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Old 06-10-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Repairing a Radisson canoe

I purchased a 14í Radisson canoe and it needs some patch work. I didnít pay much for it and realized it would need repairs and a new paint job. I was wondering what some of you use to repair your canoes. I did a search on patching aluminum canoes but didnít really come up with a good solution to a long term patch. I called a locale dealer that sell Radisson canoes and they offer a patch kit that costs around $60.00. I didnít really pay that much more for the canoe. I found a small little crack that I patched with JB weld and it seems to be working alright for now. There are three seams on each side of the Radisson canoes that seem to be taking in a small amount of water in the rear of the canoe. The owners prior to me put some type of tar on those seams and it is holding pretty good but still leek a little. I was just looking for some ideas that might help out for a good patch material. I would also like to know what kind of paint would work well for the exterior.
Another thing I was looking to replace was the foam sponson sides and possibly the foam seats with an alternative material. I am looking to replace these items without purchasing new parts that would cost me as much as purchasing a new canoe. Thanks in advance for any input on this subject.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
Sir Rhosis of the River
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: North Scituate, RI
Posts: 140
The aluminum on Raddisons are ultra-thin and not at all durable. Likely not conducive to any durable repair (aluminum welding is a niche specialty). Given that you got it so cheap (and a good thing, they're not worth much even brand new) I'd stick with the temporary repairs you've been using, such as JB weld and the tar stuff the previous owners used. Duct tape can work wonders. If you're careful not to bang the canoe into anything, you might be able to use some of that aluminized caulk that is used to seal seams of gutters on houses. Given the lack of rigidity in that canoe and the amount of flex it will experience when you paddle it, no repair is going to hold up for long, so you'd best just learn to live with it and keep a bailer or sponge handy.

Any paint should do. Other boaters I know have good luck with Krylon spray paints.

I have no idea where to get replacement sponsons. IMHO you could probably just do without them unless you plan to do a lot of standing and fishing. Of course, then you have to seal those holes too. You could have a tough time with the seats too. As I recollect, there is not a lot of material in the gunnels to hang a seat from. Again, you may just have to live with it. A couple good seats from something like Eds Canoe will probably run you $70 or more, plus hardware, and may not be able to be installed on that canoe. Take a good look at how you're existing seats are attached to the boat before looking around for new seats, as that will largely determine what you can use.

In the haunted house of my life, paddling is the only stair that doesn't creak.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,006
I'd just carry a roll of duct tape! Sounds like you got the equivalent of a $500 beater car covered with rust holes and primer spots - nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't put much time or money into it!

I'm looking for the exact same thing right now (aluminum beater canoe)... my budget was $200, but that now sounds extravagant.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,478
You can order a sponson replacement kit @

I bought one a few years back and my canoe is good as new and it is going on 20 years old...

As for the loss of material near the seams..I`ve used liquid aluminum and it has worked for awhile...but ,believe it or not ...I bought a few tubes of almond(matches the color of my birch bark colored Raddisson very closely) silicone and smeared the seams with a few coats and it and it has held up for years and years!!..just remove as much gunk from the area and clean the seams really good and apply with a small scraper..

"Get your mind off trout,if you can.I know they`ve got you.I can see it. Every fraternity of sufferers knows its brothers.Trout hook men;men don`t hook trout.Better try and throw the hook while you can.By the time you`re a grown man there probably won`t be a pure trout healthy enough to fiddle with"... Quote from Emerson in the book "The Earth Is Enough"by Harry Middleton
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 42
Seats and sponsons area available at Nemics main street in Warrensburg and Smitty's Trapping Supply, 866 Schaghticoke Rd, near Mechanicsville call first the number is in the white pages.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:51 AM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Gloversville, NY
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While I have not applied epoxy to aluminum, I believe it will seal the leaks with no problem if you can strip the paint to insure it has a good bond. There are additives you can add to the epoxy to thicken it if you wish--some retain strength and some do not provide strength but allow for easier faring of the area after application. You could check with Jamestown Distributors ( or call 800-423-0030 as they sell the requesite materials and can also provide advice on nearly any type of boat repair. The one question I would have regarding the use of epoxy is regarding the flexibility of the aluminum. If the epoxy was used to patch small holes, I don't think you would have any issue. However, if applied along a long seam, I believe it would crack in places but still may solve your problem. If you are more concerned with functionality as opposed to aesthetics, you could also apply a strip of fiberglass along the area in question and wet it out with epoxy. Good luck with whatever you choose to do--there's usually more than one way to skin a cat.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14
They make a flexible marine epoxy that I have used to repair delaminated X country skis; lots of flex there. Available at West Marine or likely many ship's stores.

Not sure whats in it or the cost but BW Marine sell a repair kit:
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:01 AM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
TrackerDan...Your canoe is everybit worth putting some money into. I have used a few different Sportspals & Radissons over the years. I am currently restoring a Sportspals that was made in Emlenton, Pa in the late 50's. Between BWmarine & Castlecraft you can find any part you need. If your canoe does't have a keel on it, getting one is tricky but possible. I ordered mine from BWmarine. Due to the length, they had to cut it in half for shipping. Once I got it, I had it welded back together for a couple of bucks. Yes these canoes use a thinner aluminum but it is very durable. Take the time, do it right, it'll last for ever! Heres some info from Castlecraft for ya.

Seam Sealer - Older Sportspals had multiple seams covered with a sealer.
Customers tell us that they reseal the seams with "3M Flexible Seam Sealer"
This product is available from an Auto Parts Store - it is used to seal
the seals in a car's trunk.

Thank you for your request.

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Last edited by nozzlehead; 07-08-2010 at 09:02 AM..
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