Fixing Gouged Bell Canoe Aluminum Gunwal

I have aluminum gunwales on my Magic that I have deeply gouged in several places from my rack. My rack got some deep gouges in it (aluminum truck rack) that then gouged my rails.

The gouges are deep and all the way to the bar aluminum and in two places on both sides.

Since I re-sell canoes a lot I want to try to fix this as best I can in event I decide to sell the boat and spring for something different (a likely event).

I think I can send them down as much as possible to smooth out the gouge but then what might be a good way to re-color the bare aluminum? Does not have to match perfectly but would like to darken / dull the bare shiny aluminum so it is not as obvious.

I have a black gold layup so it has those titanium gray colored gunwales which are oxidized or annodized so the bare aluminum underneath contrasts noticeably.

thanks for your help


A couple of options here.

Probably no good option

– Last Updated: Oct-26-09 9:42 AM EST –

Bell's rails are anodized bronze. The color was selected because it didn't show scratches as prominently as black, but yes, they show.

Gun bluing designed for steel will not work on aluminum, and dark blue/black would chow worse than the bright anyway.

There are spray aluminum primers that you might accept a bronze from the hardware store, but it'll require lots of masking and spraying and still show.

No good solution, as a re-rail, both sides, will be over $150 for rails and rivets.

I hadn’t read the OP closely enough
to notice that your gunnels are not black. CEW’s right that there are no good, as in “lasting” fixes. Sharpies come in lots of colors now and hobby suppliers have hundreds of colors in little bottles for a short-lived cosmetic effect.

…tktoo had the right idea, but the wrong product. I would try finding a matching color in this…

I’ll give you $500 for it
… oh wait … both sides are scratched? $350 then.


Etch the bare aluminum so epoxy
will bond to it. Use West 105/205 or G-flex thickened with graphite powder to achieve blackness. Sand to contour.

Just noticed you want titanium gray,
not black. I think you can still do it but you may have to hunt up some black, and white, color compound in a yacht shop.

Probably best suggestion so far. Thanks!