Going from aluminum to wood?

Any idea how hard it is to switch out a kev. spec Nova craft Pal from aluminum to wood on the gunnels? I can get gunnels from North West Canoe. Is it worth the effort to save a few hundered bucks?

Where are you saving the bucks?
Just by doing it yourself? Or by how you source the gunwale material?

Wood is very nice, but may be a little heavier, if that matters. Also with wood, it is best to store the boat inside or in a carport so it can dry out between uses. Aluminum is happier than wood for outside storage.

Boat is always stored
upside down in shed about 7 feet off ground. I love the boat, but hate the gunnels, (athetic, not preformace related). The boat is a demo so it is cheaper. I would save some bucks if I bought it this way and put the wood on myself. Just do not know if it is such a pain that it is not worth it.

The drop from hull edge to pop rivet may be greater with alu. rails than wood. It is a royal pain in the backside to laminate small patches over the exposed holes on the hulls inside, then daub, then sand gel coat out to 1500 grit.

I see
Thanks Charlie, it seems to me I remember hearing that now. Ya, a real pain indeed. Thanks for the info.


I’m doing that very thing now, only on a Souris River. I didn’t measure the drop, so I suppose I’ll have to take what comes! Good tip, though.

Incidentally, I am not finding it too hard, but much more time consuming than I expected. I also have some expert supervision and a full shop.