View Full Version : Ash. Rot resistant enough for gunwhales?

12-24-2003, 01:03 AM
I need to replace guwhales on a sailing dinghy. Fresh water. It will stay outside 4-5 months of the year. Has oak now. They are not rotted just beat up. I can get white oak but I'd have to dry it. I have a lot of dry white and black ash on hand. They will be varnished but it gets chipped and dinged up. Would you think I would be ok with the ash?

Thanks, Al.

12-24-2003, 01:16 AM
The ash is tough enough, but will stain and darken even more easily than the oak when the finish is broken. Use it, but invest in a good two part varnish for some extra durability?

Ron Williamson
12-24-2003, 05:54 AM
Prefinish all sides and inside screw holes.Then the black stains will only be caused by dings on the outside,not moisture infiltration from the back.

12-24-2003, 07:21 AM
Many a canoe has had ash gunn'ls - and been left backside the garage for months at a spell, for years on end.
They will surely darken if the finish is dinged (and gunn'ls are always dinged). But with the open grain, when water gets ito the big loooong pores there will (quickly) appear a track of black mildew running deep into the wood - impossible to clean up by sanding & refinishing. If you like the rough-n-ready look that may be OK.
Alternatively, the pores might be filled with CPES or something. Or maybe the gunn'ls are considered sacrificial - to be replaced every few years as they get too ugly.

12-24-2003, 09:21 AM
Will West System Epoxy work as well as CPES? I have it on hand. And thanks all for the advice.


12-24-2003, 08:10 PM
Proponents of CPES will tell you that NO epoxy works as well. That's why they use CPES before epoxying. Perhaps it comes down to how obsessive compulsive anal retentive you are about pristine gunnels smile.gif Twer it me I'd just use the West, in warm conditions to give it the best chance of soaking in to the surface. Then varnish for uv protection

Captain Pre-Capsize
12-24-2003, 08:19 PM

I used ash on my skiff and it looks great - do it.

Dave Johnson
12-26-2003, 03:16 PM
White ash will not hold up. You are waisting your money, go with white oak and you will never have it rot away. I used a lot of white ash on my boat for trim, toe rails bumkin etc. and it just doesn't hold up. All it takes is a little moisture and the wood just gets punky. Use white oak, coat it on all sides with epoxy and varnish the exposed for ultra violet protection and you're done.