Building a Wooden Jon Boat..pt. 12
Now on to the gunwales! Therese are the rub rails at the top edges of the boat. They serve several important purposes. I built these out of large 1 1/4″ material as they need to be strong. Large and stiff gunwales will add tremendous strength to the hull and will help keep it from twisting or racking in rough water. They also become attachment points for rod holders, dock line cleats and other hardware.
In this first photo you can see that I have the roughed out forms ready to install on the boat.
Yes, they are bent on purpose as they are cut to follow the curve of the top edge of the boat. In this case, I started with a 12″ wide board and cut the bend into the board. The finished width was a consistent 6 inches wide. I also planed the boards to a 1 1/4″ thickness before gluing and screwing them permanently to the framework. After the assembly was cured and dry, I rounded over the edges with a hand plane and eventually this wood will be varnished bright.