Seat Hanging Hardware--Wood Inwale

With wood inwales, is it customary to use a finishing washer on the bolt that suspends the seat, or is it customary to countersink the bolt? And attaching the thwarts? Same thing?


Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

I would use a washer, because
countersinking the bolt might make it more liable to split the gunwale.

Washer/no washer

There’s logic to g2d’s comment.

That being said my Merrimack Baboosic has a simple tapered countersink with the bolt head set a touch below flush – looks nice and neat. My Swift has washers under the bolts which results in the bolt heads being proud of the gunwale surface. The Swift washers/bolts catch the eye and give a more cluttered look. That’s just one small detail – but details add up. The Merrimack overall looks like a nicer piece of workmanship than the Swift – but that’s only because… in every regard… it is… - Randall

Wood Gunnels - Finish Washer
Wat g2d said.


There are those ovalhead screws &
the convoluted washers that go with them. These might present a slightly smoother protrusion than a comventional roundhead over a flat washer.

Industry standard seat drop mounting
Most of the industry countersinks ovalhead machine screws. WHile they may be headed through the rail, at least they don’t rip chunks out of someone else’s rails when they are doing a boat over boar rescue to saved yourself.

Serious folks over countersink, fill the hole w/ epoxy, redrill and recountersink.

Get seat trusses from Ed’s, those drilled dowells allow sway, which starts working the machine screw through the wood.

If ye want ta git fancy
consider de classic Old Town style diamond head bolts. Sharp lookin’


Thanks, all
g2d, I think “finishing washer” is the name for those convoluted washers. They make a little bowl that the head sits down in.

I think I will not use the washers because the inwale has a curved surface such that the finishing washer will not sit flush.

I’m going to place additional inwale screws about an inch on either side of the hanger bolt. That should counteract the tendency for the bolt to split the inwale. If I was serious, I’d do like CEWilson describes with the overdrill-epoxy technique. That sounds like an elegant solution as it creates its own little epoxy washer and seals the wood from water at the same time. But, this is for the Chipewan, a project that conflicts with “elegant”, so I don’t want to get carried away looking for perfection. But that is a good one to keep in the bag of tricks, and if the inwale starts to split, I’ll reconsider.

Thanks for the info to all posters.