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Racine (?) restoration

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Shaun, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    A couple years ago I restored my first wood canvas canoe - a 1920"s Thompson Brothers belonging to a friend. I love carpentry especially new and challenging work on heirloom quality items. Only one problem, I had to give it back when done. So, I searched and found a project for myself. Skin off, rot damaged gunwales, a few other of the usual suspects. Game on!

    Research on this forum leads me to believe it may be a Racine Boat Co but it does not show all the identifying traits mentioned in the knowledge base. Any help identifying would be of interest.

    18' long (18'6" longest measure) with heart shaped decks, ribs not nailed to inner gunnel (brass screws through both gunnels from exterior), POC or cypress gunnels, sheer plank joined at mid ship, some ID numbers stamped in bow rib (see photo). It has been rebuilt at least once previously with seats hung from gunnels with aluminum rods and long SS bolts.


    RacineCanoe 001.jpg

    RacineCanoe 030.jpg

    RacineCanoe 018.jpg

    Plan to keep this post updated with progress reports and photos. Thanks for much information, tips and advice learned here.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Removed the outer gunnel and done some clean up and assessment. Re caned the stern seat and waiting on more rattan to do the bow seat. Looking for gunnel material locally to see what is available in 18' lengths. Hardwood supplier reports having vertical grain fir, but it is splintery to work with. Will let you know what I find.

    Seat caning...

    RacineCanoe 025.jpg
     
  3. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Shaun,

    I concur with your ID. I have a Racine Navajo with long decks, a serial number just a few hundred higher than yours in the same place on the rib. The inwales meet at the deck the same way and the half ribs look the same.

    I'm sure whoever restored it did not bother to use rivets on the gunnels again. As a matter of fact my canoe has a screw as every other fastener from the outside and a rivet as the alternate fastener.

    Good luck,

    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  4. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Paul,
    Thanks for the quick reply and photos. It looks like both seats and thwarts on your canoe are dropped from the inner inwales with brass bolts and that there are only two thwarts. Do you believe this is the original configuration? How far are seats and thwarts dropped, length of spacer dowels?
    Shaun
     
  5. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Hi Shaun,

    I do believe my canoe is original. It does not have a center thwart nor any sign there had been.

    The attached picture shows 1 1/2 inch fiber tube spacers that were on both seats. Two of the back seat ones may be a fraction smaller but not much.

    The brass bolts are 4" and the thwarts were attached directly under the inwale.

    Hope that helps,

    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  6. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I am not trying to do a full restoration back to 1900 specs, just trying to make a solid working canoe. There is a triage order to my plan and first up is some rib damage from mouse or rat chewing on some bow ribs. I considered ignoring this damage but two ribs were missing center sections and the canoe would be vulnerable to impact damage at this point. Some ribs on the other side are chewed but still have some meat on them. Here is before and after...

    Racine 003.jpg Racine 008.jpg

    Basswood partial ribs with scarf to the existing ribs Resorcinol glue at scarf. Chewed ribs on left have nails sinched and stained.

    Next up the inwales and then on to canvas...
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Racine 009.jpg Racine 012.jpg Racine 013.jpg

    Inwale and outwale stock made from 2x4 - 18 construction lumber ripped on table saw

    Pre bend for upsweep at ends (using dry heat from heat gun)

    Inwales nearing completion

    Couple more sessions and will be ready for new canvas
     
  8. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Posting images of a RacineWis decal and the deck (same type as yours) of a Racine I once owned, showing where the decal was placed on that boat. I don't know if anyone has any of these decals available, but this is a pretty good picture of one, for those who might want to magically turn it into a decal.

    Kathy
     

    Attached Files:

  9. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Kathy, interesting decal. I am wondering if my canoe is from the older Racine Boat & Manufacturing Company. Anyone got info on how to tell?

    Finished inwale work. Sanded exterior of planking and gave it a coat of thinned Tung oil - hope to help this canoe on her way to another 100 or so years.

    Planning to use RT-10 coating on the #10 canvas skin. I am worried about the canvas not receiving the same level of rot protection that a good soaking of paint provides. Considering doing a thinned coat of "bottom" paint that contains copper to the canvas before the RT-10. Then the finish color paint on top. Any feedback on this plan?
     
  10. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Canvas needs canoe filler before paint. Fill the weave with filler, then prep and paint.
     
  11. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    What Fitz said.

    What is "RT-10", never heard of it.

    And the paint doesn't contact the canvas, the filler does.

    Dan


     
  12. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

  13. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Going back to this question: "I am wondering if my canoe is from the older Racine Boat & Manufacturing Company. Anyone got info on how to tell?"

    The Racine Boat Manufacturing Company went belly-up in 1903 and had only been building wood-canvas for two years. My guess is that these canoes are very few and far-between (in other words, "rare", but I don't like using that over-used word!). They are discussed in the KnowledgeBase as having a heart-shaped deck, and the deck on your canoe is "the single petal", like my two RacineWis canoes. Mine came from a camp association that was built in the 1920s-- the sort of camp with several log cottages and a boat house with several boats and canoes that were used by the cabin owners. I assume my canoes date to that time, and yours may as well.

    KnowledgeBase info: http://forums.wcha.org/knowledgebase/Manufacturers:Racine+Boat+Manufacturing+Company

    Racine was the featured canoe at the WCHA Annual Assembly a few years ago and a couple issues of the journal Wooden Canoe, devoted to the history of the various Racine companies, came out at that time. You can order these through the WCHA Online Store. I believe it adds to the enjoyment of a canoe to know as much about it as possible.

    Kathy
     
  14. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    If your canvas has not been treated with an anti-fungus/mildewcide, you should consider doing so before filling, or using a filler that has such additives. But I have never heard of using thinned marine bottom paint for that purpose. White lead used to be a major component of filler, but it is dangerous and not readily available. Zinc naphalate, copper naphthenate, and Cuprinol have been used to treat canvas, but are generally not available in the U.S., though it seems that they may be available in parts of Canada. One participant in a forum discussion adds Zinnser mildewcide to his filler < http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?8967-Fillers&highlight=mildew >; there are several other discussions of this issue on the forums, such as < http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?10823-How-to-rot-proof-canvas&highlight=fungus >. It seems that the easiest way to go is to use canvas already treated, which is available from some of our builder/suppliers < http://www.wcha.org/buildsupply/ >.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    The traditional "filler" is paint. It has silica mixed in to fill the weave of the canvas to make a smooth surface to allow the hull to slip through the water with less resistance. This first layer of paint soaks into the canvas and makes it a solid paint/cotton laminate.

    RT-10 is a latex rubber compound used on steam pipe insulation joints. It is used by several canoe builders and restorers in place of paint filler. Here is an example from Orca Boats on UTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoEUPHG9BfM

    RT-10 has several advantages over paint/silica fillers. Easy application, light weight, days instead of weeks before final painting, easy clean-up, etc. The main disadvantage is that it is not traditional or original for a full classic restoration.

    My concern is that the canvas may not be completely incorporated into this latex and be susceptible to water from the hull side (water leaking between planking). This could lead to premature canvas deterioration from decay. I am considering either applying a mildecide in hot water after the fuzz burn off stage or a thinned paint containing copper (a mildecide) and then filling the weave before final color paint. Am presently leaning toward the hot water treatment as this will leave the canvas more open to accepting the RT-10 layer - have some concern that pre painting may prevent the strongest bond with latex layer.
     
  16. Kathryn Klos

    Kathryn Klos squirrel whisperer

    Hi again, Shaun. Granted, paint is a major ingredient in traditional filler recipes, but it is a separate step in restoring a canoe. Layers of filler are applied and sanded smooth before layers of paint are applied. One reason I like "the traditional old way" of finishing a canoe is that it works... it looks beautiful and will last.
     
  17. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    I always learn so much from these forums. :D
     
  18. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Shaun,

    Some filler recipes include "paint" and some do not, either way, calling and thinking that filler is a "paint" is a stretch IMO. What the filler has is the silica that in addition to filling the weave, also provides a hard surface that slides over rocks easy.

    With mastic, I would be concerned 1st with how the finish paint/enamel sticks to it, and 2, how the finished surface performs when it contacts rocks and other items, ie, does it slide over or "grab" like aluminum.

    I watched the video you linked and it does look attractive, though it didn't look like the guy was working it too hard, ie, deep into the weave.

    Before I would use this material, I would make a test panel just to learn better what it does before I committed a boat to it.

    If you use it, please report back how it worked for you and how it performs use.

    Dan



     
  19. OP
    OP
    Shaun

    Shaun Curious about Wooden Canoes

    More progress, got as far as canvas on. Decided not to do mildew treatment after reading the label on the can - wear rubber apron, gloves, goggles and face mask, never eat or smoke after being near this stuff - scarier than Halloween! Going with direct application of RT-10 after burn off. More soon...

    Racine 014.jpg .
     
  20. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Shaun,

    FWIW, I use the little 1 oz packets of mildewcid in the filler and when oiling a hull.

    and a number of folks here have stopped "burning" the canvas, deciding it wasn't worth the effort/risk.

    Dan
     

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