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Wooden Canoe Maintenance

A canoe is meant to be enjoyed on the water, giving you hours of fun paddling little streams, relaxing in the middle of a lake or splashing the kids from the back of the canoe! With proper care and maintenance you will enjoy paddling your canoe for many years.

Wooden canoes are no different from any other canoe in terms of maintenance. The canoes are made to take a few knocks, the fibreglass and epoxy provide superior structural strength, whilst the varnish layers help protect it from the elements.

To get the most out of your wooden canoe and to keep it looking in great shape we suggest the following:

  • Turn the canoe upside down after your paddle to ensure any water inside drips out. Remove stones or pebbles to ensure you won’t scratch the inside of the boat next time you get in.
  • To clean the inside and outside of the canoe, wash it with mild soap and water. Give a final rinse with water only to ensure no soap remains on the inside of the canoe which could make it slippery to get in next time.
  • Store your canoe upside down, resting on the gunwales. Ideally inside in a shed or garage, or outside in a covered and sheltered area.
  • If you cover your canoe with a tarp ensure it is suspended above the canoe to give it room to breath. Do not just lay a tarp on top of the canoe.
  • Should any of the gunwales, deck plates or yokes get any chips, just sand them down lightly and re-varnish.
  • To keep your canoe in optimum condition, lightly sand and re-varnish all parts of the canoe annually.
  • Do not sit in your canoe on solid ground.

Owning a wooden canoe is a great joy. Taking care of it will be easy and stress-free as long as you look after your canoe whilst out and about, and follow the above guidance for storage and maintenance.

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