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Thread: Gunwale repair advice

  1. #1
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    Default Gunwale repair advice

    Hey peeps,

    My beloved Mohawk Nova 16 has developed a split across one of the gunwales - see pics.

    Really conscious that I shouldnt let this get any worse, so wondering if anyone can offee any advice on how I might go about repairing it?

    The best option would seem to be to replace the whole gunwale, but this is probably beyond my skill level. Alternatively, I could try and strengthen it somehow, but I don't want it to end up looking ugly.

    I'm based in Oxfordshire, so thinking it's better to get it to a professional. Any recommendations, within reasonable striking distance?

    Thanks in advance.

    Chris

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  2. #2
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    Replacing it isn't too difficult. Just drill out the current rivets. Pop the new one on and rivet it. Job done. You can buy repair sections from endless river I think. Just depends how bad the crack is and what you do with the boat

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  3. #3
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    Really? I'm happy to give it a go, as I'm reasonably handy, but am just a little concerned that there are subtleties that might be beyond me!

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  4. #4
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    I did mine the other year with a mate who had a pop riveter. Hardest part was getting the gunwale. Hou sorted me out in the end for my venture canoe.

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  5. #5
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    Also, are you suggesting just repairing a section as opposed to the whole gunwale? Won't that introduce weak points? Run the very occasional low weir, but nothing much more crazy than that - that's what my kayaks for! 😉

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  6. #6
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    OK, cool. I've emailed mohawk too, to see what they recommend as well. Hou?

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  7. #7
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    Would a word with local plastic bumper repair people who do plastic welding be worth a shot?
    I seem to remember someone having a repair section fitted very successfully.

  8. #8
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    A section repair would leave a weak point hence I replaced the whole thing. Depends if that'll be a problem.
    Hou are a UK canoe manufacturer so could affordably ship me a gunwale and rivets.

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  9. #9
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    Whether you go for a repair or replacement, I'd recommend drilling a small hole (2-3mm dia) right at the end of the crack. It will stop it from running any further. Then you can decide what to do.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al. View Post
    Whether you go for a repair or replacement, I'd recommend drilling a small hole (2-3mm dia) right at the end of the crack. It will stop it from running any further. Then you can decide what to do.
    Wowsers, makes logical sense I suppose. Be interested to see if there are any +1 for this approach before taking drillbit to it! It'd be thought tears and gritted teeth! Haha 😉

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  11. #11
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    It is a recognised engineering technique, google "crack arresting hole" also click the Images button.

    Its effectiveness seems to depend on the characteristics of the material, it is only a temporary measure , even with the hole your gunwale is severely weakened.

    You need to be sure you have drilled out the end of the crack as if there is the slightest defect beyond the hole it will be ineffective.

  12. #12
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    Should you decide to replace the gunnel/s, be aware that there are variations i.e. some are just plastic (e.g Hou), others have an aluminium inner section to give more strength.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Should you decide to replace the gunnel/s, be aware that there are variations i.e. some are just plastic (e.g Hou), others have an aluminium inner section to give more strength.
    To be fair, if yours have aluminium inners then the crack is cosmetic and can just be welded.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  14. #14
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    Thanks guys. Great advice! 😊

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  15. #15
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    The aluminium inner is usually just an angle to give more strength so the crack is a bit more than cosmetic. I have a really bad crack in my Mohawk gunwale at the moment and have just bought new gunwales for replacement. The problem with buying just any old gunwale is that with the Mohawk, they fit into a recess in the deck plate so they need to be about the right size. Replacement is not difficult if you are reasonably handy as you say, look on the Mad River website for some detailed instructions which will give you some confidence. Endless River do a short section for repairs

    http://www.endlessriver.co.uk/canoe-...ion-p-892.html

    I've not used these but hopefully they will fit and, whilst they clip on, you could add a dab of glue.

  16. #16
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    I'd definitely rather go through the pain and replace one (do I need to be doing both so they flex the same?) rather than just repair.

    Not sure what you mean by "a recess in the deck plate"? I'm not aware of having a deck plate - but I'm conscious I may just be stupid!!

    How much did your replacements set you back, just out of interest?

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  17. #17
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    If that's your yellow boat in the pictures, I can see the deck plates at each end. They sit over the ends of the gunwales but in truth the gunwales slide into them. If your new gunwales are a slightly different shape, you could trim them to fit but they need to be about right. I am using Mad River gunwales which are available from Palm as the importers for about 66 per side.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    If that's your yellow boat in the pictures, I can see the deck plates at each end. They sit over the ends of the gunwales but in truth the gunwales slide into them. If your new gunwales are a slightly different shape, you could trim them to fit but they need to be about right. I am using Mad River gunwales which are available from Palm as the importers for about 66 per side.
    Doh! I thought as much! Does not immediately knowing this exclude me from doing my own gunwale repairs now! Haha

    So, have you used your mad river gunwales on a mohawk then? I emailed the about stockists for own brand spares but have yet to receive a reply, and that was several weeks ago. Are they even in business still?!

    Happy to try and fit another make, but keen to ensure they'll be a decent enough fit.

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  19. #19
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    No, not fitted yet. Had a little difficulty finding appropriate self drilling self tapping screws rather than reusing the originals. Also, I suspect my boat is constructed with the gunwales not quite to the width the manufacturer planned so I am waiting for a friend who is away coming back to check his. I'll let you know how it goes when I do it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    No, not fitted yet. Had a little difficulty finding appropriate self drilling self tapping screws rather than reusing the originals. Also, I suspect my boat is constructed with the gunwales not quite to the width the manufacturer planned so I am waiting for a friend who is away coming back to check his. I'll let you know how it goes when I do it.
    OK cool. Appreciate it Adrian. 😁 Good luck, and keep me posted! C

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  21. #21
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    I'll tell you what. Since you are not so far away, how about you get your gunwales and we meet up in a few week's time and do the two boats together. I am away for the coming two weeks so I won't be doing mine immediately. Having done one of these before, I am reasonably confident about it and this might rub off a little.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    I'll tell you what. Since you are not so far away, how about you get your gunwales and we meet up in a few week's time and do the two boats together. I am away for the coming two weeks so I won't be doing mine immediately. Having done one of these before, I am reasonably confident about it and this might rub off a little.
    That sounds like a plan, yeah. Will DM ya. ☺️

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