Repair Inwale, or Repalce?

Lew's Canoes

Canoe Builder
Last evening I was working in my shop on a new build 17 foot w/c canoe. Hull is off the form, stems connected to inwales, decks installed, and cant ribs all in place. No shear planks yet. While I was standing with my back to the canoe, I heard a distinct 'crack'. This can't be a good thing! Turns out the inwale spontaneously cracked - did not separate, but left a distinct kink in the shape of the hull on one side. Inwales are 1" x 3/4" sitka spruce. The crack occured behind a rib, just where one of the ring shank nails holding the rib on comes into it. This all happened right about where a quarter thwart will be attached in the future. Soooooooo.......what to do? I am assuming there is a flaw in the inwale, though nothing is visible on the outside. One choice would be to replace the entire inwale. Another would be to scarf in a replacement section. It certainly is discouraging to be in restoration mode before I even get the canvas on for the first time! I would appreciate any input as to these or other options, and specific tips as to how to best accomplish the scarf/splice option, if that is the best choice. Thanks, LEW
Hi Lew

This happened to me. As I was Installing new inwales on an old beater, I cracked one. So I decided that because I was rebuilding a beater for myself, I would patch/sister it. Big mistake. I wish I had started over and just put in a new one.
Regards, Dave.
Same sorta thing happened to me last night. Tiny pin knot caused a weak spot. I am going to replace the whole thing, inwales being pretty much responsible for the over all strength of the canoe.

Its a real bummer after soaking and steaming forever, but what you gonna do? I have to look at this thing for the next umpteen years, and I can't do that knowing I didn't do it right.

Being a perfectionist isn't always a good thing.


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