Wooden Gunnels For Grp Boat?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by elioti, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. elioti
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    Location: Devon, England

    elioti Junior Member

    hi there, i need to replace the gunnels on a 34 ft motorboat. They are currently oak, but rotten. Whats the best wood to replace them with, oak?, heard iroko can split? There are three layers of 1 inch thick by 5 inches. Also any advice where to get the wood in the u.k? Any advice much appreciated!
  2. mongo75
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Orange County California

    mongo75 Senior Member

    I'd just replace them with like thicknesses of plywood, and fully encapsulate it with epoxy and call it good!
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    I would think these are rubstrips and not structural gunwales. If that is the case almost any durable wood will work. I would choose something with good rot resistance.

    The woods with the best rot resistance are white oak, Doug fir, Alaskan yellow cedar, and mahogany. I do not know what is available there, you might ask around. Most hardwoods have good abrasion resistance and high cross-grain compression strength (like white oak and mahogany), this would have the best resistance to denting when you bang up against a dock. Doug Fir is not bad in resiting dents and is relatively inexpensive and available. Red Cedar and Cyprus have good rot resistance but are too soft I think for this application. (note red oak it more common but has little rot resistance).

    You do not need flawless wood for this application, some small tight knots and grain defects would be okay (again presuming these are not structural). I have salvaged some low quality white oak from large shipping crates. You can likely do this in your area, and then laminate them together to make a board long enough for your needs. It would be real cheap. Once it is final milled and planned it will look just fine.

    If you are buying the wood, the "false" mahogany imported from the orient should also work fine, be attractive and less expensive than conventional "boat lumber".

    You might also consider replacing it with a large rubber strip, lower maintenance, but not as attractive.

    Good luck

  4. bruce wilcock
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: shetland isles uk

    bruce wilcock bruce wilcock

    go for larch
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