View Full Version : Rebuilding Granddad's 1935 canvas covered 17ft Kayak

05-10-2018, 05:55 PM


I am restoring my granddad's 1935 17ft canvas kayak. As you can see, its pretty wide, with a flat bottom. You can also see that he originally installed the canvas running straight down the keel, with hundreds of tacks and then sealed it with some sort of tape before painting it. The canvas is stretched around to the top of Kayak with a seam in the middle of the bow. I am trying to determine if this is the best way for me to reinstall the new material, with two separate pieces of material starting at the keel and wrapping around to meet on top of the kayak in the center. Does anyone have any suggestions? Note- For me to use one piece of canvas, it looks like the material would have to be at least 7.5 ft wide to made it all the way around. Please advise if you have any words of wisdom for me. Any and all comments are welcome. Thank you.

05-10-2018, 07:32 PM
I have sort of ‘been there, done that’ myself a couple of times. If you can’t find canvas wide enough in one piece I would certainly sew two the two pieces together with a seam along the keel, real easy with an overlapping and two zig-zag seams. Use a standard staple gun with S.S. Staples. I start in the middle of the boat working both sides along toward the ends. At some point you will need to cut the canvass to make an overlapped seam at the stems, just like covering a wood and canvas canoe.

05-10-2018, 07:35 PM
Hmmm,.... sorry about the sequence, I donít know how to control the sequence on my phone, but I think you get the idea

05-10-2018, 07:38 PM
And this one

05-15-2018, 04:58 PM
NedL. Thanks for the response. If I can find wide enough material, would you recommend using that, rather than a seam down the middle of the keel and two pieces of material?

05-15-2018, 06:24 PM
Full width would save the time of seaming, and the visible seam, otherwise I don’t think it matters.

05-15-2018, 06:44 PM
You can skin the boat in two pieces without stitchin a seam down the keel: Skin the hull with one piece, the deck with another. Fasten each along the gunwales - I typically use stainless steel or monel staples - then cover those fasteners with a rubrail.

Also, if you haven't already, consider that the fabric need only be wide enough to go all the way round the boat at the front and rear of the cockpit, not the center. You may not need 7.5' wide fabric, after all.

Email George Dyson at GDyson@gmail.com He sells a whole variety of fabrics (though not canvas) used for skinning kayaks, and he'll send you a list. Service is fantastic and prices the lowest around.

Feel free to email me at GentryCustomBoats@yahoo.com if you have any skinning questions.

Good luck!