Caring for Your Placid Boatworks Canoe

We handcraft Placid boatworks canoes using the finest fabrics, resins and trim. A few simple steps will protect your investment for years of enjoyable paddling.

The gel-coat scuff patch on your canoe is a high gloss finish that protects the inner lamination from incidental damage. A few scratches come with paddling as normal wear and tear, and the champagne color hides them well.   Scratches that go through the gel to the laminate should be repaired.

1. When entering, loading or unloading your canoe, place it parallel to the shore in ankle deep water to load without scuffing the bottom of the hull. Don't drag your canoe over sand bars and riffles. Lifting over obstacles prevents abrasion and scratching. Scratched canoes have half again the skin drag of unscratched hulls and are less efficient, making you paddle harder.

2. After paddling, clean your canoe with mild soapy water to prevent pond scum build up. Use a non-abrasive household cleaner to remove dried scum.  Scum increases hull friction and makes you paddle harder.

3. The hull may be shined and given additional UV protection with applications of a "303 Aerospace Protectant" type surfactant (basically a water-safe, non-alcohol-based Armorall). It slows UV damage, keeps the hull clean, allows road oil to be wiped off easily, and restores faded gel-coat.   To apply, spray the 303 on the hull, wiping the product on the gel coat with a 303 soaked rag. Then wipe off excess with a clean cloth. 

4. Do NOT wax your Placid canoe. Wax slows the hull on-water, and encourages road oil build up.

5. Keep the interior clean with mild soap and water applied by a cloth, sponge or kitchen brush depending on accumulation. Protect the interior from sunlight, and dirt with 303.  (Be aware that 303 can make the interior a bit slippery...)

6. Gel-Coat scratches may be sanded out with wet and dry paper. Flush with water while progressing from 120 to 2000 grit paper. Polish with rubbing compound and apply 303.

7. Deeper scratches may be filled, after cleaning and preparation, with matching gel coat.  See our online store for a color matched gel repair kit. These kits have a fairly short shelf life and cannot be stored over time, so plan your repair work accordingly.

8. Deep scratches in the gel-coat and breaks that go into the lamination must be protected immediately with Duct Tape and repaired as soon as possible. We can repair a broken Placid canoe for you or you can purchase a Patch Kit in the online store.  Please call or email for a repair appointment.
1. Before storing your Canoe for extended periods, clean and 303 the hull and trim.

2. DO NOT STORE YOUR CANOE ON THE GROUND. Store it upside down on a rack or saw horses, in a dry place away from sunlight, heat and extreme temperature changes. Protected outside storage is fine but moisture must not be allowed to accumulate between the rails and hull. Cover the canoe, keeping the cover from touching the hull to reduce water spots. And, remember to strap your canoe down. Wind can throw your hull against harmful objects.

3. When bringing your canoe out of storage, wipe the hull with 303.
Our cherry trim has been shaped, sanded and finished with several coats of marine polyurethane spar varnish or oil - your choice - to keep moisture out, prevent drying and resist fungus. This fine finish must be maintained.

1. Maintain trim finish by spot applying polyurethane spar varnish or oil as needed, with a brush, foam brush or rag. Re-sand roughened spots. Frequent maintenance takes less time and effort than procrastinated repairs.
2. Place a newspaper underneath it and revarnish the seat cane occasionally.

3. Top Carrier rack scuffs and other localized marks may be removed with steel wool or synthetic pads. If this raises the wood grain, sand with 120, then 220 grit before re-polying
4. Eventually, the poly spar varnish will need a major sanding and re application. Remove old poly with 120 grit paper, then final sand with 220 before applying several coats of new marine polurethane or oil. (We use 5 coats before the boats leave the factory.)
5. Our Dymondwood thwarts and end decks will require no maintenance unless scratched. Sand out with wet paper through 320 grit to match the original surface and polyurethane.  (Note:  All boats - even those with oiled rails - have decks that are painted with polyurethane.  Although Dymondwood is virtually waterproof, a coat of poly will make them shine!)
6. Keep bolts on cane seats and Dymondwood thwarts snug with a square drive screwdriver and 3/8" wrench. Snug the square drive rail screws occasionally to maintain the integrity and strength of your canoe.
WARNING: POLYURETHANE SOAKED RAGS ARE COMBUSTIBLE. When finished with cleanup, be sure to place them in a bucket of water to avoid spontaneous combustion. Place them outside, away from combustible materials, following directions on the can.


We at Placid boatworks are proud of the canoes we build. We guarantee both materials and our workmanship for the usable life of the canoe as defined by wear.  Our boats, when properly used and maintained, will last a long, long time.
We try to build our hulls properly the first time. If for some reason we didn't, we'll make it right to you, repairing or replacing hulls and components at our option, but at no cost to the owner.
We don't warrant against abuse. If you wrap the hull around a rock, scrape through the bottom or abandon woodwork to weather or rot, those are problems created by lack of proper maintenance or abuse. We will repair your Placid boat; please email or call for an appointment and return it to us for an estimate and repair.
Storing Your Placid Boatworks Canoe