Advice on replacing gunwales

-- Last Updated: Jul-12-07 11:56 AM EST --

I recently purchased a second-hand 16' Vermont Mad River Canoe and was wondering if it would be possible to replace the wooden gunwales with aluminum. This canoe appears to be pre-IQ system.

The canoe is a minimum of 75 lbs and I will be toting it solo as I have 3 small children - quite a task. I can't help but wonder if the wooden gunwales add a significant enough amount of weight in which it would be beneficial to replace them with aluminium... or if that is even possible.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Do the gunnels need replaced?
If not, I doubt it’s worth the time and money to lose something like 5 or 6 pounds.

Thank you for the insight
They do not actually need to be replaced. I was hoping that the weight differential would make the beast magically lighter. I didn’t realize that it would be a negligible amount.

I’m taking it for its first run this weekend and plan on using a location where the put-in is just off of the parking lot. Portaging is not an option but there are plenty of locations that lend themselves to an easy family outing.

Thank you again for your thoughts.