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Thread: First timer advice

  1. #1
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    Default First timer advice

    Hi all. I've never owned a wooden boat, just tinnies, but have always appreciated the beauty of wood boats. I am interested in one I have found locally here in Ontario. It's a Peterborough boat, just a basic bench seat tiller style. It looks like a restoration has been started, it's inside and stripped. I'm going to go look at it later this week. I'm hoping some of you who have been down this road before can give me some advice on what to look for. I'm a welder not a woodworker so I don't want to get into disassembly down to the bones, but I'm not afraid of sanding and finishing etc. Thanks for all and any advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Welcome to the forum, and remember to post pictures.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Welcome!
    Yes, post pictures so we can get a look at it.
    A couple of shots of the whole boat, then shots of the transom inside and out. Also some close up shots of the ribs and any areas that you feel might be suspect.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    When taking fotos for group review... pay particular attention to areas that look compromised... and areas where water might logically puddle. Take an awl or knife with you, and poke gently all over. You'll soon see the difference between sound wood (barely penetrates) and punky wood. If there's punky wood in the structural members... this boat might not be for you. If you do proceed, those are generally well-built boats, and will come out beautifully with the proper attention.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default

    These are.oics.the guy sent me

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  6. #6
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    Keady, Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Pics

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  7. #7
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    Default

    More pics

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  8. #8
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    Default

    Guy says the keel and all the boards are good as well as the transom. 5-6 ribs towards the stern require replacement and some repair or patching on the interior keelson. A bit of a wow at the bow, lol, on the keel up front.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    unless you are skilled in woodworking it appears you might be getting in over your head

    some of the wood needing attention will require a rather steep learning curve if you're not

    butt nothing is impossible

    if you do decide to become her new steward and manage to wade thru the issues she could be quite pretty and a lot of fun in her future life

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  10. #10
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    unless you are skilled in woodworking it appears you might be getting in over your head

    some of the wood needing attention will require a rather steep learning curve if you're not

    butt nothing is impossible

    if you do decide to become her new steward and manage to wade thru the issues she could be quite pretty and a lot of fun in her future life

    sw
    I'd agree. Appears there is much that is sound, but enough that is not to cause concern for a neophyte woodworker. New keelson is the most obvious. Some new ribs (not a basic fix). No impression of the stem, nor the ever worrisome transom/bottom intersection.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Is it an optical illusion or is that

    keel bent?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    It's going to take some good woodworking skills to get the boat back in the water. But, it's going to take a lot more then the sanding and finishing that you were hoping for.
    I'm wondering if a lot more ribs need replacing. Ribs can look fine on the surface, but be rotted underneath. For the boat to be that weathered, it was sitting outside a lot, no doubt with water sitting in it.
    What's the owner asking for it?
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Nick, sight up the right hand(port) side of the keel

    it looks pretty straight

    i'm thing the shadows are creating an optorectical delusion up toward the bow

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  14. #14
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    Keady, Ontario, Canada
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    Owner is asking 450 Canuck bucks no trailer.

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  15. #15
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    Brooklyn NY and Dover-Foxcroft ME
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    I'm guessing that every rib that passes under the keelson where the keelson is rotted is also rotted, and that looks like it could be quite a few ribs. Are you up for removing those ribs, shaping and steam-bending new replacements, and then clenching them in place? When a boat is stored outside so that water can get inside the hull, the surface of the wood may dry rapidly, but drying under ribs and keelsons can take a long time, and rot readily take hod in such conditions. And this boat clearly was stored outside, without proper covering -- the varnish was damaged and the wood discolored by exposure to the sun, and there are clear water stains on some of the wood.

    Similarly, the ribs inside that "bit of a wow at the bow, lol, on the keel up front" may well be damaged. Keep in mind that the "Guy says the keel and all the boards are good as well as the transom." That keel is not good. The keel, or part of it, can be replaced. But it also looks like the hull at that point may be hogged a bit -- probably can be fixed, but eliminating hogging is often (not always) quite a chore. Definitely get good pictures of the hull where the keelson joins the interior stem -- both interior and exterior -- without the seat hiding things. I would not be surprised to see trouble there.

    That keel is not good, so keep his evaluation of the keel in mind when he says that anything else is "good."

    Those screws through a few of the ribs do not appear original, and they appear poorly driven -- one is off-center and not countersunk; the other, in the rib with so many staples, appears to have cracked the rib. Are they for the bilge keels? It also looks like staples may have been driven through the top of at least one rib. Why? The planking is, and should be, fastened to the ribs from the outside. Stapling from the inside would be a poor, and probably ineffective way to repair a loose plank. Is there other evidence of sloppy work on the boat? Generally, how are the fasteners of the planks to the ribs? Tight or loose? What material?

    Is that seat support under the aft seat original? I'm guessing not. I think it is actually a hull support added to keep the hull more-or-less true when broken ribs could no longer do the job. I would take a good hard look and the planking in that area.

    It's a nice looking boat, or at least it once was. And it could be once again. But there is a lot of work to do, none of it impossible -- people who restore old wooden canoes and old wooden boats do these repairs all the time -- but I see a lot more than sanding and painting is called for, and I'm betting that there are more problems than I am seeing. It is a good "project" boat for someone who enjoys the work of restoring old boats.

    I don't mean to sound too pessimistic -- but pessimism and skepticism is the order of the day when buying an old wooden boat. Forget about how nice the boat will look if and when fixed, and how nice it will be to be out on a lake on a sunny day. Rather, think about how many hours it will take to fix what you see, and how many more hours it will take to fix what you discover as you go along. Think about whether you will actually enjoy those hours. And make sure that you have an inside place to keep that boat while you work on that boat.

    If the varnish has actually been thoroughly and properly stripped, the price might be ok.

    Good luck.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    It's not a boat for a newbie.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    That is a full rebuild, not a sand and refinish job.
    If you don't want to get in that deep then walk away and look for something else.
    That boat has been neglected for a long time...not a good thing for a wood boat.
    I would not trust that seller either... "the keel is good" is a load of BS.
    He is trying to take advantage of you.

  18. #18
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    May 2020
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    Keady, Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    It's true, I look at this boat and see the finished product glistening in the sun. I appreciate all of your honesty. Although I do have a large garage, tools and some skills. I'm thinking this project probably isn't for me. I remember riding in boats like this as a child, I really don't have an application for one. I'd likely be best sticking to the tin boats that can be pulled up on shore or bump a rock without cringing!
    Boat is located in Ontario Canada if anyone is interested, I'll be happy to pass along the information.
    Thanks again for the replies!

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  19. #19
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    Jan 2008
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    Lake Champlain, Vermont
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    run... do not walk away... run

  20. #20
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Hold on. Question - are you going to paint it o varnish it?

    many here think perfection is compete restoration. You do not have to be a master to fix this boat to give it the look and quality that would make it sparkle to most eyes. It you are methodical you can fix this boat with basic tools and in short order. Approach this as a workman. Epoxy will be your friend here. The keelson will be replaced. It can be done in sections as well as those frames replaced as needed and in order. You can chose to replace or scarf them in as well. The planks in question can be scarfed in. I would do a light fiberglass sheath on hull as a skin. You will have a beautiful boat to really use, to drag and hit rocks. To most she could be as pretty as the day it was first launched. Most of all she is willing to be used.

    considering the work and materials that boat should be free. The seller knows that too.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 05-06-2020 at 09:54 AM.
    Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine. Rudolph Spielmann

  21. #21
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    Apr 2020
    Location
    oregon
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    17

    Default Re: First timer advice

    Quote Originally Posted by swoody126 View Post
    unless you are skilled in woodworking it appears you might be getting in over your head

    some of the wood needing attention will require a rather steep learning curve if you're not

    butt nothing is impossible

    if you do decide to become her new steward and manage to wade thru the issues she could be quite pretty and a lot of fun in her future life

    sw
    great....totally agree

  22. #22
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    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    17,817

    Default Re: First timer advice

    This is a good boat for someone like Denise 30, someone who is willing and able to spend a lot of time and research to save a small classic.

  23. #23
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    May 2020
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    Keady, Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Hold on. Question - are you going to paint it o varnish it?

    many here think perfection is compete restoration. You do not have to be a master to fix this boat to give it the look and quality that would make it sparkle to most eyes. It you are methodical you can fix this boat with basic tools and in short order. Approach this as a workman. Epoxy will be your friend here. The keelson will be replaced. It can be done in sections as well as those frames replaced as needed and in order. You can chose to replace or scarf them in as well. The planks in question can be scarfed in. I would do a light fiberglass sheath on hull as a skin. You will have a beautiful boat to really use, to drag and hit rocks. To most she could be as pretty as the day it was first launched. Most of all she is willing to be used.

    considering the work and materials that boat should be free. The seller knows that too.
    That's what I told him. I said that if he didn't find a home for it that I'd finish it but I wasn't investing. It's in his son in laws shop and he wants it gone, so who knows....

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  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    London ON. Canada
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    2

    Default Re: First timer advice

    Hey there - I'm checking out this thread and I noticed that you're up in Keady, which is interesting because we used to have a place on Mccullough Lake for number of years. I've been to Keady to go to the market, lol.

    I like the project boat. I've got a project that I'll post about it a little while in a worse state.

    pm me the price on that boat!


  25. #25
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    A skilled boat builder could see a minimum of eight months to a year of well planned restoration to bring that boat back from the living dead without a helper and or a gofer! And that is a very conservative estimation, providing there is lots of time to put into doing it right! Some qualified builders would start with at least two grand or more for materials in bidding such a job! Been there and done that many times over! Often owners get antsy as well but you have the advantage of doing it yourself. So, brace yourself for a big commitment if you choose to do the job right! Otherwise it will just be a patched up old boat wihout much re-sale value!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 05-23-2020 at 12:12 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Is it an optical illusion or is that

    keel bent?
    That keel looks to be defiantly bent! Could be optical distortion but, I doubt it. Stbd. skeg is also out of line! Plank is straight but skeg is not. I think that if you were to laser or chalk line check things out, you would find that there is a lot of hog and warpage to be found in this one! Check the amount of concavity at the keel and garboards at the, trailer, forward keel support in the sheer shot of post #7. It looks like at least three inches of concavity at that point! Just judging from the price he wants, it looks like the owner is not aware of how bad that boat actually is! The boat should be free with $450 Canadian for the trailer! No, I am not being nasty, I am being truthful and not sugar coating this one!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 05-23-2020 at 12:43 PM.

  27. #27
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    Jul 2002
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    Seattle, WA
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    Default Re: First timer advice

    There is a sad trend on boat restoration sites currently. That is the trend to dismiss another's prospective restoration project with comments like "get a match" or "where's the chainsaw?" This is contrary to the spirit of the site and to the magazine to which this site owes its existence. People make these cheap shots in order to make themselves seem more knowledgeable. On inspection, often the authors of the put-down posts do not appear to have any special restoration skills. However, on this thread, someone with professional restoration skills has joined in the chorus.
    I have done restoration on runabouts and other light-weight boats for the better part of forty years. Pictures can be misleading, but from what I have seen this boat is not a bonfire candidate. To state that restoration on this boat would require the efforts of three people for the better part of a year is frankly ridiculous. I once restored a Chris Craft Cavalier runabout. By the time I got into it, it had no keel, frames, stem or bottom. It looked like a big U upside down on the floor of my shop. I replaced the bottom, keel, all frames, and the stem. Bought and installed an engine, wiring and controls. I built an engine box to suit the engine. And of course, varnished and repainted everything. That was perhaps twenty years ago. The really great part of this story is that I saw the boat going through the Fremont cut in Seattle a week ago and it looked terrific!
    The prospective owner of this boat is used to working with his hands and I would encourage him to consider the boat. Yes, it will be a lot of work. But it will be rewarding. Issues with the bottom of the boat, if they don't resolve, could be remedied with a weldment inside the boat. I did this with a Thompson that a a dip in the bottom due to improper trailering. It was wildly unstable at speed. I built a bronze brace which pushed out the bottom of the boat to its normal position.
    Good luck and keep us informed!
    Last edited by pcford; 05-24-2020 at 02:41 PM.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Ontario Canada
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    47

    Default Re: First timer advice

    Curious. Where is this boat And where are you
    look for pond hopper I’m in Ontario and am a carpenter if you need help

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