Wood Gunwales on Royalex

I read in the Wenonah catalog that they’ve developed an “innovative mounting method” for applying Ash gunwales to Royalex canoe hulls. This would be to deal with the problem of cold cracking caused by the different expansion rates of the wood and the Royalex.

I would GUESS that Wenonah is elongating the hole in the Royalex to allow for lateral movement. Does anyone know for sure exactly what their “innovative method” is? Please give as much detail as possible. I’m wondering if the method could be retrofitted to other boats (and save the hassle of backing out all those screws each winter.)

My Wenonah Royalex Prospector

– Last Updated: Jul-24-08 8:23 AM EST –

dat ah' bought 4+ years ago gots horizontal slots in de hull waar de gunnel screws pass through allowin' some movement. So, ah' reckon they still use dat method or is thaar some thin' else now?

Ah' dun't see why yer coodn't do it on other wood railed Royalex hulls. A small trim/laminate router would make fer a nice clean slot.

Fat Elmo

same technique
as when installing vinyl sideing on a house. It’s never nailed tight allowing for movement/expansion.

fatelmo: Thanks for the info. How wide are those slots? Do they get wider out towards the ends of the canoe?