Fitting Gunwales & Seats

Marking & Cutting Out the Planks
Joining the Plank Lengths
Stitching the Planks Together
Epoxying & Taping
Fitting Gunwales & Seats
Decking & Finishing

(Building a New Plywood Design)

(Last up-dated 21/09/09)


Stage 5 - Fitting the Gunwales, Stretcher, Seats and Bottom Rubbers

 The canoe will now be quite stiff but the gunwales and bottom will still be quite flexible and these are tackled next, along with the seats.

 The gunwale is the top of the hull edge and is most often made up of 2 pieces of timber - an inwale and an outwale - the inwales we will fit now and then fit the outwales after the decking has been fitted.

44. Fit the inwale approximately into place and mark one end to fit the bow/stern. 45. Unclamp the inwale and cut the shape at the end.
46. Refit the inwale and repeat the process for the other end—the ends should be bevelled to meet with the inwale on the other side—the ends will be covered so do not worry about a poor join at the ends. Note that the inwales are too stiff to bend right up—they can be tapered or split to make bending easier if necessary. 47. Hold the inwales in place with small screws at every 250mm spacings.
48. Remove the inwales again and refit with glue (ie. Balcotan). 49. Cut and fit the stretcher—use thickened epoxy and screw through from the outside.
50. Measure and mark the fore and aft position of the seats and the vertical distances from the gunwales. 51. Measure the approximate width of the seats at their front and back edges.
52. Cut a piece pf ply the correct width for the seat and over long—draw a line representing the mid-line across the seat, take your seat width measurements, halve them and tick off these measurements either side of the mid-line. Cut slightly oversize and fit into the canoe—trim as necessary. 53. Cut the seat bearers/stiffeners slightly over length and glue and nail to the seat top.
54. Clean up the seats and fit holding them in place with screws through the sides—make sure everything is level. 55. Tape off the surrounding areas approx 12mm from the corner of the joins to be epoxied.
56. Mix up some thickened epoxy and apply to the seat/hull and bulkhead/hull joins using an ice-lolly stick as a spatula. Remove the tape before the epoxy cures. 57. Remove the tape before the epoxy cures.
58—apply thickened epoxy and hold in place with tape, weights etc.