How to Fix a Leaky Aluminum Canoe

How to Fix a Leaky Aluminum Canoe
Just because a canoe is made out of aluminum does not make it immune to wear and tear. Rocks can open the seams on aluminum canoes--or they can be punctured. Any short-term leak eventually will require a long-term solution but, thankfully, a long-term fix for an aluminum canoe isn't that difficult and doesn't require any welding skills.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mallet Fiberglass patching cloth Scissors Marker Fiberglass resin Disposable cup or bowl Pocket knife Hand sander Sandpaper
  • Mallet
  • Fiberglass patching cloth
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Fiberglass resin
  • Disposable cup or bowl
  • Pocket knife
  • Hand sander
  • Sandpaper
Step 1
Pull the canoe out of the water and onto dry land.
Step 2
Use a mallet to hammer out any dents that may have resulted along with the leak.
Step 3
Take the fiberglass patching cloth and cut a section a little larger than the hole with the scissors. The cloths are readily available in fiberglass patching kits, but also can be purchased separately. The goal is to form a bond around the hole. Not much more than a half-inch of extra coverage should do.
Step 4
Trace the area the patch will cover with a water-soluble marker, denoting your work area.
Step 5
Mix a batch of fiberglass resin (included in the patching kit) in a disposable cup or bowl.
Step 6
Coat the surface of the work area with the resin. Place the cloth patch over the top of the resin and smooth it out for a nice fit.
Step 7
Trim away any excess resin with a pocket knife.
Step 8
Use the hand sander to smooth the patch if you intend to paint the canoe. Sanding will help the patch blend in. Use coarse sandpaper first. Then create a smooth finish with a finer grade.

Tips & Warnings

 
For temporary patches, use duct tape or ordinary silicon caulk. In the case of a ruptured seam, consider closing the damaged area with just caulk and leave it at that.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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