We No Nah wood gunnel refinish???

I picked up a Prism yesterday with full wood trim. The hull is pristine, but the wood was left go. The lady said she put it outside for about 3 months. Didn’t take long. Should refinish nicely, and looks like there is a strip of (possibly) teak between the ash.

I removed the outwales and it appears they were somewhat glued on? Does anyone know if that is the case? I wouldn’t think they should be.

The hull material is trimmed short of the top of the wood and then sandwiched between the inwale and outwale. Then that space was filled in flush with the wood with something hard and brittle. Anyone know if that is just epoxy? I am thinking epoxy with wood dust to make a fillet would work well?

In the air tanks at the ends there is a rubber grommet of sorts with a hole in it. What goes in the hole to plug it? I guess this is removed for storage?

Thanks, Mike

Air tanks have a relief valve
to allow expansion and contraction of the float tanks. Without that valve there could be pressure on the tanks and they could crack.

Don’t do anything with the rubber valve.

Have no comment on the construction of Wenonah wood gunwales. I don’t know whether they use epoxy as filler and would suggest you ask them.

wood trimmed boats

– Last Updated: Aug-18-13 9:34 AM EST –

It is possible that the canoe was re-railed at some point in time so what you are seeing may or may not be stock.

Some makers did epoxy wood inwales and outwales to the hull. I know Mad River did on a few of their models. I didn't know Wenonah did, but they might have. Or some one might have removed the gunwales and remounted them.

Usually on canoes with wood gunwales either the outwales or the inwales are rabbeted so that there is a thin "lip" of wood that covers over the hull. If yours are not and you have access to woodworking equipment such as a tablesaw with a rabbeting blade, or a shaping table you might be able to create your own rabbet. Or you might be able to do so with a decent rabbeting plane.

While you have your inwales and outwales off, I would definitely take the opportunity to sand the faces that contact the boat and are inaccessible when mounted. Then apply some type of protectant. Epoxy and/or varnish or polyurethane have more staying power than penetrating oil for this purpose.

Whatever the gunk on the hull is I would just wet sand it off before remounting the gunwales.

The rubber grommet in the air tanks has a hole in it, not really a valve per say. You are saying that I can see into the tank through the hole in the grommet is ok? My hemlock and Curtis boats don’t have anything for pressure?

The wood is factory. I bought this boat off the original owner. I have the purchase invoice and it lists wood trimmed.

I understand about the rabbit and this was not done. Would be difficult to do now and get it even due to the fact that the rails retain a good bit of bend. I will proceed with resin and wood dust to fill in the gap.

Nothing on the hull, except maybe one scratch. This is the kind of boat you dream of finding. Got to love graiglist. When the wood is refinished it will look as good as new.



– Last Updated: Aug-18-13 12:04 PM EST –

Usually sealed flotation tanks had a conical shaped vinyl or rubber plug with a circular flange that sat on the outer surface of the tank. The hole through the center of the plug is usually very small, not large enough to see through. Someone may have replaced the originals with a vinyl grommet.

The plugs are difficult to find at a hardware store. You might be able to get some from Wenonah. Alternatively, I would just take a stainless steel sheet metal screw of sufficient diameter to screw into and be retained by the grommet. Enough air can leak around the screw threads to allow pressure equalization.

It probably wouldn't be terribly hard to rabbet the outwales if you have a table mounted router with the appropriate bit and a helper to help support the long wood pieces. A rabbeting plane might not work if there is a lot of curvature.

If you do try to rabbet the wood I would probably do the outwale. If you have holes in the inwales for seats and thwarts, rabbeting the inwales will shift the holes outboard slightly so they won't line up quite right. If you do rabbet the outwales make sure your gunwale screws are not long enough to penetrate the outside surface of the outwales because they will be shifted inboard slightly.

Some composite hulls with wood gunwales have the gunwales "sandwiched" so that the top of the hull is visible and flush with the tops of your inwales and outwales. Nearly all Royalex hulls with wood gunwales are done this way. In these cases the gunwales are not rabbeted. You might choose to even up the top of the hull by sanding it and mount the gunwales that way.

Next question- I want to add a foot brace. It looks as if there are 4 metal plates under the Kevlar at two of the foam ribs on each side. I’m guessing this is where the factory brace would have been installed had it had one. Can I just pop rivet into these plates from the inside without going through the hull with a bolt or such?

I’m going to make my own brace out of angle and tubing. Since it has a fixed seat I don’t need the fancy adjustable stock one.


Inwales are glued in :confused:
That’s the way they do it. Not my favorite system.

And there is indeed no rabbet, the gap is resin filled. Again, not my favorite system.

Thanks for confirming.

I only removed the outwales to refinish, I left the inwales intact. After reinstall of the outwales, I filled the gap with epoxy and sanded flush. Looks good.

Know anything about fastening the footbrace?


Dont sell yourself short, use the wenonah adjustable footbrace. Under $30. ive intalled them in about 6 boats including rear facing rowboats. I usually make or use a pvc footboard that clips to the crossbar and also has legs that rest on the floor. You need the adjustability to move the brace an inch or two fore and aft to dial in the perfect position. Just installed in a cane seat slipper solo. Moved the brace a half dozen time until it felt right. Then you change it for different conditions, or barefoot vs different shoes.

I haven’t mounted a footbrace
in a Wenonah, but I am pretty sure the metal inserts in the ribs are there specifically for mounting a footbrace with pop rivets.

I haven’t seen nermal post here for a bit but he would know. Why don’t you try sending him a PM?

Wenonah pop rivets those in place along with most seat components