Someone to Replace Ash Gunwales

I’m looking for an experienced craftsman in the New England area to replace the ash gunwales on a Bell kevlar canoe. There was a builder/restorer in Waitsfield, Vermont named Rob Scharges (his shop was called Vermont Canoe), but I’ve been unable to find him. I’m located in western Massachusetts.

Any leads much appreciated. Thanks!

There’s a chance Kaz of Millbrook would
do it, if he isn’t busy building boats.

Thanks. I actually contacted him a few days ago, looking for long lengths of ash. I’ll ask him. I’d rather have a pro do it, if I can possibly afford it.

Schuyler Thomson, Norfolk, CT
He’s a full time builder/restorer of wood canvas and skiffs, @ 860 542 5081, last time I was in there he didn’t have long ash, but makes a splice you would be hard pressed to see unless you know it’s there.

Also, Dylan Schoelzel in Shelburne, Ma builds/restores wood canvas canoes and I’m pretty sure he has long ash harvested right off of his property. 413 625 8555

Sources for Ash for Gunwales
Thanks beavertail, I’ll follow up on your suggestions.

Bell used a profile not used by other builders. I have wood gunwales for sale that are milled in the more common profile. zip 13460. That said, if Kaz will do it, that is the best plan.

Ash Gunwale Replacement
Thanks madmike. Kaz says he can do it, but doesn’t have lengths of ash that long (for a 17’6" canoe). I’m still pursuing a couple of other sources. And there’s always scarfing.

You may know that Ed’s provides pre
scarfed ash for gunwale lengths up to 20’.

Bell gunwales
I can’t make any suggestions about craftsmen in your area to do the job, but I have recently gotten a set of one-piece gunwales for a Kevlar Bell Mystic. Ted Bell is back in business as Bell Composites and the gunwales came from him (via “the Paddlin’ Shop” in Lone Rock WI). They are of the same profile as the original Bell gunwales but are cherry rather than ash. I’d think he’d have one-piece ash as well, though I couldn’t say for sure. Might give it a try anyhow or at least let whoever you find for the job know they’re available again.

Newfound Wooodworks has gunwales up to 20’

Ed’s Canoe Gunwales
Thanks, I didn’t know that. I’ll inquire about pre-scarfed longer lengths.

If you have a table saw, build a “sled” ( clamps your gunwales at an 8:1 angle. Rip all joints. build a clamping jig that registers 2 surfaces (bottom and back.) line it with wax paper, use a type 3 yellow wood glue, or epoxy, and clap your joints with cauls. Many good results.

For those prices…
I think I’ll go into the gunwale business.