Straightening Gunwale

My beloved Vertige is angry with me and rightly so. I bought it from a gentleman who had removed the front thwart. He told me the reason (something to do with racing it I think) but it escapes me now. In any case, I paddled it like that for two years without incident but the starboard gunwale has now torqued outward. There is an approximately two foot section between the deck plate and next thwart that is pretty severely twisted. I just picked it up from a friend’s house one day last month for a trip and it was like that. I paddled it and was punished with a swim in a Class II rapid. At least I was able to provide some entertainment that day. In any case my hope is if I replace the missing thwart it will mostly pull the gunwale back into shape. Do we think so? Anything else I should try? I also need to re-glue ALL the anchors, but I have everything for that job except beer and I know where to find that.

pipe clamp maybe
Hard to say without seeing it, but I have sometimes been able to pull in bowed out or bent gunwales using pipe clamps but it can be tricky. I assume you have synthetic gunwales. You may need to make some type of form to go around and cushion the outwale to keep the pipe clamp from breaking it.

Also, it there is a lot of curvature, the clamp will tend to just slip forward, so you need to figure out a way to prevent that. And if you apply the other end of the clamp to the opposite gunwale, you may just pull that one in instead. So you may need to brace the boat against some object that you can attach the opposite end of the clamp to.

Just twisted
I should have taken and posted a pic I guess, but the gunwale’s just twisted. Everything is still in the correct shape.

placed in google photos h Picasa

post link here

I used our old swing set to work the aluminum gunwales of our Sawyer Cruiser mostly back into shape after it was badly damaged during a family trip on the Jordan (MI). That’s assuming that you end up removing them. It tool awhile to get the fulcrum, load, and power just right to get the shape back