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Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe
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Author:  AlanGee [ February 27th, 2019, 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Hello CCR people!

I bought a used BW kevlar canoe last season and I'm looking to have the gunwales replaced as they are pretty weathered from years of love by the previous owner.

Does anyone have any suggestions on locations within respectable driving distance from the GTA to have this work done professionally. I'd like to have been able to take the time to learn and do it myself but I don't have the space for that kind of work right now and I'd like to be water ready as soon as the ice breaks!

As usual thanks in advance for any help you can provide, the people on this forum have really helped me along the path away from car camping, it's appreciated!

Author:  open_side_up [ February 27th, 2019, 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Peacock Lumber in Oshawa sells lengths of ash. You could probably have them rip down a few strips to measure and even put a kerf on the outwales. Easy enough to add scuppers to the inwales at home with a saw and chisel. Easy-peasy and inexpensive.

Author:  AlanGee [ February 27th, 2019, 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Thanks for the advice, the problem isn't the cost or the difficulty, it's the fact I live in a condo and have nowhere to work on it. It's currently in winter storage.

Appreciate the info though!!!

Author:  open_side_up [ February 27th, 2019, 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

A weekend in a friend's garage, some cleared space in your storage unit or even a couple of sawhorses in your condo parking spot with a night on the roof of your car ... and Bob's your uncle!

... otherwise, you might try The Complete Paddler in Etobicoke.

BTW, congrats on the "new" Bluewater ... one of my favourites

Author:  frozentripper [ February 28th, 2019, 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Tendercraft at Bathurst and College in downtown Toronto might be able to do it... they state that they've been restoring canoes for twenty years. I have no real experience or information but they might be worth a look if the location is right.

http://www.lukemastin.com/testing/verti ... mpany.html

PS... I also replaced gunwales myself and have the room and machinery... cost per canoe about $30, using sawmill lumber, screws and a little varnish. Well worth doing if you can get the space.

Author:  AlanGee [ February 28th, 2019, 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Looks like I may have to do this myself after all, The Complete Paddler wanted $700 + tax.

Author:  open_side_up [ February 28th, 2019, 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Yikes!!! :o :o :o

Author:  Mike McCrea [ February 28th, 2019, 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

AlanGee wrote:
Looks like I may have to do this myself after all, The Complete Paddler wanted $700 + tax.


Alan, I am hesitant to suggest this, but have you considered installing vinyl gunwales and deck plates?

I know vinyl gunwales are anathema to some folks, but the installation is straightforward simple and requires nothing more than a saw to cut off excess gunwale length, a drill and pop rivets. OK, a rubber mallet and a couple other things.

https://www.madrivercanoe.com/us/experi ... eplacement

I’ve done wood gunwales, and if for some reason I positively had to have wood, I’d do so again. I’ve done aluminum, and will never do so again. One-piece aluminum that is; I have never tried the newer two-piece aluminum gunwales, which promise to eliminate some kinking and sheerline rise bending issues.

Installing vinyl gunwales is the easy part. Finding them, and getting them, is more difficult. Long lengths of vinyl gunwale don’t ship. If you have a canoe manufacturer nearby picking them up at the factory is one option (strap an extension ladder to your roof racks).

Or, if you find some manufacturer with vinyl gunwales (and end caps, the two should match) suitable for your kevlar Blue Water they might ship them with the next load of boats to an outfitter for you to pick up (still need the extension ladder).

Hereabouts I am fortunate to have an outfitter shop that does repairs and stocks replacement gunwales only an hour away. It’s been a while, so I called to ask pricing:

Wenonah Vinyl Gunwales with aluminum insert, $95 USD a pair
Wenonah deck caps, $15 USD a pair.

Still need the extension ladder to go get them.

Author:  Corbeau [ February 28th, 2019, 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

Are you able to set it up in your condo garage as o_s_u mentioned?

Tendercraft also sells the gunwales if you want to DIY, as does Noah's Marine: http://www.noahsmarine.com/index.asp
A bit more expensive than ripping the wood yourself, but saves the hassle if you don't have the tools. Just remember to check to see if also need to replace the triangular decks as part of it all.

Otherwise, you could also see if this place in Mississauga might do the work for you: http://www.canadiancanoes.com/ContactUs.php

Author:  AlanGee [ March 1st, 2019, 6:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

I'm going with Ron from Canadian Canoes for the material, such a nice guy! Going to take the beast up to my Dad's for a weekend and get the work done. I would have been happy supporting a local shop but $700 was crazy.

Thanks to everyone for their advice, this forum is such a great resource for someone currently in the meaty part of the learning curve!

Author:  wotrock [ March 1st, 2019, 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

AlanGee wrote:
I'm going with Ron from Canadian Canoes for the material, such a nice guy! Going to take the beast up to my Dad's for a weekend and get the work done. I would have been happy supporting a local shop but $700 was crazy.

Thanks to everyone for their advice, this forum is such a great resource for someone currently in the meaty part of the learning curve!



Make sure you have the tools---lots of clamps! I replaced my wood gunwales on my Novacraft Tripper a few years back with gunwales made by Novacraft. One of the trickiest parts I found was cutting them to the right length at the stem and stern. (but i'm not the most handy guy out there and just have the basic tools---I had to go buy a bit for countersinking the screws.)

Author:  AlanGee [ March 1st, 2019, 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Gunwale replacement - Blue Water Canoe

I'll be good when it comes to the tools, my dad is in the middle of finishing a cedar strip that he bought half-done for super cheap (explains the lack of colour matching on the strips). Not the prettiest but he's learning alot! (Just like me!)

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