Royalex and Cold Cracking

Any advice on Royalex boats with wood gunwales?

The Bell manual cautions about loosening the rails at temps below freezing. Does this mean I can loosen them and then retighten them and go paddling?

It won’t get too cold down here, usually not lower than the low 20’s, but I love this boat and don’t want to take a chance with it.

On the other hand, I don’t want to park it all winter.

Would appreciate advice from anyone with experience.



Cold cracking has been rare here in
Atlanta. Our last few winters have been so mild that I think you would not need to worry. Back in the 70s and 80s we had an occasional subzero dip. If that happens, you can worry about the boat after you fix your pipes.

Thanks, And…
…more questions.

Since this is an expansion issue (ok, contraction, actually), it seems like simply loosening all the fasteners when the boat is cold would relieve most of the stresses, and then you could retighten them and paddle on.

Thing is, I’ve never had a wood-trimmed boat before, and don’t know if the screw holes through the Royalex are enough oversize enough for this to do any good.

Guess the best thing is to hope for a warm winter.