While the canvas is still sound and entirely waterproof, the canoe had neglected by the previous owners. They had purchased it from someone else basically to have a canoe for their rental cottage business. I was told their European guests always asked about a traditional red Canadian canoe (probably thanks to Bill Mason's wonderful films) so the owners bought this used, mystery cedar canvas and slapped on some red acrylic house paint (now peeling) to cover the original teal green appearance.
Along the way, they painted the underside of the outwales, painted over the stem bands, but somehow neglected to varnish the gunnels. After being stored outside, the ash woodwork began to blacken considerably.
Closeup - darkened ash outwales and peeling varnish
I had dabbled in the idea of replacing the heavy ash outwales with a lighter wood but in the end, decided to simply refurbish the existing structure since it was still quite sound. Instead, the grime on the outwales was sanded down to reveal fresh ash grain below. After the tops and sides were done, I removed the outwale to tackle the underside which had been sloppily painted with red paint. Sanding here wasn't working since much of the paint got infused into the ash's open grain. Instead, the outwales were placed on a bench and the layer of paint shaved off with a spokeshave.
Shaving off painted layer
The horrible aluminum stem bands had been painted over too. There were specks of green, red, and even yellow paint on their surface. These were removed and will be replaced with some brass stem bands once the canvas has been sanded and re-painted.
There's a stemband under all that paint
Original teal grean canvas poking through
The canoe also has a keel, which is not ideal for me, but I do not want to rip it off, tearing off sealant and forcing a complete re-canvas. Instead, it'll be planed down to a lower height next time I'm up north.