New wood on my canoe narrowed hull edge

-- Last Updated: Jan-10-16 10:33 AM EST --

My canoe was 38.5" wide. I replaced the vinyl gunwhales with oak. The wood pulled the hull in a half inch at the center. It's at 38" wide now. Should I leave it as is and install the yoke or should I spread the hull the .5" before I cut it and install it?

Doesn’t matter. NM


– Last Updated: Jan-10-16 12:15 PM EST –

Does't matter leave it 38" or spread it? Or either way?
If I spread it there will be tension on it. That's my concern.

Such a small amount
It should not create enough tension to bother anything. Hulls are often customized by owners and spread or pulled in by larger amounts.

If the oak was well seasoned…
just leave it the way it is.

If not you’ll be in trouble when it shrinks

Jack L


– Last Updated: Jan-10-16 4:40 PM EST –

I split the difference. 38.25" It looks fine, Not much tension. Oak was well seasoned. Thanks

What’s the canoe made of? Royalex and wood are not great friends is the reason for asking.

Bill H.