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Hi everyone, 

I built my S9N in NC a couple of years ago. It has served me quite well.  


I recently had an incident; bringing my S9N back to FL from NC it came loose from the top of the car and crashed onto the freeway.  The aft half sustained very minimal damaged. The forward half didn't fair as well. I have a couple of gunwale to chine cracks through and through. However the worst part for me is the gunwales. 


On the port side I have just about 16 inches handing on in good shape, the rest of the port side gunwale is splintered on the freeway. The Starbord side has a little more than half it's length left although it is going on by a couple of inches. 


Does anyone have any advise for repairing or replacing these forward half gunwales?   I appreciate the help and will gladly send photos if need. 




Ralph G

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I have lost a couple of boats off of roof racks over the years and I feel your pain. Although I have not seen any pics I think that I have a pretty good idea of the damage.


I am just talking about the forward hull. The first thing is to remove the rest of the gunwales, they are mostly gone and it is nearly impossible to scarf in partial gunwales under tension and get them fair. I have had good success with a mini grinder with 36 grit 4" or 4 1/2". It will kick up some dust but it will remove the rest of the wood without stressing the already damaged hull and you will be amazed at the precision that will get just gently working the disc along the old gunwale. You can finish up with an 80 grit disc. If you do not have one, Harbor Freight often has them for under $20.00. 


It is really important that you get the forward gunwales to fair to the aft half. I would make up the new gunwales with three layers just like you did when you built the boat but I would make them a foot to a foot longer than you need. The extra length is to give you the ability to apply some force behind the forward half just like you had when you put the gunwales on the first time. After you clamp the gunwales around the fwd. half you can apply a spanish windlass to the back of the overhanging gunwales until the width at the spanish windlass matches the width at the same point at the aft hull. Drill and partially drive in a screw to stop the windlass from slipping off of the end.


After you clean up the gunwales you should be able to fix the cracks in the hull. This can be achieved with butt blocks 1/4" thick and 3"- 4" wide or with glass tape sandwiching both sides of  the boat in the ply has created a peak, you can put plastic over the wet glass tape  and put a block of 3/4" ply with a slightly larger footprint than the glass tape on both sides of the crack. Pre-drill the outside block and draw the whole sandwich together with screws and wait for it to cure. You can fill the screw holes later.

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If you built it, you can fix it.  I had a 1969 Enterprise that was caved in from being upside down on saw horses during Snowmaggedon in New England a few years ago.  Exactly as Graham says.  Remove the gunwale, replace, then go for the damaged hull.  I had to cut away portions of the deck to get to the damage, but ground back the laminated glass to make a smooth bevel, then applied release fabric over the holes, backed by thin veneer, then glassed with several layers.  Some fairing compound and paint by my cousin, and the boat is now plying the waters of New Jersey on a regular basis.  12002090_10156160751410360_7301495004503218180_n.jpg.e74938b1e4f13dd94d6dd6ee17700f6b.jpg20150825_134729.jpg.fd13a7a63f66ab0891c2c64c40ac2066.jpgIMG_9840.jpeg.b9b5557251f93af74db4530980605761.jpeg



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