Need wood gunnels

I just picked up an older fiberglass Explorer with wood trim. The boat was a steal but the gunnels are shot. I’d like to replace them myself. I have decent woodworking skills and have access to a well equipped shop but I can’t find gunnel stock. I called several area lumber dealers and sawmills but they all laughed when I said I needed a 17’ board. I called MR. They quoted me $60+ for each piece but couldn’t guarantee shipping anytime soon. I live in upstate NY. I don’t mind traveling an hour or two. Does anyone have any ideas where I can buy boards or pre-milled gunnels?

By the way, the existing gunnels appear to be ash.


Scarf them together
Buy a 10 foot board and Scaft them together with epoxy. It will be so much easier than any other way unless you have direct access to a lumber mill.

I’ve gotten them from Ed’s

– Last Updated: Mar-09-10 8:07 PM EST –

I think you can also get them from Essex Industries or Hemlock Canoe - both of which may be closer. sells ash gunwales in
scarfed sections that you epoxy together.

Another possibility is to switch to aluminum gunwales. My old 18.5’ Moore had an unusual aluminum-tube-over-pegs system that I can’t replicate, so my best option is to get a set of aluminum gunwales. My storage arrangement, under the deck, doesn’t make wood gunwales very practical.

couple kits available…


Kelly Larson

Pygmy Boats Inc


good luck!

wood gunwales
The price you were quoted is about right. I just checked w/Northwest canoe on a set and they quoted me “around $250”. Of course that’s not including shipping. They also sell a scarfed version that ships easier. My guess is they get it from Ed’s. That’s where they get their seats from.

Up state NY is a relative term. There are two places to acquire factory made rails; Ed’s Canoe Parts in VT ans Essex Industries in Mineville, NY. Go online and make your choice.

Email me and I’ll return the Pb protocol on rail installation.

Yeah, where?
I’ve got a 20’ clear ash in my garage that already has had one set of MR Explorer gunwales cut from it. My board came from a WNY sawmill. It’s probably not too difficult to find more. My BIL found it for me. Email me backchannel if interested and I’ll see if I can find more or at least provide the miller’s name. I think I paid 20 bucks for it and it has at least one more set of gunwales in it, slated for my Peterborough Lake Champlain W/C.



I have a substantial supply

– Last Updated: Mar-10-10 6:01 AM EST –

of clear ash gunnel stock, up to 18 ft. long. You can pick it up from me directly, if the drive is reasonable or I can deliver it to any of the area canoeing events that I'll be at this spring/summer. Email me directly ( ) for pricing or other information. The pricing will be less than anything mentioned earlier in this thread.

Marc Ornstein
Dogpaddle Canoe Works
Custom Paddles and Cedar Strip Canoes

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