UV and Heat Damage

After years of mulling it over and finally deciding to bite the bullet, I bought myself an OC1. Now I agonize daily over having it sit out in the hot sun on my truck rack baking. I am trying desperately to find covered parking in my area, to no avail. I have sheltered storage for it at home, but why get an OC1 if it's just going to sit at home right? So basically she sits out in the parking lot without shade from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. Please help...

Realistically, what can I expect if I keep this up? Will she suffer significantly?

In your collective experience what type of precautions should I be taking to protect her?

Other then washing her down after each run, what maintenance should I be performing?

Si yu'os ma'ase - Haggan.

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Submitted by haggan on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 1:00pm

I would get a cover as soon as possible. The elements will affect any material over time. Not to mention it will help prevent scratches from transport, etc.

It's about a $200-300 investment, but it helps preserve a $3k investment...worth it in my book.

Ocean Ohana sells covers, and Jude at Huki.com just announced he sells covers for most canoes. Either of them should be able to help you out, though shipping to Guam might get pricey.

Esta, che'lu.

#1 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 1:15pm

just get a canoe cover, better for driving around anyways

#2 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 1:16pm

Cover should be on the way shortly. Ordered it right after posting this topic.

Was curious about what other's experiences have been, in so far as frequency of exposure, longevity of the canoe in addition to regular maintenance. I have ordered and applied a UV protectant spray from 303 products (http://tinyurl.com/cfhfu8), but I wanted to know what else you guys have done.


#3 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 1:56pm

Make sure the cover you buy protects against UV rays. I recommend the covers made of Sunbrella fabric by StitchThis. Here's the website:

These covers provide 100% UV protection and a 5-year guarantee. I've had several of them over the years and the original one I bought about 8 years ago is still working great.

For hull protection, I've started using Blue Goo and Extreme Cream from OnItPro, which was recommended by Danny Ching on this site a while ago (also available locally on Maui from Tri-Paddle in Wailuku). I really like the stuff. Here's the website:

For the deck, any car wax that provides UV protection is sufficient. Word of caution: don't use car wax on the hull, unless you don't care about speed. It creates a bond with water and will actually slow your canoe down.

For general canoe maintenance, one of the mistakes we see a lot of is people carrying canoes to/from the water with the seams resting on their shoulders. If you stand between your boat and ama when it's rigged, and sling it up to your right shoulder to carry it to the water, chances are you are resting the entire weight of the canoe on a small surface area (your shoulder), pressing right into your seam. Bad idea. That's a great way to compromise the seam and introduce a leak (the voice of experience here).

Far better to stand ajacent to your canoe on the non-ama side, facing the tail. Then, reach across the hull and grab the iako with your left hand, while using your right hand to scoop the canoe up and over so the seat portion of the canoe is resting on your shoulder. The seating portion is designed to handle the weight and will not compromise your seams while moving to/from the water.

#4 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 3:02pm

Realistically, what can I expect if I keep this up? Will she suffer significantly?

I've seen several OC-1's with indentations from the tie-down straps to a point where you can see the webbing pattern in the gelcoat. Not very pretty, but won't really have any effect on the performance, but still should be prevented.

In your collective experience what type of precautions should I be taking to protect her?

Buying a UV cover is a good step. While keeping it covered and out of the sun especially between 10AM-2PM when the sun is at it's hottest should be watched for. Watch where you set her down or get/make some craddles when setting up/breaking down from a run/race. I've been noticing quite a bit of scratches on the bottom of my Zephyr, especially after races.

Other then washing her down after each run, what maintenance should I be performing?

Run some fresh water through the cable tubing to get any salt water out and make sure you drain it so there is no water sitting in the tube. Same goes for the iako housings, don't want any water sitting in them or the seatwell, footwells. Make sure you don't leave the seat in the seatwell either. Take it out and let it dry or the moisture could deteriorate the glue/contact cement used for the velcro. Don't let the seat sit in the sun too long either as it could get damaged by the heat. Unplug the drain plugs when storing it to let it breath and dry any moisture that may have gotten inside.

Do an inspection on it before/after each use to make sure you don't have any cracks or scratches that can leak. Double check the tightening screws for the iako to make sure you tightened them. Nothing sucks more than to have the ama/iako come out while paddling it as I've seen it happen at races.

Do a good wipedown and waxing/polishing at least once a month to keep it looking good.

#5 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 3:21pm

If you haven't already seen this Article here on OCP, then here it is and covers what you just did in dropping 3k+ on a new OC-1 and want to take care of it. Got pictures of what dmehling talked about carrying it safely.


Also here's a link on how to make you own canoe stands out of PVC pipes from this thread here: http://www.ocpaddler.com/node/1139


#6 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 3:35pm

What color is the cover ?

More info to follow.

Concerning heat ( not UV ) for sure keep the hull side up for now. Pretty sure they post cure the parts but still not good to leave any dark color composite out in the direct sun.


#7 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 4:20pm

As for the cover, I asked for white, or another light color.

Thanks for all the information so far guys, really! I appreciate it. A lot of good ideas to consider.

#8 Wed, 04/01/2009 - 4:37pm

Great on the white cover.

Even though many boats are built with Higher Performance Epoxys than Marine Store grades AND often post cured to reach even higher physicals, a dark colored boat sitting in direct lower latititude sun can get real close to the HDT of these resins which is right around 192 degrees for many of them. A solid laminate might only buck off it's not-prepped-to-well paint or gelcoat, but a cored boat is not gonna be happy and this 'superheating' may even make something small that would never show up turn into a monster.

As for keeping it on your truck 24/7.

Make sure your racks fit the contour of the hull as perfectly as possible and use the most surface area available to support it. Custom fit foam if you need to and don't expect Yakimas or any other X brand curved racks to fit or be right for you.

If possible, would not hurt to drive with it in one spot then crack the straps loose and shift it a little bit for the night or parked. Don't take 'em off as its that much easier to take it.

IMHO, its better to drive with the cover OFF ... yep it might get a little dirty but its better than having a less than perfectly fit/snug cover flogging against the glossy gelcoat / painted surface. I have seen what can happen in less than 30 miles and its not pretty. IF you were driving 'cross country' good to put it on but tape it up so nothingis flapping in the 55mph breeze.

Beware the dark colored 'padded' covers .. put the boat away wet in these and place in hot sun and you just put your boat in a nice solar steam bath.

A cable or chain lock is good for security but anything you can do to make a thief spend more time 'exposed' lessens the chance of the boat , bike , etc. walk off .. A good one is a lenght of > 1/2" KEVLAR Yacht braid WITH some 1/19 SS wire INSIDE it. You can lock this, knot it, wrap it etc. The line takes forever to cut through, then suprise, the wire is in there .. DAMM. Conversly, bolt cutters don't work on the line so well.

Rinse the cables too and if these have any kind of shrink tubing on them @ the fittings, cut it off and leave them open.
They will last longer this way and you can inspect them even if you are lazy.


#9 Thu, 04/02/2009 - 12:25am

I was thinking the same thing about the cover. I am actually trying to get the raw Sunbrella fabric so that I can have it tailored to my specs. I want a slip type with a drawstring that I can throw over the canoe while racked for quick and easy on and off.

I am already seeing the need to either modify my cradles or get rid of them altogether. Especially if I am going to be racking her hull side up.

Should have an order from http://www.onitpro.com/ on the way.

Good stuff here guys... thanks.

#10 Thu, 04/02/2009 - 1:31am

For on-vehicle security, www.wetsand.com has Steel-Core locking straps that have a cable running through them, so they can't just be cut. The locks are rated for salt water use too, so they don't get fouled with salt after a few uses. These are also available locally on Maui from Tri-Paddle in Wailuku. Whenever I have to leave one toy on my car while I go play with another, these staps come out and give me great peace of mind.

#11 Thu, 04/02/2009 - 7:03am

Hagen, that there's a beyootifl canoe - congrats.

I have had experience with both On it Pro products as well as cable reinforced straps and recommend them both. Prefer the SPT straps ( Stick protection technology) because of teh padded buckle and good quality lock.

have fun!


#12 Thu, 04/02/2009 - 2:15pm

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