I am not the most carfull person and I just couldn't see paying $1,000.00 for a small canoe. So in my resurch I looked for plans for a light weight canoe that could be fixed easly. These are the best I found! Between the two canoes, I make maybe 20 trips to the water a year so take into consideration the amount of abuse. Hiking in a mile, banging against trees while walking, sliding on stones to get in the water, etc.
Lets see, I have had a couple of leaks. The Nimrod is 4 years old now. On a fishing trip in the adrondacks (When I first built it) I pulled up to a log to get out. When I went to get out, my weight went forward, and impailed the canoe on a branch stub that was under water. ouch! Duct tape fixed that untill I got home. (I always carry a little duct tape in a zip lock tucked under a rib in the bow). Pratt told me that. Than I found out you should check your coating often. After sliding over rocks and sand in a stream on several trips I wore a hole under my seat. When I got home I put an extra layer of dacron on just the bottom and couple new coats of poly. This fall I failed to tie it down in the back yard. A heavy wind flipped it and slammed it into a wood pile. 2 ribs broken but no holes.
Last summer I put a 2oz layer of fiberglass cloth over the dacron. That worked great untill this fall when I tried to push through a "thin" layer of ice while duck hunting. Ripped a 6 inch gash! Had to sit in the back to keep the front end up the rest of the way back. Im waiting for spring to recover the thing.
Oh yes, the only problem with the Travler 18 was sand. We got sand in the bottom at the beach. The sand wiggled its way between the gunwale and the fabric and wore little holes. The next trip we had a leak. Took forever to find! Temperaryly fixed it with claer duct tape. What a great new invention! (No more silver/gray patches) Fixed it with some 5 minute epoxy when I got home.
Hows that! Have fun!