BWCA Wenonah thwart connection repair Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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05/03/2023 07:49AM  
I own a 2017 Wenonah Champlain in Aramid UL. The left connection of the rear thwart to the gunwhale has become a little loose. It's not falling off, but it does rattle some. I'd like to repair this connection now if possible rather than have it fail while on a trip. My understanding is that this connection is made with two rivets.

Does anyone have experience with repairing a Wenonah in this way? Any tips?

I'm driving to Ely for a BWCA trip on June 6, so I would be looking for a temporary fix if a permanent fix includes some kind of long lead time item.
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05/03/2023 10:40AM  
Take two hammers, one much heavier than the other. Put the heavy hammer against the head of the rivet and use the other hammer to tighten it by hammering on the other end of the rivet.

Alternatively, if these are pop-rivets, replace them or have someone replace them for you. My Wenonah came with aluminum pop-rivets and it was suggested to replace those with stainless steel pop-rivets. That my take a more powerful rivet gun or awesome hand strength. The hold really tight but are very difficult to get to "pop".
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05/05/2023 02:05PM  
We did this last year before we went on two 2008 Wenonah BWs that we bought used from Voyageur North a few years prior. The middle thwart was so worn out that the holes wouldn't hold new rivets anymore, so we drilled through the gunnel and put little machine screws with lock washers ( 6-32 x 1") all the way through from the top of the gunnel, threw the old rivet holes then through the thwart. We have a Champlain as well, and this is actually how it came from the factory. The two shorter thwarts at each end were just a little loose so we drilled out the rivets (really easy to do), then replaced them w/ 3/16 x 1/2 rivets (3/16 x 1/4 should work too). As mentioned, stainless ones are more durable, but we used aluminum since that's what the originals were. If you don't already have a rivet gun, a lot of the cheap ones (like from Harbor Freight) come with enough rivets to do your thwarts.
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