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2 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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#8060211 / 8060212



Canoes with fine woodwork are a tradition at Mad River Canoe. The rails, seats and thwarts on

your Mad River Canoe are native Vermont straight
grained ash, chosen for its resiliency, strength

aesthetic appearance. Unlike aluminum or plastic materials, white ash will not kink upon

impact and cause undue damage to the canoe hull.

Installing wood gunwales does require a bit more craftsmanship than attaching synthetic
gunwales. This
this sec
tion a bit longer than the corresponding instructions for other types
of rails. Don't let the

length of this document intimidate you
but it is strongly recommended that
you review the instructions in their entirety before beginning the project to make sure

you are
comfortable with all steps.


Ordering replacement ash gunwales

Rails can be ordered from an authorized Mad River
. Replacement ash rails are available

that will fit all
Mad River
Royalex c

regardless of age.

Due to
their length, ash rails cannot
be sent UPS. The best alternative is to coordinate an order for replacement

gunwales with a boat
delivery to your dealer.

A full set of rails has four pieces: two inside (inwales) and two outside (outwales)
. The rails

are not pre
bent or pre
drilled but are flexible enough to follow the shape of the canoe by just

clamping them to the hull.

It is possible to replace a single outwale or inwale or the gunwales along one side if desired.

Specify what rail you need (inwale
or outwale). For best results, however, it is recommended that

you replace a complete set of gunwales. A better job results if all the rails are of the same age

and moisture content. Older rails, especially if they have not been re
oiled, will be brittle a
nd can

break more readily than new ones soaked in a penetrating finish such as Gunwale Guard.

It is necessary to order rails longer than the length of your canoe to accommodate the curvature

of the hull.
The length of a canoe is usually measured down the

center along the keel line. That is
the shortest distance between the two points. The gunwales take a more circuitous route from
end to end.
To re
rail a 14' or shorter canoe you will need 15' gunwales, 15' or 16' canoes will

require 17' gunwales, etc.

ood gunwales
for Royalex canoes are flat sided and are installed flush to hull on each
side with

top of hull material exposed in center.
Think of it like a sandwich with the gunwales as
the bread and the hull the fillings.

If your dealer has in st
ock wood gunwales with a narrow lip at top of gunwales, these are kerfed
gunwales and were originally designed for use with composite hulls. These gunwales can be
used with Royalex if that kerf is removed.

Mad River ash gunwales can be used on canoes of
other manufacturers. It may be necessary to

make adjustments to accommodate existing deck designs.

Slotted inwales are available at additional cost.


Prior to 1985, Mad River Canoes were outfitted with square gunwales.
At that time, Mad River

switched to a rounded rail system for a more elegant, finished look and lighter weight.

Replacement rails are available only in the rounded format. This system is very suitable for

replacement of squared gunwales but


replacement of the decks as well.


on Royalex canoes have been made of different materials and different woods over the
years. However, Mad River has always used a “capped” deck system on Royalex boats wherein
the decks are screwed to the top of th
e gunwales.

Replacement decks are only available in current material and current models. It is possible that
those available can work with older models or it may be necessary to get creative, particularly if
you need a wider deck than available
. You may
have to fabricate your own deck. Hardwood is the
preferred material. Current Mad River Canoe decks are made of beech. In past, walnut, butternut,
cherry, and mahogany

have been used.

It is always good to retain original decks if you can. If beyond use, t
hey can still serve as a
template to make replacements or to confirm fit with factory decks. Mad River Canoe has been
manufacturing Royalex canoes for over 35 years and during that time, changes have been made
in various models, new molds have been brought

into use, etc. All of these situations can result in
changes to deck size such that the deck for a 1978 Explorer can vary significantly from that for a
2008 Explorer. Keeping your old decks can ease the “pain” of having to come up with a
replacement if cu
rrent factory parts do not fit.

Older Mad River canoes also used ¼” hardware to suspend seats, attach yokes, etc. The
hardware was changed in the late 1990’s to 3/16” to allow for double bolting yokes for stability
and saving weight. The easiest way to t
ell which size your boat has is the ¼” hardware is
crowned with a carriage bolt head whereas the 3/16” is a Phillips head.

You can use your original hardware or convert your canoe to current standards. The one thing
you may want to be aware of is that ¼”

stainless steel hardware is not available from Mad River
Canoe and if you encounter some damaged hardware, you may end up with a “mixed bag” of

: In all cases, the serial number from your canoe can be very helpful in determining the

l gunwale system used on your boat and determine necessary replacement components.


The rails are already dipped in a penetrating oil at the factory. Additional sealing with

oil such as Gunwale Guard

before instal
is recommended
, especially on gunwale surface
that will be installed against hull surface.

Replacement rails are finished natural. If you wish to
replace stained rails, it is best to stain them

to match existing rails before installing them on the

Mad River Canoe does NOT recommend varnishing the gunwales. Varnish is a surface coat
protectant and is adversely affected by the natural flex in canoe gunwales in normal use. This
creates hairline fractures in the varnish that will continue to expan
d and will admit moisture under
the varnish top coat. This in turn leads to deterioration of the gunwale from within.


Gunwale Guard of appropriate finish

Disposable or foam 1” brush

Dry rags



Support gunwales at waist h
eight. Dip brush into Gunwale Guard and apply to gunwales
from end to end.


Rotate gunwales to allow access to other sides and repeat process.


Make sure to coat the ends of the gunwales and if during installation you trim the ends, to
coat the newly exposed



Allow 5 to 10 minutes for oil to be absorbed into wood.


Wipe down gunwales with dry rag to remove excess oil.

In most cases, the
rail screws are reusable as they are stainless steel and resistant to

It is recommended that t
o minimize the chances of stripping the screw heads, first back
them out

manually with a screwdriver and then remove with reversible drill with a #2 Phillips head
bit. On

the average, 80 screws are required to refasten a 16' canoe. It is recommended to hav
e a

package (12) of screws available should you inadvertently strip a few

Royalex hulls require 1

#8 screw

to secure gunwales to hull and
1” truss head #8 screw

to secure deck to


Gunwales of appropriate length: 1 to r
eplace single inwale or outwale, 2 to replace gunwales
along one side, 4 for complete re

Decks, either original or replacement

Gunwale Guard

80 1 ½” stainless steel screws, original or replacement (attachment of gunwale to hull)

12 1”
truss head

nless steel screws, original or replacement (attachment of deck to gunwale)

All above materials are available for order via your local Authorized Mad River Canoe Dealer.


Variable speed reversible drill




1/8", 1/4",



#8 Counter sink

#P2 Philips Screwdriver bit

#2 Phillips Screwdriver


12 "C" or Welder's


2 or 3
quick action
or bar

are helpful

20' Tape Measure

3/8" & 7/16" Wrenches

80, 120, 220 grit sandpaper

Palm sander is h



4 Home
made “S” Hooks**

Wax pencil or similar non
permanent marker

Gunwale Guard

Gunwale Guard Stain (if


Mild Cleanser

Rubber mallet

clamps with round clamp surfaces can tend to walk off the gunwale as you tig
hten the clamps.
Take some scrap cardboard and cut into 2” squares and put squares of cardboard between
clamp and gunwale to provide better grip and reduce tendency to walk.


“S” hooks can be made easily from a wire clothes hanger. Cut off about 12” of
wire and bend
into an S shape with each bottom curve of S large enough to fit around the gunwale to be used as
an outwale. Bend the opposite curve at a slight angle to the bottom. You will use the S hooks to
hold the ends of the gunwales close to the hull
as you begin to clamp them at the middle. Hang
the top curve over the side of the hull and put the outwale in the bottom curve.


Prior to removing original gunwales, the locations of the seats, yoke, thwart, etc. need to be
marked on the

hull before removal. The new gunwales also need to treated with a fresh coat of
oil. Existing gunwales are next removed from hull with care being taken to protect original
hardware upon removal. Original Decks will lift off of hull with the old gunwales.
Depending on
model of canoe and date of manufacture, decks may be glued to gunwales or released when
screws are removed.

New gunwales are then clamped to the hull and tamped down to ensure they are properly seated.
New screw locations are marked on the gu
nwale and countersunk holes drilled at marks. Screws
are driven through hull and both inside and outside gunwales to secure gunwales starting from
center of canoe and working towards one end and then the other.

Once the gunwales are in place on the hull t
he new or original decks are fitted into place and
secured with 1” screws. Seats, yoke, thwart or carry handles are then reinstalled at original
locatons and finally a coat of oil is applied for maximum protection.


1. Apply Gunwale

Guard to all surfaces of new rails. This is the time

to make sure that the surface
of the rail that will be against the hull will be thoroughly treated with

Gunwale Guard. If stained
ails are desired, stain rails prior to installation for best results.

. Mark location of all thwarts/yokes, seats, carry handles on hull of canoe with marker. Trace

outside of seat hangers to provide accurate reinstallation. All these fittings are hung from existing

rails, removal of those rails will result in loss of positi
on of original fittings.

3. Remove all thwarts/yokes, seats,
etc. from canoe. Canoe will become flexible once eats

thwarts or yokes are removed. This is not a problem. If you are concerned with maintaining

especially if gunwale replacement

may take extended period of time, make a brace from a
2 x 4

notched at same width as canoe's original beam

and slide over top of hull
. Attach all
to original parts
so as not to

hardware and to make re
assembly easier

4. Run tape measure aro
und hull under existing rail. Mark center point on each side of


. These marks will serve as centering points for new rails.

Also trace line of bottom of rail
on hull. These lines will help assure that the new gunwales are seated properly
on the hull.

5. Mark rail screw locations on inside of hull just below the rail, except at ends of

canoe where
arks will have to be made on outside of hull.

6. Starting from one end loosen and remove screws along one side of canoe. Leave other rail

t. You will be doing one side at a time.

7. Remove old rails from canoe.



exposed hull surfaces with GB
60 or a good household cleaner.

Be careful not to
wipe off any reference marks made in steps #4 and 5.

Match new rails into pairs.
ng tape measure, locate center point of one pair of new rails

replacing both or on single rail if only one new rail is being installed
. Mark
point with

top and side of rails. Pencil is better to use to mark gunwales as it will not bleed

into the wood
like a marker and is easily sanded to be removed.

. Position new rails on hull by aligning center marks on new rails with mark on hull. Clamp rails

to hull at center point. Use of spring or bar clamps can be helpful at this point to tempor

secure rails to hull. Use C
clamps to finalize positioning.
Hang “S” hooks over hull at each end
and place ends of rail in bottom curl.


Working towards one end, align rails even with top of hull. Clamp rail as needed, usually
every 24
30". The us

of cardboard squares inserted between the clamp and rail will lessen the
compression of rail by

s and provide easier clamping.

12. Lightly tamp down on top of rails with rubber mallet to seat rails flush with top of hull. Check to
see that bot
tom of new rails are even with line traced on hull in step #4.

. The inwale will need to be trimmed to fit inside end of canoe. Holding the rail in place over

stem of canoe, trace contour of stem of canoe onto rail
with pencil
so that rail will conform

to hull

Make straight line at end of rail by sighting down to opposite end of canoe along keel line.

saw just inside lines and trim off rail to form rounded end with straight side at center of canoe

stem. The first inwale installed MUST be cut
to fit flush against

hull contour as well as along a
center line INLINE to the "keel" line of the canoe. The second inwale must be cut to fit against this
centerline and hull contour. It is best

to cut conservatively and hand shape with file or sandpaper
o achieve best results. Set
inwale in place at end of hull and clamp.

. Once
you’ve reached
end of canoe, return to center point and repeat procedure to opposite
end of canoe.

Step away from canoe and sight along rail to make sure it runs fair. Adjust p


. To determine new screw locations, run tape measure along inside of rail and mark rail at

midpoint between old screw locations marked on hull. It is recommended to drill new holes evenly

spaced between the old, as it is a hit or mi
ss proposition to accurately drill through old holes. It is

preferable to drill new holes rather than enlarge existing holes. On Royalex hulls, space screw

holes at 6" intervals

. Starting at center point and working towards first one end and then the
other, using drill with

11/64" TAPERED bit and countersink, drill holes as mark

along the rails. Set countersink to

ength of screw being used (1 1/2" for Royalex hulls).
Place point of bit at center of vertical side of
rail and drill horizontally. Let co
untersink bore slightly into gunwale but b
e careful not to

drill all the
way through
ail. As you approach end of canoe it will become necessary to drill rails

from outside
of hull when hull is not wide enough to allow drill to align properly.

. Start sc
rews in holes and
run up tight with
Phillips screwdriver or drill fitted with P2 bit.

cautious not to strip screw heads. For best results run screws to just snug with drill and finish

tightening by hand.

. Repeat steps #

on opposite rail. When fit
ting the ends of inwale inside stem, trace not

only shape of stem of hull but also mark where other inwale will contact and cut accordingly. A

close fit is desirable but not
essential with capped decks

as they will cover this junction.
If you do
achieve a
tight flush fit between the inwales, it is recommended that you drill a
1/4" hole through

intersection of

inwales where they contact end of hull. This hole will
encourage drainage of water
when canoe is inverted for storage or transport.

Transfer marks

on hull defining locations for carry handles, seats, yoke, thwart(s), etc. to top
of gunwales with pencil.

At marks, d
rill 1/4" holes

if using 3/16” hardware and 5/16” holes for ¼” hardware
. Center the
holes in the inwale and take care to drill vertic
ally so that hardware can drop through holes and
will not contact inside of hull.

21. For maximum protection of your new gunwales, dip mounting hardware in Gunwale Guard
before inserting into gunwales. The coating of oil will help seal the newly exposed wo
od in the
holes as the bolts pass through.


Reinstall components. It’s usually easiest to start with yoke first and work towards the ends. It
is likely you’ll need to squeeze the sides of the canoe together to fit the yoke in place. This is
normal as th
e hull tends to spread when components are removed.

Tighten hardware firmly but
do not over torque as it is possible to sheer off stainless steel if over tightened. When using older
style ¼” hardware run up lock washer and nut on bottom until just starting

to get snug and then
lightly tamp the head of the carriage bolt to set the square throat below the bolt head firmly into
rail. Snug up nut until lock washer is aligned flat. On 3/16” hardware, place dimpled finish washer
over bolt before inserting into gu
nwale and secure at bottom with flat washer and locknut.

Once components are secure, place deck over end of canoe and judge fit. Ideally, the outer
edge of the deck will overlap onto the outwale, concealing the top edge of the hull. Align nose of
with tip of stem of hull and make sure the deck is oriented straight side to side.

Lightly trace
end of deck on top of gunwales.

. Mark point centered 1/2” from point of deck and then ½” from rear end of deck on each side.
Align rear marks so that screw
s will drive into either inwale or outwale rather than hull. Using tape
measure, measure distance between screw at point of deck and the rear screws. At point halfway
between the two make mark for center screw on each side.

Repeat for deck at opposite end.

25. Drill holes at marks with tapered bit and countersink. Remove decks from gunwales and oil
underside of decks as well as the exposed wood from the countersink.

26. Reposition decks on canoe and drive #8 x 1” Phillips head screws into gunwales below dec
to secure decks.

27. It is recommended that you provide a way for water to drain from an inverted canoe to prolong
the life of your decks. You can do this by drilling a ¼” hole vertically through nose of the deck and
through the gunwales below or you ca
n drill ¼” hole at an angle through the top of the stem of the
canoe. Angle bit so that the interior end of hole will be just below the bottom edge of the inwales.

28. Wipe down hull and remove any reference marks remaining on hull.

Sand top and sides
of gunwales
and decks
with 120 grit sandpaper

to smooth finish and
remove any pencil marks.

Wipe clean and
apply Gunwale Guard as described above.
excess and spillage from hull immediately.

If additional information is required, contact your Autho
rized Mad River Canoe Dealer or call Mad
River Customer Service @

REV: 1210BG01