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Type of wood used for gunwales?

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by Unclewhoo, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Unclewhoo

    Unclewhoo Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I finished the fiberglass on the outside of my canoe. I am very satisfied with the end product.....actually I am a bit surprised on how easy it was and that it looks pretty good.

    However now my little canoe weighs 63 pounds. I figured out 1/3 (20 lbs) of the weight is the gunwales. The gunwales are made from a composite wood. What kind of wood is normally used for gunwales? I would like to replace these gunwales with something lighter. If I were to replace the gunwales it would have to be a wood that bends and curves.....the gunwales on my canoe are anything but straight. Any suggestions?

    IMG_20140529_174445_406.jpg
     
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Some options, from lightest to heaviest (roughly) include;
    spruce
    mahogany
    walnut
    cherry
    maple
    ash (seal well to prevent black spotting)
    white oak (red oak rots)
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Unclewhoo

    Unclewhoo Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Does mahogany bend pretty well?
     
  4. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    There is "mahogany" and then there is mahogany and all the mahoganies in between. I am putting phillipine mahogany on a plastic boat now. It is pretty and the canoe doesn't have extreme sheer so I am hoping it will work. There are about 25 species of "phillipine" mahogany and the stuff I am using is maybe meranti. I think I heard once that often times all this jungle wood is cut and mixed up and thrown on the boat, so who knows what species it really is. So called African mahogany does steam bend better than phillipine. I have had the best luck steam bending Honduran mahogany. Honduran was used on older canoes. Search on this forum and over at WoodenBoat for lots of mahogany discussions.
     

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