My Classic 10' has gone through 6 years of being beaten up, and it's time for a recovering job. I store the boat on a balloon tire wheely cart (the boat rests longitudinally on 2 1 1/2" PVC pipes) which I use to carry the boat to the water's edge (150' schlep). I then slide the boat off the pipes and into the water. I get it back on the wheels by pulling it up on a mixed sand and rock shore then lift the bow so that it lands on the pipes. The problem is this has been rough on the hull. I must have a dozen patches in the hull at this point.
I'm reluctant to replace the fabric, since "if it ain't broke, etc. etc." but the plain truth is the fabric has many patches, leaks around a quart every 15-20 minutes, and the existing fabric is very weak and brittle (probably due to the spray polyeurethane I coat over every patch it has). Patches have been glued on with everything from epoxy to crazy glue, and the glue is also very brittle.
One alternative I've been thinking about is to replace the fabric with marine grade plywood cut into strips that mimic the stringer lines. I'd put a coat of fiberglass over the wood, and it should be strong and tight. I'm not quite sure how to connect it to the stringers, however. A second alternative would be to just replace the fabric, and add a couple of strips along the hull to protect it from the inevitable rocks.
I would appreciate suggestions anyone has as to really tough coverings. Obviously, the kit fabric is one, but I'd prefer something that's a little heftier. Suggestions?