Aluminum gunwales for an Old Town

Recently an Old Town canoe met a rock and bent the gunwales. When asked about replacing the gunwales we found the gunwales were 30.00 each but to ship them would cost 60.00 each and they wouldn’t ship them except in separate packages.

Is Old Town trying to give customer service or do they not care that they seem extreme and will drive customers to look for another company that might be more reasonable?

shipping gunwales
Shipping costs for long items like gunwales and boats is outrageous because shipping companies charge by the “linear pound”. A long item may be very light, but the shipping cost will be as if it weighed 600 lbs or so. Long items are easily damaged and insurance costs are high. I doubt Old Town is making money on the shipping costs.

See if there is an Old Town dealer in your vicinity that actually has an inventory of boats. A lot of builders will ship gunwales to the dealer at the same time that other long items like boats are shipped. Sometimes the shipping is free, but the downside is that you may have to wait a good while till the dealer receives and order and you have to pick the gunwales up at the dealer.

"ditto" what pblanc said. I got aluminum gunwales in that manner and I don’t think I paid anything for the shipping.

One caution–make sure you have the right gunwales for the boat. You might be able to get other gunwales to fit but that can make for a difficult and frustrating job. The gunwales need to fit onto the hull (duh) and hull-walls vary in thickness.

same experience
I needed to replace the alum gunwales on my 16 Penobscot. OT wouldn’t ship them separately for the reasons mentioned above. They said when they formerly did so many arrived damaged & suggested I contact a local dealer to have gunwales inc in shipment there.

Found one ~100miles away who drove to Old Town to pick up boats & didn’t charge me any shipping costs. They fit perfectly & pre-drilled holes lined up exactly. Found I did have to stand the hull on it’s side & have 2 others lean heavily on it to deflect the edge of hull into a straight enough line to allow the new gunwales to slip on. (They arrived straight but conformed to curve of hull after installation)

IMO it’s worth the hassle to get replacements from OT

Perhaps a trip to ME is in your future ?