what are some typical gunwale sections?

i want to refurbish my 17’ fg canoe. i replaced the gunwales a couple of times already (its an old mohawk hull) and i no longer have the original gunwales to go by. what are some ‘typical’ cross section measurements for the inwale and outwale? i will probably be using fir because its locally available. thanks for any help : )

dan in port royal

Newfound stocks…
3/4" x 3/4" for inwales and outwales.


Have fun!
I have replaced the gunnels on several of my canoes you can make them as simple or as complex as you like. I have basically copied the Wenonah gunnels 3/4 inside and 5/8 outsides. I always use white ash and an oil finish.

Here the process I use;

1)Start with a 10 ft long ash board 10-12 inch wide

2)Router a 3/8 R on all the edges of the board (not the ends)

3)Rip a ¾ wide strip on each side of the board. You now have two 10 ft long strips having a cross section with square edge on one side and a round edge on the other side.

4) Repeat step 2&3

5) Repeat step 2

6) Repeat step 3 but reduce with to 5/8

7) Repeat step 2 &6

8) Scarf the ends together of the matching cross section pieces. Use 1 X12 scarf angle and match wood grain. If done correctly it is almost impossible to see the joints. Hint: placing a small dowel in the middle of the joint will prevent the two pieces from sliding apart when clapped to getter. Use only high quality marine epoxy glue.

9) Using a center drill jig, counter bore the 5/8 strips. I usually place the mounting screws about 6-8 inch apart. Counter bore drill size is the diameter of the screw heads and deep enough to hide the screw.

10) You can now vanish or oil the gunnels

11) Start the installation process for the center on both sides and progressively work yourself toward the ends of the canoe. I only use stainless screws but be careful the heads like to twist off I recommend predrilling a small hole.

12 The ends can be finish as fancy as you want. I usually take the easy route by making end caps it hides the gunnels ends.

13 Install the thwart and do vanish or oil touch ups