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Old 09-22-2018, 09:51 AM   #1
dacipkowski
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Wood Gunwales

To paddlers with wood gunwales, I have a question about their durability and replacement.

I have a composite solo canoe with wood gunwales. There is some rot on them at the bow and stern, but in general they are in decent shape and well in place. My question to you is: do you just wear out (while maintaining) the gunwales until they break and then replace them, or do you replace them when a certain amount of rot is found as to not risk having them break in the backcountry? Also, with new wood gunwales on the boat, lets say ash, how long will they last with good maintenance if the boat is usually stored indoors?

I'd appreciate your feedback!

-D
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Old 09-22-2018, 12:16 PM   #2
EastOfMidnight
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Don't wait for them to fail! Are the gunwales ash? You can cut out the bad sections and scarf joint replacements using a good, strong waterproof glue like Resorcinol. Or you can replace them completely. I prefer mahogany - looks better and more rot resistant.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:12 PM   #3
richard1726
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40+ years with watco oil every 5 to 10 years. Garage stored, ash, never removed, just tightened a bit when needed.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:53 PM   #4
dacipkowski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastOfMidnight View Post
Don't wait for them to fail! Are the gunwales ash? You can cut out the bad sections and scarf joint replacements using a good, strong waterproof glue like Resorcinol. Or you can replace them completely. I prefer mahogany - looks better and more rot resistant.
They are currently mahogany. Yeah, maybe it's just time to replace them and upkeep the new ones to last. But replacing just a section using the scarf joint seems like another good option. Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by richard1726 View Post
40+ years with watco oil every 5 to 10 years. Garage stored, ash, never removed, just tightened a bit when needed.
Thanks for the info, Richard. I have heard ash is among the most durable options.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:39 PM   #6
wiiawiwb
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I have mahogany ones that need to be replaced. Does anyone know of someone who is in the business of replacing wooden gunwales?
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Old 09-25-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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Canoe repair shop, 522 North Main, Gloversville, NY. They should have no problem doing the work. I would think now would be a better time than the "get ready time" in the Spring.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Richard, I'll give them a call. I appreciate the help.
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