Replacing canoe gunnels

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Westview, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Westview
    Joined: Mar 2016
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: BC Canada

    Westview Junior Member

    Recently picked up a fiberglass canoe with bent and dinged up aluminum gunnels , thought I'd grind off the rivets , remove the aluminum gunnels put on some wood ones .

    Questions - are the gunnels installed flush to the top of the fiberglass or should I make the top of the wood 3/8" or so above the fiberglass ? My idea is to make a rabbet on both the inner and outer gunnel so the fiberglass is sandwiched and hidden when viewed from above .

    from websites that sell wooden canoe supplies they have brass carriage bolts used to attach the thwarts . I haven't seen a canoe with those in person but I assume you drill 2 holes in each end of the thwart and on the underside of the thwart you drill a hole for the washer and nut ? Or can you use brass wood screws only ?
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are several ways to make a rub rail. You could just datto out a rabbet and slide this over the exposed 'glass edge. This could be simply glued in place, with maybe a few fasteners for good measure.

    You could sandwich as you've suggested, again with just glue or some through fasteners if desired. You could also save some effort and just rabbet one side, so it hides the 'glass and cap this with another bit of wood or even aluminum bar stock, which would be tougher than wood.

    Avoid brass, it corrodes easily. Use bronze or stainless steel. The steel will be cheaper and more readily available.
  3. Westview
    Joined: Mar 2016
    Posts: 6
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    Location: BC Canada

    Westview Junior Member

    Par thanks and good info on your website

  4. dinoa
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: florida

    dinoa Senior Member

    Sandwich and rabbet as suggested and don't forget to epoxy encapsulate wood before installing. Attach with screws from the inside covered with plugs to facilitate removal. Sealing wood is important. Water will enter the seam and linger especially when you flip the canoe for storing.

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