Mad River re-rail

I need to replace the outwales on my new-to-me Mad River Independence. I posess the tools and skill necessary to mill appropriate hardwood (ash) rails, but can’t find lumber long enough (16 ft.+). Would a scarf joint be my best option? If so, what’s best for glue? I’d appreciate guidance from those more experienced than me. Does anyone know of a lumber dealer near central New England that might have extra-long straight-grained ash? Thanks!

Eds Canoe
has gunwale kits. They use a variation of a scarf joint and claim it is more than strong enough when epoxied. I believe. Good golks.


Eds Canoe
Thanks for the tip, Jim. I checked out their knock-down gunwale system. It’ll stand as my next-to-last resort!

scarf + epoxy
I’ve used a scarf joint with epoxy for the adhesive and it has held up just fine.

16 foot rails
Kinda depends ob where you are, but KAS transport can deliver 16 foot rails from Eds or Essex.

Ed’s made rails for MRC and offers less expensive sticks, but it’d be easier for us to get rails from Essex to KAS.

Contact us at

"central New England"
Eds will sell you white ash milled to any size you wish. If you are close enough, why not pick it up yourself?


I got 16’ ash
I can sell you the board, or the Gunnels! zip 13460

Mad River re-rail
Thanks, Mike. Sherburne’s a bit far for me. Ed’s seems like the way to go. I’ll call them and probably drive up there to get one- piece rails. Charlie says they used to make them for MR back when my boat was new! Anyway, I’ve got an old freind in Lancaster, NH who complains that nobody ever comes to visit. Two birds and all that. Much thanks to all responders! Tom out

I hope that you understand
that the price of the advice is for you to post pictures of the finished job? Just a heads-up.


thats the way to do it
Being cheap…er…thrifty we always try to stay with friends and family on trips. Its a chance to see people and get a get a new boat/boat parts.

If you are transporting them on top of the car bring a boat along to transport them inside of and tie them to the seats/thwarts. the 30-60" spread on racks doesn’t give them enough support and they will wobble all over. If you don’t have a boat to transport them in maybe a long 2x4 to support them. A 10’ 2x4 means that only 3’ at each end would hang off for 16’ gunwales.

I have scarfed gunwales and it worked fine. It was mahogany, so long pieces were really hard to find. If you looked for it you could see the joint, but most people didn’t notice. The other option is to use different kinds of wood, so it looks like you did it on purpose. Blackhawk did that on boats where the outer gunwales were ash and then mahogany for a few feet at the bow.