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Thread: Repair resources for Beginner

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Repair resources for Beginner

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to the form and to the world of wooden boats. I have taken on my first project which is a complete rebuild of (to the best of my knowledge) a 1959 Chetek Regal Contessa. I was wondering if I could get some advice on the process and steps to rebuild. Where do I start? What is a good order to proceed with the repairs. Anybook or other sites that would be would be appreciated as well! Thanks so much.

    Sam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Here's a big one. If you see (as I do) epoxy in your future... take the time to peruse and download the good info from that pioneer of epoxy in boatbuilding: WEST -- https://www.westsystem.com/instruction-2/
    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)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Welcome to the WB Forum! Our kind hosts at woodenboat.com have a number of books on restoring runabouts, so I recommend picking up one or two that most closely match your project. https://www.woodenboatstore.com/cate...yword=runabout

    Also using either the Forum's built-in search tool or Google Advanced Search with the Forum's URL in the "site or domain" field will be a big help for many of your questions. https://www.google.com/advanced_search
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Neat boat! She should be a beauty when you are done.

    There are lots of good books out there. One I particularly like is The Art of Wooden Boat Repair by Allen Taube:

    https://www.amazon.com/Art-Wooden-Bo.../dp/0988991004

    But really the best resource is right here in this forum. Ask lots of questions and listen to the answers and you will learn more here than you ever could from a book. And to get you started I will offer a three pieces of unsolicited advice.

    First bit: Lapstrake (the construction method of your boat, which you may already know) planking repairs require some different techniques than other methods. You will want to find resources that deal specifically with those needs.

    Second bit: There are *no* shortcuts. There are certainly materials and techniques - epoxy in the right places, for example - that can result in a stronger or longer lasting repair, but be very skeptical of anyone claiming that some method will get the job done faster or with less effort.

    Third bit: If you can, find someone local who has experience with wooden boats to have a look at your boat and tell you what needs to be done. There is only so much that can be learned from books or by posting photos to a forum and an experienced eye would be a huge advantage at this stage.

    Best of luck with your project.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    St. Helens, Oregon
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    To the above great advice I would simply add: Be Fearless! Jump in and enjoy the process. And post frequently...we all love to see pics

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Following up on my earlier post, a few more thoughts. You asked

    Where do I start? What is a good order to proceed with the repairs.
    which is a difficult question to answer without knowing what repairs need to be made, but a few general tips on where to start:

    1. Find a place to work, preferably inside and out of the weather. If you need to store and/or work on the boat outside get her under a cover. Sun, rain and other weather will cause the wood to deteriorate very quickly, especially in areas where the finish is already gone.

    2. Determine what structural repairs are needed first. Look for cracked ribs, soft places in the wood indicating rot, and deteriorating plank fastenings. You may have to pull a few fastenings to determine their condition - not always an easy thing to do. I have no direct knowledge of lapstrake runabouts but there are people here who do and can provide more specific guidance there. Pay particular attention to the garboard seams (the joint between the keel and the bottom-most planks) and the inner sides and bottom of the transom as those two areas are prone to problems as they tend to collect water. Also inspect the stem (the timber that forms the shape of the bow), and the ends of the planks where they are fastened to the stem and transom. If you see anything that looks suspect, post photos here for help diagnosing and planning repairs.

    3. Get all of the old paint and varnish off the boat. Judging from the decks, the interior at least needs to be completely stripped back to bare wood, inspected, repaired and refinished. On a lapstrake boat like yours that's a real chore as you have to get in and around the planks and the ribs. It's going to take many, many hours of work to get the project done right. Some people like chemical strippers for this job. I hate them personally, and would use a heat gun and a scraper. There are plenty tutorials on how to do the job with either method here on the forum or on YouTube. You can also remove the finish by sanding, dry scraping and other methods. They all have their adherents and you might end up trying several different techniques before setttling on one that works for you.

    4. Get the hull done first and then worry about mechanical and systems repairs.

    5. Don't aim for perfection. This is my personal philosophy, mind, and there are plenty of counter examples here from people who have turned out immaculate boats after years of paintstaking craftsmanship, but I would rather live with a few water stains on the brightwork and go boating than spend another few hundred hours clocking the screws and getting a perfect mirror finish on the hull.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Oh, and one other thing. You should make sure that the hull is well-supported at all times. Many boats like yours have been damaged by improper support on the trailer. Again not an area that I have any expertise in but it has been discussed before here on the forum and you should be able to find a few useful threads on the subject.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2019
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Thanks for all the info Chris. This gives me a good start. Sounds like I have a lot of scraping in my future. Fun . From my initial assessment there doesn’t seem to but much rot on anything hard to replace outside of the transom, but I’m converting it into an outboard only motor so I would need to replace that anyway. Hanks agin!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Ronneby, Blekinge, Sweden
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Don't take it more apart than needed.
    What I mean by that is if for example all frames needs to be replaced, take one off and replace, then the next one and so on. Otherwise the boat will lose it's shape.

    One more place to inspect for rot is under the frames, so you may want to take them off even if they themself don't need any repair.

    /Mats
    PS My philosophy: Aim for perfection, but settle for good enough.
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Southeast MA, USA
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    83

    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    There are lots of good books out there. One I particularly like is The Art of Wooden Boat Repair by Allen Taube:

    https://www.amazon.com/Art-Wooden-Bo.../dp/0988991004

    But really the best resource is right here in this forum. Ask lots of questions and listen to the answers and you will learn more here than you ever could from a book. And to get you started I will offer a three pieces of unsolicited advice.

    First bit: Lapstrake (the construction method of your boat, which you may already know) planking repairs require some different techniques than other methods. You will want to find resources that deal specifically with those needs.

    Second bit: There are *no* shortcuts. There are certainly materials and techniques - epoxy in the right places, for example - that can result in a stronger or longer lasting repair, but be very skeptical of anyone claiming that some method will get the job done faster or with less effort.

    Third bit: If you can, find someone local who has experience with wooden boats to have a look at your boat and tell you what needs to be done. There is only so much that can be learned from books or by posting photos to a forum and an experienced eye would be a huge advantage at this stage.

    Best of luck with your project.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for posting that - I see that he has a new (2018) edition out - just ordered it. I really liked his first book - Boatwrights Companion - Repairs below the Waterline.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Sorry to be the one to tell you, Sam, but that boat is clearly beyond repair. I will be happy to dispose of it for you.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Oh man. That is tough to hear. What a downer . I may give it a shot before handing it over ��

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Ah, I think Sam has figured you out Oldad Too bad.

    Schooner36, I think you will like the new book but be aware that it's mostly an update of The Boatwright's Companion, although with several new chapters.

    Sam... conversion to outboard? Well I won't say it can't be done but I don't know that it's as simple as reinforcing the transom and bolting on some motors. I would have some big questions about weight distribution for one thing. In your place I'd be very tempted to pick up one of these boats instead if you really want an outboard.

    https://charlotte.craigslist.org/boa...822867441.html

    https://charlotte.craigslist.org/boa...803491586.html

    The Thompson is overpriced given the condition and you could probably get it for a lot less. But that Lyman looks like a great deal. I very much doubt that you will be able to restore your boat for much less than they are asking for it once you add in the cost of the motor and associated gear.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Thanks for the recommendation! I think epoxy is definitely in my near future in some form or another.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Awesome. Thanks so much!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    That’s a good idea. This is going to be fun, slow , dirty work haha.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Chris- I was thinking outboard conversion would be difficult. I’ve got a buddy the does this for his job and he said he would be willing to help be through the transom conversion. The boat has 0 mechanics in it so it’s not like I’m throwing out a perfectly good inboard motor. But it is a lot to consider before I permenatly convert anything.


    Sam

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Repair resources for Beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by samwrouse View Post
    Chris- I was thinking outboard conversion would be difficult. Iíve got a buddy the does this for his job and he said he would be willing to help be through the transom conversion. The boat has 0 mechanics in it so itís not like Iím throwing out a perfectly good inboard motor. But it is a lot to consider before I permanently convert anything.


    Sam
    My reaction was similar to Chris's - removing 500 lbs. of motor in the middle of the boat & hanging 350 lbs off the transom will dramatically change the balance. Maybe put her in the water & sit 2 big guys as close to the transom as possible & see how she looks in the water?

    Oh - plug up the existing propeller shaft hole first...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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