Gunnel rot

Bestday

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2020
49
6
Toronto Canada
Started out as a engine bay rear bilge redo on my 99 246 that went as planned. Thought I had some standard glass work as I had 3 hatches to redo and one engine mount that needed a small repair. Unfortunately I have now discovered the wood that runs under the gunnels is mush. I have removed the glass exposing the rot from the underside starting up front. Does anyone know how far back the plywood runs. I am at the rear rod holder. I just hope that I do not need to go as far as the rear gas fill!!
 
Last edited:

crhodes

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
2,712
88
Southport, NC
There has been discussion previously as to the need for the plywood. Recall Quick Fix (who used to build fiberglass boats in addition to refinishing Shamrocks in "retirement") had a position on this. On my Mack it appears to be more for attaching vent hoses, etc. If it is rotten, but your gunnels appear solid guessing you are good and only need it for mounting, but best to research the archives as I don't have much experience in this area. My boat is the 26 Mack. Not sure which model you have thus the gunnel design. May I suggest adding that information in your signature As I have done (see lower left of this frame).
 

Bestday

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2020
49
6
Toronto Canada
Thx for the reply-added my boat model. I suspect the rod holders were not sealed correctly and water got in. Just surprised how far forward the rot travelled. It’s a pain to remove the glass to expose the wood. I am just hoping that the rot did not make it to the fuel fills.
 

tcf25

Well-Known Member
Jun 3, 2015
101
26
Fallston, MD
I replaced all the wood from the gunnel on my 1981 26open. It ran from the stern to the bow. I did it from the underside. It was a pain in the rear.
 

fishineer

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2011
198
26
Wilmington, NC
When I temporarily removed the rub rail and lifted the deck cap for preparations and painting I replace the 40+ year old plywood strips along top edge of the 20 footer hull with starboard strips because the plywood strips had turned to soft cellulose mush. A previous posting will have more details. I am really pleased with the results.
 

Bestday

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2020
49
6
Toronto Canada
To answer my own question the wood extends down both gunnels and around the back minus the live well cutout for the hatch. Port side was a complete redo. Starboard side was a small repair- what a job to remove the rotten wood!! Try sticking your head in the live well and cutting the fibreglass skin off to expose the rot. In the process of putting up new wood with thickened epoxy.
 

fishineer

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2011
198
26
Wilmington, NC
FWIW - My experience with this is limited to a 20' Open Fisherman that did not have a live well. So, I am not sure about how to deal with the live well. I purchased a 90-degree drive angle for my electric screw driver to remove the screws under the gunnel since it is a tight space. I believe the purpose of the old plywood strip was to serve as an anchor or receiver for the wood screws that hold the cap and rub rail to the hull. Once all the elements are in-place the strip and screws sandwich the cap and hull between the rub rail and the strip (now made of starboard) with most of the screws pointed inwards through the rub rail, then the cap then the hull and tightened into the strip. When removing the rub rail I labeled each piece of aluminum in order to use the same holes - the cap and hull holes could be easily aligned with an awl.

In order for the rub rail to lay smoothly up against the cap, the strips were first installed with these screws pointing outward and the points of then screws were filed, grinded or snipped flush with the outside face of the hull. Then the cap was laid onto the hull with a few (maybe a dozen) screws countersunk into the cap (inwards) to hold the cap in-place. With the cap, hull and backer strip fastened together, the rub rail was added with 2-3 dozen screws sandwiching the cap and hull between the rub rail and backer strip. The aluminum strips were countersunk for the screws, which left a smooth face for the rub rail rope. All screws were countersunk flat headed Philips
 

Bestday

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2020
49
6
Toronto Canada
My repair was the plywood on the bottom side of the gunnel- it’s where the rod holders are drilled through- my pieces were 3/8 thick by 6 inches wide about 9 feet long. The 246 does not have exposed undersides. You have to remove the tack box/rod storage compartment to see part of the gunnel bottoms. I should take a pic for anyone looking in the future to punish themselves!!
 

Bestday

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2020
49
6
Toronto Canada
Almost there. Just have to glass over the pieces in the pics. The starboard side is done and painted.
 

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