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Canoes are measured straight down the keel line. Gunwales take a bit more circuitous route getting from end to end. Vinyl rails are available to fit canoes up to 17'6” long, depending on length of decks. All Mad River vinyl gunwales include an "L" shaped aluminum insert to add strength and structure to the rail and are pre-bent on a curve that will allow fit on a majority of canoes. Place orders for replacement gunwales through your authorized Mad River dealer.
Composite (fiberglass or Kevlar® hulls) differ in thickness from Royalex® If you are unsure of model or material, bring your boat to the dealer, they can usually identify the model and material. If this is not practical, the serial number on your canoe will be helpful. Serial numbers are located on the right side of the stern of the hull just below the gunwale. It will either be engraved on a small brass plate or stamped directly into the hull. If difficult to read, make a rubbing by holding a piece of paper against hull and scraping a pencil point across paper. The number should be revealed on reverse side of paper.
Unlike ash gunwales which utilize an inside rail and an outside rail on each side, vinyl gunwales are a unibody construction in which the inside and outside gunwales are incorporated into one piece. Make sure that both gunwales include an internal “L” shaped aluminum insert.
This assumes the new rails have the same or similar profile and dimensions as the old rails. If you are replacing ash gunwales with vinyl, your canoe will require the addition of appropriate rotomolded decks and hardware.
The best alternative is to arrange shipment of gunwales to accompany a shipment of boats to your local dealer.
All above materials are available from Mad River Canoe Authorized Dealers
NOTE: Additional hardware and/or tools may be required to complete replacement or rehabilitation of your canoe depending upon model, material, age. Mad River has been building canoes for over 30 years and many changes and improvements have been made during that time. For example, until 1998-99, Mad Rivers' used ¼” hardware to mount seats, yokes, etc. Since that time MRC has used 3/16” hardware to save weight and allow improvements such as double bolting yokes for increased integrity. While the instructions may specify specific drill bits, please be aware that other sizes may in fact be necessary as needed.
Vinyl gunwale replacement starts with marking on the inside of the hull of the original locations for seats, yoke, thwart, carry handle, etc. Gunwales can then be removed by drilling out rivets or backing out screws used to secure them to hull.
New gunwales are then placed over the top of the edge of the hull and clamped in place. Gunwales are next marked for spacing of new fasteners. Decks are positioned in place and gunwales are drilled for rivets or secured by self-tapping screws. Outfitting components are then installed at marks made at beginning of process.
If additional information is required, contact your Authorized Mad River Canoe Dealer or call Mad River Customer Service @ 888/ 525-2925.