When it comes to canoe repair, Dennis Davidson, engineer at Northwest Canoe in St. Paul, MN, has some helpful advice to determine whether you want to tackle a project on your own or seek professional advice. He compares the repairs to ski runs:
Green runs are those minor repairs required after regular canoe use—that good old wear and tear. Replacing seats, applying 303 protectant for UV protection, oiling gunwales and even applying skid plates are all things you can do at home.
Blue run repairs result from neglect or improper storage of your canoe (like leaving it under the blazing summer sun or leaving it outside over winter). Cracks, hull splits extending away from the gunwale screws or dry rot in the end decks and gunwales can develop. Taking care of these things, whether you're an ambitious do-it-yourselfer or take it to an expert, will give your canoe a long, happy life.
Black runs? You got it: daunting repairs after your canoe flies off your car or gets pinned by any number of objects, like SUVs, trees and river rocks. Don’t despair. Davidson says experts can fix more than you think.
Read through some common canoe repairs to assess whether you can take on a project yourself or want to consult with an expert: