View Full Version : Advice Needed

04-17-2009, 07:38 AM

I'm hoping that someone can help me out. I've been in the market for a project boat for some time.
A number of years ago I got a beatup neglected Albacore sailboat and restored it to sailability.

The Albacore is great but I'm looking for something bigger and I think I've found it. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, the boat I've found is wooden. It was abandoned (perhaps for good reason) at a storage facility and now the storage yard owner is looking to get rid of the boat.

I've attached some pictures that the yard owner sent me, I'm heading out today to get a really good look at the boat. It seems that the boat was in the middle of a restoration when it was abandoned.

From the pictures is it possible to tell if the boat is "worth" fixing up? I was informed last night that the previous owner had replaced all the ribs with new oak ribs. What should I be looking at specifically when I go out to look at the boat? I'm certainly going to take a lot of pictures and do a lot of poking, prying and looking for rot, mold, and other decay.

Also is there a way to tell what type of boat this is? I do know that the boat was built in Nova Scotia in or around 1921. I'm mostly familiar with glass boats so I'm not yet sure how the wooden boat world works but I am excited thinking about restoring a wooden boat.

Oh one last question for right now. I've been doing some reading and I am a little concerned about the planking. I understand that wood swells and shrinks when in and out of the water. I live in Ontario which means the boat will be out of the water for 6-7 months of the year, will I have a 'leaky' boat for the first few weeks each year?

Here are some pictures of the boat that I was sent. They are fairly large
Pic 1 (http://www.thelongfields.ca/wooden-boat-1.jpg)
Pic 2 (http://www.thelongfields.ca/wooden-boat-2.jpg)


04-17-2009, 07:45 AM
Hello Bobert, and welcome to the Forum.

It's impossible to really answer your questions from the photos - but I think you know that already.

The boat has a nice shape, so it may be from a good designer. The state of the exposed wood is poor. The shrink wrap is a good news, bad news thing. It's good she was covered, but airtight plastic is the worst possible choice. Even for free, I would recommend you have someone qualified to judge a wooden boat look at her before you make a commitment. I would expect a lot of deterioration.

Where are you located?

- Norm

04-17-2009, 08:18 AM
Welcome to the forum.

"Worth fixing up" would certainly need to be qualified by you? An historical boat from a well known designer would be worthy to restore but not monetarily for you. You will certainly get to pay for your education in restoring a woodenboat.

Certainly more and better information on the project as well as yourself will lead to much better questions and much better responses.

As for my little project (see below), the boat is a well known class, I plan to do the majority of the work, it's a project I enjoy doing and have the budget and space to do it in. Once done I'll have a ticket out of Arkansas. :D

04-17-2009, 08:48 AM
Go look at the boat to see if it is something that you would like to work on, then look (and smell) about for obvious rot in the structure. A wooden boat outdoors, wrapped in tight plastic, is basically a greenhouse with the hull acting as the compost bed. It depends on how long it has been enclosed, but it is rarely good for the boat. If you like what you see, spend the money to have a qualified surveyor with experience inspecting wooden boats inspect the boat & give you a comprehensive report. It will cost a few hundred dollars, but will probably be the best money you put toward the vessel. It will also assist you in planning what work needs to be done, should you decide to move forward with the project.

04-17-2009, 09:45 AM
Thanks for all the advice. As for where I am located I'm in Kingston, Ontario. I know restoring a boat isn't cheap but I learned a lot about my Albacore by restoring it. My idea of restoring a boat is to spread out the cost of a sail boat out over several years.

As far as my abilities, I seem to have a knack for wood and fixing things up. I'm heading out today at lunch to take a million pictures, poke the wood to see if it's deteriorated and I'll be sure to take a sniff or two while I'm in the boat.

I know the boat was covered only for the winter and the plastic has had a hole punched in it at some point this spring. I'll get more details on that when I am there. I would never have thought to ask about the plastic so thanks for that tip.