We have started some pages to answer your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Caring for your Cedar Strip Boat-
Your boat is a “Functional Work of Art”, and is built to be used and enjoyed in fresh or salt water, lakes, rivers, ponds or calm oceans. Please – no white water! This Abenaki is constructed using Western Red, Northern White & Yellow Cedar, with fiberglass cloth inside & out. It should be protected by 4 coats of epoxy & 5 coats of a good spar varnish.
After using in salt water, just hose off the exterior.
The sun’s UV rays will break down the finish of your cedar strip boat, so when not using your boat – keep it under cover or store it inside.
Storage of your cedar strip boat-
The best way is to store it on a sheltered rack.
Canoes can be stored with the hull up on a rack. Should you wish to keep the dust and collection of “where did this come from?!” out of your boat, you can drape with a bed sheet. Do not use tarps or any synthetic material- they trap moisture and can be more trouble than help. The area need not be heated. For outside storage, keep out of the elements and direct sun, make sure air can circulate around the boat. It makes for a nice shelter for small animals, it is best to keep critters from building a nest since it will be out of the weather and sun.
For general upkeep to protect the wood after extended sun exposure, you will want to refinish the exterior every 2 – 3 years (or longer if you do not use your boat often).
Starting with the hull, LIGHTLY wet sand the exterior of the boat with 180 for the first sanding to remove scratches and dents, then 240 – 300 grit wet/dry sandpaper between the rest of coats of varnish. Then wipe the boat down several times with water and a clean cloth until you no longer feel any grit. Next, wipe down with water & 10% ammonia. When dried, wipe down with a clean soft cloth dampened with thinner. Apply at least 3 coats of good spar varnish (we use Epifanes) using a foam brush to the hull and let dry for a day or two between coats. Remember to wet sand the varnish and clean between coats.
For canoes and rowing boats- follow the same process as above for hull. On the inside, first layer is gloss, let cure. Second coat use matte varnish.
For kayaks- tape off or remove all the deck hardware first. Follow instructions above, then follow the same process for the deck of your kayak.
You can use very fine (0000) Steel Wool before the final coat instead of the wet sand, but make sure before you varnish that there is no grit left on the boat!
Be sure to let the boat’s varnish cure for at least 3 days before putting your hardware back on or putting it back into the water.