Taking care of your Canoe

Your Old Town Canoe or Kayak is Meant to be Used

As beautiful as your new Old Town Canoe or Kayak is, it is meant to be used. To enjoy it to the fullest, you’ll paddle it through shallows, play in whitewater, and beach it on gravel. Your kids will play in it all day and you’ll store gear under it at night. As you pursue your favorite paddling activities, your Old Town will collect a history of your adventures. A little nick here, a scratch or scrape there. It’s all part of the experience and for the most part of no consequence. Whether your Old Town is made of polyethylene, Royalex®, fiberglass or wood you can keep it looking beautiful by going through a few extra steps after each use.

Hull Exteriors

To clean, wash with mild soap and water. To beautify, we recommend occasional use of a vinyl protectant product or a polish such as Pledge®. These products offer protection plus they bring out the shine and color of the boat. Please keep in mind these products will not remove scratches or gouges in the hull. See repair section for the latter. We do not recommend waxing your hull with a paste wax like a car wax. The wax fills in any scratches or gouges, dries to a white color, and makes the scratches or gouges more apparent.

Hull Interiors

To clean, wash with mild soap and water. We do not recommend using the above mentioned products or polishes on the interior, as the floor of your boat may become slippery. Wood canoe interiors are finished with a tough spar varnish. You can touch up the wood as needed with spar varnish.

Wood Parts Maintenance

Many of our canoes have some parts made from wood. Whether it’s seats, thwarts, yokes, gunwales or dowels; the wood gives strength as well as beauty. Maintenance of wood parts is fairly simple. Most of our parts are coated with polyurethane for protection from the elements. Any areas that become chipped or worn need only to be sanded and touched up with a quality polyurethane. We recommend you give your canoe a good inspection and touch-up prior to storing for the off-season.

Synthetic Parts Maintenance

Many synthetic parts are used in Old Town Canoes and Kayaks for durability. Vinyl gunwales, polyethylene seats and decks, and ABS decks are easily maintained with a mild soap and water.