If it were not old and brittle, it might
Posted by: g2d on Oct-25-12 11:54 AM (EST)
have punctured, but the puncture would have a different appearance. Proper ABS/Royalex behavior is to show a more plastic puncture. It's a bit like comparing how a bullet breaks glass, and how it breaks metal.
It may be no coincidence that yours is an old ME, and the one that showed brittle shattering on the upper Conasauga was an old ME. Apparently neither had experienced a tear or puncture before. There may have been a batch of Royalex blanks used to make MEs back then, that had more than usual susceptibility to becoming brittle with age.
I don't have wide experience with plastics, nor with Mrs. Robinson either, but one plastic I worked with for years was definitely ductile when new, and grew brittle with age. I could restore ductility by heating and allowing slow cooling, which is annealing. Sorry I don't know how to anneal an entire canoe.
You should also check the foam between the ABS layers, and see if it has become stiff and crusty. Originally it is hard but somewhat ductile. One guy who used to post all the time on pnet was Eric Nyre. He claimed that exposure to water or moisture would eventually make the foam layer stiff, and weaker.
E-glass is OK, if you get into it. Kevlar inside, usually, and glass outside. Review West's technical writing on repair of fiberglass. But you don't need to dish out Royalex very much for repairs. Patches: largest go on first, and so on down to smallest.