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Thread: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Beulah, Michigan
    Posts
    5

    Default Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    After reading Woodenboat magazine for at least two decades, I think I'm finally ready to purchase a wooden boat. What I'm looking for is something 16'-18' long, lapstrake construction. The boat would be on a covered hoist all summer, on a freshwater lake in northern Michigan. Our budget for a boat will be around $6000. What are some issues or concerns that I should be thinking about? What type of yearly maintenance will be required? Any issues with having a wooden boat on a hoist all summer?

    Thank you,
    Kurt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,626

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    What sort of boat Kurt? Outboard runabout? Inboard? Rowing boat? Sailboat? Just regarding the plan to keep her on a hoist, I think there would be no issue with storing a lapstrake boat that way as long as the hull is adequately supported.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Beulah, Michigan
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    Outboard runabout, something like the one pictured below. This is one I'm considering. It has the steering wheel on the port side... Never seen that before.

    zzzz1.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    729

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    Nice boat. You'll want a cradle lift with long bunks supporting the stringers all the way out to the transom. And you'll want a nice cover to keep dirt and grime out of the boat, if it gets too dirty then that creates a base layer for mildew. It also keeps out blowing rain.

    IMG_0037.jpg

    IMG_0026.jpg

    Willow USB port.jpg

    The biggest issue we see with lapstrake boats is leaking seams, so check for that and look closely at inside transom and aft stringers for rot. Once you get it put a fuel filter on the gas line, check your water pump impeller per maintenance manual and change oil as needed. We also added an automatic bilge pump in case we park ours somewhere for an afternoon and she springs a leak while we are away. Other wise keep an eye on paint and varnish and have fun.

    The main concern we had was reliability, so we repowered with a modern 4 stroke. Whatever motor you use, keep the gas fresh and clean.

    IMG_0247.jpg
    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper
    Small Boat Restoration blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Beulah, Michigan
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    Thanks for the advice, signalcharlie. That is a beautiful boat you have there. If the seams are leaking, how hard is that to fix? I have quite a bit of experience in woodworking, but none with wooden boats... yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    16,386

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    What DID reading a magazine for 20 years learn you.... ?
    Anyway... These type of boats are very susceptible to damage from shape changing.
    They easily develop "hook" , which is a sort of big shallow dimple which acts as a suction cup on the bottom at a certain speed.
    Many , many opportunities for a boat get bent.
    So, check carefully for bottom shape distortion before purchase and support her carefully after purchase.
    Put most of the weight on the ACTUAL TRANSOM if you can . Not the "stringers", frames or keel.
    A full transom support with the bow eye lifting UP would be ideal, that the whole boat is virtually floating in the air.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    729

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    If a seam is leaking then the old sealant can be cleaned out a bit and new sealant injected or thickened flexible epoxy. That is the easier way that may get the boat a few more years down the road. You will continue to do that every few years, chasing small leaks, until it is time to replank the boat.

    If those are plywood planks and there are grainwise fractures through the plywood then you may have some success with sealing up that fracture with adhesive but the long term fix is a new plank.
    Cheers
    Kent and Skipper
    Small Boat Restoration blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Beulah, Michigan
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    If a seam is leaking then the old sealant can be cleaned out a bit and new sealant injected or thickened flexible epoxy. That is the easier way that may get the boat a few more years down the road. You will continue to do that every few years, chasing small leaks, until it is time to replank the boat.

    If those are plywood planks and there are grainwise fractures through the plywood then you may have some success with sealing up that fracture with adhesive but the long term fix is a new plank.
    I will keep that in mind. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Buying my first wooden boat... maybe.

    Never had any issues keeping her on a hoist all summer

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