I have to repair the upper deck on a wooden "ferry" type boat. She was built in 1917 for the excursion trade at Rockway Island NY and is still in regular seasonal service in the Hudson Highlands. We had the upper deck replaced some years ago and stayed with the original type of construction which is canvas over wood and then painted. The canvas has worn through in some areas and needs to be replaced. any suggestions on what product to use with the canvas. I'm also having a hard time finding the right type of canvas to use. Thanks.
Kim B.
Hudson Highland Cruises
Cornwall on Hudson, NY


Well, there are established canvases and established adhesives to lay it down with. And there are people more qualified than I am to suggest these for you. I'd look at any of the marine canvas suppliers in your area -- and there should be a few -- for their suggestions.

We're pretty much epoxy folks, and as you have seen from our web site, promoters of the Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES). This stuff is a wood restorative and consolidator for rotten wood, so if the wood under the canvas needs any help the CPES is what you need. It also helps the adhesion of any glue, paint, etc.

Beyond that, we get mostly into covering decks with resin/glass cloth, which is okay on smaller boats but not something I'd recommend for your ship. It's time consuming, costly, and unless done perfectly under perfect conditions can lead to major problems down the road.

We do sell the Tropical Hardwood Adhesive, which, by the way, NYC Parks Dept. used to glue the new railing around Battery Park waterfront. This is superior stuff and could be used with the canvas.

When you pull the old canvas, take a good look at the condition of the wood. If any of it looks soft, the you should definitely consider painting down at least one coating of the CPES. The adhesive and the canvas can go on after that.

If you run into problems with the canvas, get back to me and I'll make some calls around here. We have a lot of old ferry-type boats plying Puget Sound and some knowledgeable people as well.