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Gunwale material

Posted by Sandy 
Gunwale material
February 06, 2001 04:50PM
I have now cut out the bottom of my boat and will soon be attaching it and fiberglassing the outside of the boat. I am now thinking about the material for my gunwales. The manager of the hardwood supplier here in Salt Lake, an avid boat builder, suggests I use mahogany. He used mahogany on his own drift boat and suggests using it, citing reasons such as it's ability to withstand exposure to moisture without roting and a desirable weight-to-strength ratio, not to mention it is a beautiful wood and would look great on my boat, plus it is readily available in 16 foot lengths. I like the idea of mahogany because I have worked with it in the past when building canoes (and have been pleased with the results) and I could make all the woodwork in the boat match. Sandy suggests that you do not use mahogany. I want to be well educated before I make my final decision. What are the draw-backs to mahogany? If I were to go with ash, where can I find 16 foot lengths? Any information here would be appreciated.

Re: Gunwale material
February 07, 2001 04:32AM
In reply to "Gunwale material", posted by Danny on Feb 6, 2001:

I'd like to hear from others on this. Yes, I have said
negative things about mahogony. When I was building boats
commercially, too many years back to admit, I bought
a bunk of long (central american) mahogony boards, for making
gunwales. Those boards that worked made good gunwales:
handsome, strong (I guess), weather resistant, etc.

But I
oke a lot of boards in the bending process.
I've had much better luck with fir, red and/or white oak
and ash. Ash and white oak are the best, I think. Fir makes good
lightweight-but-strong gunwales.

Gunwales don't have to be full-length. You can scarf them up from
shorter lengths. Put the scarf to the rear of the oarlocks....where
the gunwale has the least amount of bend.

Re: Re: Gunwale material
February 08, 2001 04:48AM
In reply to gunwale material---we used ash and did scarf it.
We had no problems what so ever and it seems to be holding up quite well!

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