Take a tour of our shop with Bear as it was in spring 2018.
What kind of Gunwales?
What’s the best material for gunwales: aluminum, wood, or E6 carbon trim? The answer depends on th...Read
What’s That Line in the Middle of the Canoe?
New composite canoe designs pass through the same four stages. We first build a wood strip canoe, th...Read
The first canoes were dugouts: large, felled trees that builders carved out and then paddled. Other ...Read
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CARING FOR YOUR NORTHSTAR
You now have the finest production canoe available. A few simple steps will protect your investment for years of enjoyable paddling.
- When loading or unloading your canoe always place it parallel to shore in ankle deep water so you can avoid damage while loading it. Never load or enter a canoe on dry land – make sure the canoe is floating.
- Don’t drag your canoe over sandbars, gravel beds, dead falls, beaver dams or shallow riffles. Taking a little extra time to lift over obstacles prevents abrasion and scratching of the hull.
- After paddling, clean your canoe with mild soapy water and a freshwater rinse to prevent scum build up. Scum should be removed – it increases friction.
- Protect the hull with frequent applications of 303 Protectant, which slows UV damage and keeps the hull clean. 303 allows scum, road grime and dead bugs to be wiped off easily. Follow instructions on the packaging, and apply whenever water no longer beads on the hull. Do not wax your canoe – wax increases friction.
- If the resin or gel coat has been abraded away and you can touch substantial cloth (aramid, carbon fiber or innegra) you should reseal the cloth. Use either gel coat or resin to reseal. You may use gel coat on a non-gel coated canoe.
- Annual Inspection: We recommend you conduct a complete inspection of your Northstar canoe once yearly. Inspect gunwales, yoke, thwarts, seats, drops and decks for loose hardware. Use a Philips screwdriver and 3/8” wrench to tighten hardware (hint, turn the wrench and keep the screwdriver stationary and you’ll be less likely to strip the bolt head).
CARING FOR YOUR WOOD TRIM
Northstar Wood Trim: All wood parts are finished with three coats of varnish except gunwales and decks. Gunwales are subject to more routine abrasion than the other parts, so we oil them – oil penetrates the wood, instead of coating the surface. Gunwales and decks have received three coats of Watco Exterior Natural Oil. Repeated testing has convinced us that Watco Exterior Natural is the longest lasting and best performing wood oil available. Watco also provides UV protection. Re-oiling is necessary when the gunwales feel rough or appear dry.
- Before applying Watco make certain that the gunwales are clean and free of moisture. Do not apply Watco in wet weather or extreme hot or cold temperatures. Avoid applying Watco in direct sunlight.
- To remove gouges, nicks, and grayed wood, start with 80 grit sandpaper and progress through 150 and 220 grits. If you sand the undersides of the gunwales, apply a strip of masking tape or move a piece of cardboard along the hull to prevent scratches. If your rails have been severely weathered you will need to purchase a wood cleaner and scrub the gunwales thoroughly with it (hint: if the gunwales are dented, you can boil water, soak rags in the water and place the hot rags on the gunwale. The heat will raise the grain and restore the gunwale to its original shape).
- Shake the can of Watco thoroughly. Use either a brush or rag apply a liberal coat. Allow the Watco to penetrate the wood for 30 minutes, and then reapply to areas that appear dry. Wait 15 minutes and wipe off excess with a rag.
- If a furniture grade finish is desired oil-sand the wood using 220 and 400 grit wet- dry sandpaper. Wipe off excess oil with a rag. Note that fine grit sandpaper requires frequent replacement.
Warning: Items soaked with Watco may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for disposal.
We recommend you always use a quality roof rack system to transport your Northstar. Roof racks provide a safe, reliable and easy way to transport, if you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you do not own a roof rack system use a foam block kit and carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regardless, we recommend that you secure both the bow and stern (hint: use hood straps or hood loops to secure the bow of the canoe).
STORING YOUR CANOE
If at all possible, store your canoe indoors. There is no need for the space to be heated. Store your canoe out of direct sunlight. If it is stored outside, store it upside down on saw horses or the like. Never store your canoe directly on the ground.
All watersports activities are hazardous and involve the risk of serious injury or death – canoeing is no exception. Northstar Canoes strongly recommends any person using our canoes or accessories obtain training in safety and paddling techniques, rescue methods and CPR from a qualified instructor. Any person using Northstar Canoes or accessories assumes the risks inherent with the use of any watersports product – and assumes all responsibility for damages, injury or death which results from the use of any Northstar product. Always wear a US Coast Guard approved PFD (personal flotation device) when paddling. This product may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
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Northstar Canoes are warranted against defects in materials and workmanship, to the original retail consumer, for the usable life of the canoe as defined by wear. Northstar Canoes will repair or replace hulls or components at our option. The customer is responsible for transportation costs to and from the Northstar Canoes factory in Princeton, MN. This warranty does not cover normal wear, nor damage resulting from abuse, alteration or unauthorized repair; also not covered are damage caused by driving over loose bow ropes, canoes taking flight on highways, loans to best friends, and incidents involving canoes that should’ve been removed prior to entering the garage. A copy of the original store receipt is necessary for all warranty claims.