Lifetime of wooden canoe covered with canvas can easily reach more than 100 years. There are still many serviceable wooden canoes, which were built at the beginning of 20th Century. Lifetime of canoe, of course, depends on the way of its use, but mainly on its storage when not in use. The biggest danger of canoe damage is when the canoe is out of the water, while transporting, or due to an improper storage. Suitable storage is the most important condition for the long lifetime of your canoe. It is not sure to leave the canoe on the bank in spring and if we just don´t use it in the water, it can be affected by all the vagaries of weather until late autumn when we put it back to the garage, under the shelter, into the shed etc.
Wooden canoes are made of natural materials, and accordingly it is necessary to take care of them. Here are some simple tips which ensures that your canoe will be kept in perfect condition for many years:
- When not using the canoe, do not leave it to be exposed to weather.
- After using, pour all the water out of the canoe and wash sand or any small particles out that could get from under the canvas. After pouring water out, it is optimal to let the canoe down the bottom for a short time, which makes better wetness evaporation absorbed in wood.
- The most suitable closed places for canoe storage such as a garage or a shed. It is very important so the canoe as not to be long exposed to sunlight and covered by snow. Heavy snow lying on the canoe can eventually deform the hull of the ship.
- If you do not have a closed storage room then you have to store the bottom of the canoe upwards on support (eg. joinery trestles) and cover it with waterproof cloth, so that the air can flow around the ship . When selecting a room to store the canoe, try to find a shady room, and best at least partially covered in order to prevent snow accumulation there in winter.
- Store the canoe always upwards the bottom either on props (eg. joinery trestles) or hanging on the straps. The position of support or hangers should be about in 1/3 from both ends of the canoe, or even closer to the center of the ship. Such a storage ensures that there will be no deflection. We highly recommend to provide support with some stuffing - carpet, bubble wrap, etc.
- Scratches and grooves on wooden parts should be painted at the end of the season. Tiny scratches from the bottom of the canoe is usually not serious and you do not have to bother about it. If it is a larger scratch, it is advisable to repaint with original two-pack paint.
- If there is a tiny ripple on the canvas, do not worry about it .But if the bubble will continue to increase itself, it is necessary to have it removed and repaired. In I'M Canoe we will be happy to advise you on how to proceed in a particular case.
- Wooden canoe covered by canvas is generally not recommended for use in salty seawater. Even though you decide to ride in the sea, we recommend that the canoe to be washed with fresh water several times after pulling out ashore.
- Canoe transport. Probably the most common way of transport is still transfering canoe on the roof of the vehicle. For this purpose, more than enough are standard roof crossbars and 4 winch straps. Ribbed canoe is entirely put down the frame (upside down). Canoe is fasten to crossbars by two long straps and then to be properly stretched. Do not forget to wedge the winch places by some soft pad (it is enough a thicker carton) so that the winch does not directly press the hull and to avoid scratching the surface of the canoe by a metal winch. The two remaining shorter straps will be connected with roof crossbars and main braces of the canoe, which will avoid the whole ship moving during transport. Nevertheless, we recommend a little calmer car ride and occasional checking over strength holding of your canoe.
- " All in all " means that it will be enough if you treat your canoe well, you properly store it in a closed space and you make a little service after the season. Thereafter your canoe will last longer than a few of your car, tens of mobile phones, ...