-- Last Updated: Oct-21-12 11:05 PM EST --
that it appears to be a brittle fracture associated with old Royalex.
What someone might do is post a picture of a Royalex boat that was wrapped when it was no more than fiver years old.
When a relatively new Royalex boat pitons hard into a rock, the bow will crumple in relatively smooth folds. I saw a 20+ year old Royalex boat hit an obstacle at high speed, and what resulted was a jagged split.
If we conclude that the canoe under present discussion has gotten brittle, then we'll know that it can't be used in whitewater. It might be repaired and used for lake duty, though the repair may add enough weight to be felt.
Let's leave the repair cloth issue aside until we know what sort of goal we're setting.
P.S. "Yankee" might mean that you are in Bew England. Kaz of millbrookboats.com might have knowledge about the boat's repairability, and might repair it for a reasonable amount, if you and he agree on the money and effort.