I have a hand-me-down big ol’ Minn 3 kevlar canoe. The mid-section of the gunnel on each side is broken thru and bent a bit. Looks like a side impact – one side shoved in the other side shoved out, thanks to the thwart. There are also slices thru the hull. I’m going to be doing serviceable jiffy patches for the whole thing to make a casual watercraft. I want to patch the gunnels so they don’t cut people’s hands if they grab there. That’s about all I want. Yeah, it would also be nice if the gunnel got stiff again across the break. Right now I’m thinking that a blob of PC-7 epoxy smoothed across the vicinity might do the trick. But somebody here might have an awesome idea. When I googled the subject I found all sorts of info on replacing gunnels. Nope. Well, ya got something? Thanks!
“J B Weld” might be a consideration ?
Can you get your hands on any old road signs such as stop signs or speed limit ones ?
Most of them are made out of aluminum with a thickness that is perfect for making a repair like that.
if it was me, I would cut a piece with a hack saw that would make a good splice. Smooth the edges of it with emory cloth or a file and then rivet it using aluminum rivits to the aluminum gunnels.
Slightly round the corners and smooth them too.
You might consider gluing a piece of pool noodle or pipe insulation over the offending sections & maybe 6" beyond each way. If you make it long you can pretend that it is extra flotation.
Are you near a marina? I’m thinking a place that repairs aluminum pontoon and fishing boats would be able to TIG weld it in no time. It’s the sort of thing you get done for a case of beer at the right place.
I too would find some sheet aluminum of appropriate thickness and cut one or more rectangular pieces to bridge across the breaks. Secure them to one or both sides of the gunwale skirt by drilling holes and using pop rivets. Bevel the edges of the pieces 45 degrees with a file to prevent injuring your hand on the cut edges.
Fill in the breaks with epoxy. I know that G Flex epoxy bonds quite well to aluminum and can be smoothed and shaped after it cures.
Hi… I ended up using the last tip. I bought some flat alum stock and roughed up everything then aligned and clamped the flat stock over the breaks and glued with G-Flex. Then I smoothed and sanded everything so nothing sharp or edgy is left. Seems to be holding great.
A couple of pop rivets will make it even stronger