Gunwale moldings

Has anyone replaced their gunwale moldings? Is this a tricky job, especially where it curves at the stern?

FS367 Chin up

I just took mine off so I could paint the deck. With new pieces I would start putting them on and bending as you go. The sides should be easy since the curve is gentle. The corners would be the hardest since they're bent at 90┬░and you want to make sure the bend itself is straight. Start putting it on then take it off once you marked the bend, then put in a vise (with wood blocks) to bend at the right angle. Also, call the factory to see how they reccomend doing it.

Good luck!


Has anyone done anything to clean up / beautify the aluminum gunwales? After painting the deck and compounding the hull they just don't look good. Is there a metal product cleaner that will clean them up a bit? Mine are nicked and scraped here and there and I don't believe I can do much about that.

Also, my bow plate/eye chrome has completely flaked off. A new one is $110 and re-chroming is almost as expensive(no one local in Columbus, OH and have to ship out & back). Any recommendations? Has anyone powdercoated any metal parts? Does it hold up?


I used plain black spray paint. It is cheap and did the job. They get scratched up at the dock, so an annual coating takes very little effort and little money.

M Jones
FS 2450

When I did this job I started at the bow. I cut the molding at the proper angle to mate with the bow deck eye about 1/2" beyond the first screw hole. This assured a screw very near to the bow of the boat. I soothed and rounded the cut with a small electric sander. Next, I measured from the cut to about the fifth screw hole back. At this point the bend is very gradual. I marked this distance back on the fiberglass gunwale on the boat. I placed the molding on the boat so that the appropriate hole fell on the mark. A helper is useful at this point. Now I used a rubber mallet to make sure the molding caught the lip of the deck. I tapped the molding up as far as it would go. I drilled a pilot hole and screwed the molding to the deck. I fastened three more screws aft. This supported the railing. I now changed direction and started fastening toward the bow using the rubber mallet to bend and hook the molding. As the bend became more pronounced the rubber mallet persuaded the molding to take the bend in the deck. After completing the fastening toward the bow, I again started toward the rear. At the joints I made sure the alignment of the molding was correct. I got the bend at the stern using a combination of hand bending and mallet. After cutting the molding at the stern I moved on to the other side.