Is it ok to drill into the gunwales?


I have an Old Towne Guide 147 canoe that I have been fishing out of and it is great but I would like to install 4 hooks/bolts into the gunwales of the canoe to hold an anchor in the front and the back and also two places to hold rods.

The canoe is made out of Polyethylene and seems really rigid but I was wondering if I would compromise the integrity of the canoe if I drilled 6 holes total in various places in the top of the gunwales. I am thinking that each hole would be around 1/4 inches.

Thanks for the help!

yes …
… just keep the hole in the center of the flat area (or close as possible) and avoid breaching any corner angles .

drill till your hearts content and don’t worry … it will be ok .

No problem
Holes above the water line are acceptable.

  • Big D

Drilling gunwales
For a “permanent” rod holder, I’d probably set the bracket just below the gunwale and through bolt it to the side of the canoe. I’m picturing a standard Berkely or Scott style rod holder there. Of course there are decent clamp on rod holders out there too.

If you had a fibreglass or kevlar canoe, then I’d take a different approach, like this:

but with a poly canoe, then the hull is plenty strong enough to take the pull of a rod while trolling.