Restoring structural integrity after canoe gunnel removal?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by UtahSignature, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. UtahSignature
    Joined: Jun 2021
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    I just removed the wooden gunnels from an old canoe.

    This is what was underneath:


    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the screw holes are very random and it appears it will be hard to fit new gunnels around them.

    Is it worth adding new fibreglass around the entire edge of the canoe, to assist with the structure, before adding the new gunnels? I just don't think it's best practice to try and attach them around this existing mess?
     
  2. mc_rash
    Joined: Aug 2020
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    Location: Netherlands

    mc_rash Junior Member

    If you glue the gunnels with epoxy and screw them on it should be fine. The screws should be placed where no earlier holes are.

    A maybe better option would be to glue a strip of glas on it, wide enough that there is sufficient contact with good material. As the glue is hard you can screw the gunnels on.

    Do you have pictures from the gunnels? Maybe also as they were mounted?
     
  3. UtahSignature
    Joined: Jun 2021
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    That's great advice, thanks. I wish the holes were uniformly placed, so I could measure the distance between them and replicate down the new strips - but whoever fitted the last gunnels seemed to just randomly screw in. Some are 8" apart...some are 2" apart, with everything in between!

    I have some pictures from before I removed the old gunnels, if that helps?
     
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  4. mc_rash
    Joined: Aug 2020
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    Location: Netherlands

    mc_rash Junior Member

    Try to place the new screws with an even distance, that's not only better for load distribution but also for the look. I would say 20 cm ~ 8" is fine, placed longitudinally between the old holes you'll mostly meet up no earlier holes (if I understood you right that most of the holes have a distance of 8").

    I don't know if the pictures will help, but no pictures do not help in any case!
     
  5. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Really up to you. You can patch the old holes with 6 oz woven from underneath, then fill them a bit with thickened resins and patch top same way.
     
  6. UtahSignature
    Joined: Jun 2021
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    All great advice. Thank you! Here's some snaps of the canoe with the old gunnels. As you can see, I have some fibreglass cracks to repair:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Is the goal to make look like a craftsman did it, or make it usable and strong enough to survive?
     
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  8. UtahSignature
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    I'm not looking to turn heads - and functional is the key. Saying that, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and will overdo anything I'm given the opportunity to.
     
  9. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Might want to put a bigger piece or even 2 staggered pieces as drawn here. That crack is from stress.

    My prior comment is only for hole patching..

    D2538EB6-86B6-4805-AAE6-A8FD12E092A8.jpeg
     
  10. UtahSignature
    Joined: Jun 2021
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    Thank you! You're referring to fibreglass patches? Sorry, all new to me! I'm learning from you wonderful people here, and YouTube.
     
  11. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    yes, two pieces of 6 oz fiberglass, one a bit larger than the other (larger applied first), smaller second...sand the area with 60 grit and remove the dust with compressed air or acetone and epoxy the patches on..
     
  12. UtahSignature
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    Really appreciate the advice. Do I do both sides with fibreglass, or just one, and fill the other with marine epoxy?
     
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Fill the crack with epoxy thickened with fumed silica. The other side can be done smaller to avoid dealing with paint. All epoxy must be painted; it is not uv stable.
     
  14. UtahSignature
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    UtahSignature Junior Member

    Your advice is SO appreciated. Extremely grateful.
     

  15. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    I wouldn't use any thickend epoxy, it will crack when stressed. Glass everything and sand it down.

    Don't do anything to the old bolt holes, just ignore them like they aren't there.

    Without examining it, it's hard to say if the top edge is strong enough as is. If you feel it's too flimsy, add a layer of cloth or two. Then fit some new wood in place.

    This option isn't pretty, but is stronger. Slice a length of PVC pipe and slip it over the edge. Glass over it, up and over down and inch or two on each side. This gives a strong and durable non rotting, maintenance free round lip.

    It can be cleaned up to make it look nice, or left looking functional but not sexy.
     
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