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Wishy's Words

April 9, 2009

Get that Canoe Ready!

Ryan Canoe
Now that the rivers and streams are starting to open up it gets me more and more excited to get my XL Tripper out there on the water. You can find countless sites that give you information on how to wake your lawnmower up from winter hibernation but what should you do to canoe? Also this write-up is only about ABS canoes because I wouldn’t own any other type. I will touch on some important things to pay attention to as you wake your favorite fishing companion:

1) Check for any signs of major wear on the under side of the canoe. Common places for wear are at the bow and stern. The best fix for wear in these areas is a skid plate kit from Old Town Canoe.

2) Check for any signs of major wear on the inside of the canoe. Maybe you threw the anchor in a little to hard after loosing that 3lb brookie last summer or if you have a motor like me the pressure of water can bow the inside of the canoe causing stress cracks. I recommend fixing the cracks or “wounds” with a durable but flexible material. A little more flexible then resin but more durable the silicone. After completing that task if you have a motor I suggest building a brace kit that goes from the thwarts down so the bottom of the canoe. However, be ready for a stiffer ride!

3) I sand my thwarts (and brace kit) down every spring and varnish or paint them. The helps protect them from rot when staying out there in the rainy weather or if you capsize! God forbid!

4) Make sure you have a good bow line that you can toss to someone incase of trouble.

5) If you have a motor make sure your registration numbers are easy to read and register your canoe! Don’t for get to but on your milfoil sticker!

6) Also for motorized canoes make sure that your motor mount is structurally sound. The last thing you want is for that to come apart while you are zipping up to your next favorite fishin’ hole!

7) The next bullets with have to do with the motor itself. First, DRIAN YOUR TANK if you didn’t fill it last fall. If you did fill it last fall and put some fuel stabilizer in it then you are ahead of the game. You should keep your tank full over winter because then rust can’t form on the inside of tank. Rust and fuel systems don’t mix.

8 ) Also inspect your fuel line from the tank. Any small hole can result in the motor stalling after a few minutes on the water because the air is easier to pull up the line then more fuel. This can cause a lot of frustration and is a cheap fix.

9) In the fall you should have drained the foot of the motor. Now make sure you put some 90W oil back in before you get it back to the water. Make sure to check the O rings on the plugs and remember to fill it from the bottom to the top due to venting issues.

10) You may want to spray a little carburetor cleaner in the carburetor.

11) Put in some new spark plugs.

12) You are ready to take it down to water and try everything out!

The above are just guidelines and your model may require more or less service. Please remember that the water is VERY, VERY cold in the spring and make sure you are wearing your life jacket (PFD) at all times! As an avid swimmer and the recipient of many swimming awards and trophies I would never gamble with cold water. Early in the spring water temps are cold enough to mimic paralysis and hypothermia only a couple minutes away.

-Ryan Wishart

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2009 8:36 am

    Nice work Wishbone, a great read and really something everyone should consult before putting their Canoe in the water.


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