. Originals were similarly wide, as stem width is greater than many boats which typically get narrow brass bands.