Old PakCanoe "tuneup" Print E-mail
Friday, 06 November 2009 09:40

An old PakCanoe 140 just came in for a tuneup. We do not often see a PakCanoe built in 1996, so this was quite interesting (at least for us). Some of what we see is actually quite surprising. This particular canoe "lives" in Rhode Island and has seen its share of salt water. When it arrived, it had not been disassembled in several years.

In 1996 we had not started anodizing the aluminum frames, and many years of exposure to salt water have left the frame looking less than presentable. Surprisingly, Mike could fold up the longitudinal rods with only a couple of the joints really badly corroded. And even those joints came apart after Mike had soked them with vinegar (don't ask me why that works). Even more surprising - the rubber shock cords still work. Not only are the shock cords not broken, they are still elastic! Some rivets are badly corroded and need to be replaced. The stems and some rod sections need to be replaced, but the cross ribs are still ok.

Five of the six inflatable cells in the air tubes still hold air, but the material has faded quite a bit. We think the leaking cell can be repaired with two patches.

The skin is in fine shape. The fabric seems a little stiffer than it was 13 years ago, but it should be ok for many more years. That is not a great surprise because we know of PVC hulled boats that are 20 years old or more.

I think anodized aluminum parts would have made a major difference to this boat. Anodizing is probably the most significant product improvement we have made since this old 140 was made. It is nice to see that even the original PakCanoes are holding up really well.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 November 2009 15:00