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Thread: Swelling a dry old boat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Brielle, NJ USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Swelling a dry old boat?

    My old Barnegat Bay Sneakbox is about to visit the water for the first time in almost 20 years. This boat has an Eastern cedar planked hull that was hanging in a dry barn until six months ago. I'll probably be putting the boat in the water this week to swell the planking.

    Is there any technique to swelling a boat or is it just "put it in the water"?

    Thanks,

    RichW

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Armada, MI, USA
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Swelling a dry old boat?

    Just get it wet. It will swell. If you have access to a secure place to leave it in the water, throw it in and let it sit, awash, for a day or two. Then bail it out and see what you have. If you aren't near suitable water to immerse the boat, just spray it with a hose (I just use a pump-up garden sprayer) a couple times a day for a few days then launch the boat and, again, look for any issues. Some guys speed up the process by laying wet blankets inside the boat so it stays wetter during the day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    16,250

    Default Re: Swelling a dry old boat?

    Twenty years.
    There may be a consideration or three before treating her as usual.
    Will there be any painting done?
    We can assume she is a lightly built carvel boat? Are the fastenings "in alignment"....are there any checks in the planks? Seams seem okay visually?
    Let her get tight before sailing or rigging her.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    12,714

    Default Re: Swelling a dry old boat?

    You might consider dragging some gunny sacks of saw dust under her after you spash her. This often helps staunch leaking faster.
    Jay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Brielle, NJ USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Swelling a dry old boat?

    Thanks for the tips. I did stuff some blankets & towels inside, then soaked them till covered with water. That dripped out for a few hours, then the dripping gradually slowed. I soaked the boat like this for two days, then yesterday, the boat visited the water for the first time in almost 20 years. A little seepage, enough to half fill a teacup after 15 minutes.
    20190701_095127.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    3,870

    Default Re: Swelling a dry old boat?

    That's fantastic, and she looks great. If it isn't leaking a gallon an hour it's hardly worth mentioning.

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