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Thread: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

  1. #1
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    Default Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Hello again. After all this Covid intrusion, I have finally made it back to my boat to get started. All the seams, many open 1/4 inch, some very tight as they should be, have been reamed of caulking and what little cotton remained after 8 years out the rain without protection. The ribs in the open cockpit area look worn and weathered as expected. Many planks are sprung and some screws are obviously loose.
    I would appreciate comments (before I start) on my plan to replace all the ribs in the cockpit now that it has been gutted; remove all the planks one at a time for sanding, epoxy coating and refastening with screws seated in epoxy. I plan to fillet frames to floors and floors to keel, as possible.
    I realize this does not make a perfectly monocoque hull but considering the age and condition, it seems like a good option to me. Also reduces future maintenance.
    Opinions re: pros and cons of such an approach are appreciated.

    I received a great deal of great advise in the spring. To the person who offered extensive very knowledgable advice on the restoration of the varnished transom with a very dark discolouration in the center, it sanded out with ease; I guess all the discolouration was in the varnish not the wood. I've stored your advice away for future reference, thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    My two cents: I don't think you will reduce maintenance at all with that approach, you will just a) spend a ton of money and time for little purpose and b) make it much, much harder to repair the boat later if needed. Either restore her using traditional methods (repair frames and other structural members as needed then refasten, recaulk, etc.) or spline the seams and sheath with fiberglass, after first repairing the frames and structural member and refastening. Either way you have to repair the structure and refasten before you can do anything else. And I don't know that pulling each plank individually is all that useful. Seems like a lot of work just to get epoxy between the frames and the planks. Won't CPES do that just fine anyway?

    But I'm just bloviating. I've never done either of those things myself so hopefully Peerie Maa and Wizbang will be along soon to give you chapter and verse on the right way to do it, with or without epoxy.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    I was involved in the complete restoration of a Buzzard Bay 14 – complete re-timbering, some re-planking, complete refastening, new floors.

    I don't think what you are suggesting is the right way to go. And I don't think it will produce a satisfactory result.

    To re-timber – that is new full-length steam-bent timbers – the decks (side decks, foredeck and aft deck), together with the coamings, carlings and clamp have to be removed. You need to fit stretchers to the hull at the sheer edge to make sure she stays in shape.

    I would not try to fillet the timbers (frames) to the floors – nor the floors to the keel (which is cast lead – the boat does not have a wood keel - the garboard rebate is directly in the lead and the lower garboard fastenings are into the lead). Even if it were useful, which it isn't in this case, you will not get a fillet bond to lead. And steam-bent timbers do not need to be fastened to the floors.

    If the timbers are just "weathered" – not broken or rotten – then there is little point in replacing them. If one or two are sound but broken (specially in the tuck) you can sister them, which is much less work than a complete re-timbering.

    You do need to look at the area under the aft deck too as there is quite a sharp tuck in the early part of the hull there.

    There's a lot more to think of too ...

    Cheers -- George

    PS - just to get it right: cotton is the caulking on a boat; the flexible stuff over the cotton caulking is "stopping".
    Last edited by debenriver; 08-03-2020 at 06:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Garboard straight into a rabbet in the lead, i never knew that. The mind boggles, how would it seal up?


    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...t=#post6084926


    Sounds like the perfect candidate for splines and sheathing.
    I'd be sorely tempted to take out all the decking and interior fit out. Just to get into the bilges and clean it up. I find getting intimate with the problems like that, the solutions tend to come along.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    Garboard straight into a rabbet in the lead, i never knew that. The mind boggles, how would it seal up?


    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...t=#post6084926
    It is caulked and stopped like any other seam.
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    OK no epoxy, repair frames and caulk. Can anyone give me some advice on how to get the old stopping out the tighter seams. When splining the open seams I assume the inner half of the plank edges should be touching as would be done in original construction. I have hopefully an accurate moisture meter coming this week to check these planks, it is warm, that's upper 20's C. here, and humid so guessing 15% +/-. Should I put some salt water to the hull before caulking and splining? What do you suggest for stopping, I read many varied materials have been and I assume still are used. Also suggestions on screws --silicon bronze??

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    With a small traditionally built open day-boat like this it is really better to repair her traditionally.

    I don't think there is really any reason to try to epoxy coat the planking or sheath the hull. Because to do so you have to repair the hull and structures to a sound condition whatever. Re-timber as necessary, re-plank as necessary, re-fasten and so on. Once you have done that you have a sound hull that will last for years anyway.

    With the Buzzards Bay that we restored, she is now good for 30+ years again. Maintenance is not excessive – repaint the topside, antifoul, re-varnish the brightwork. It takes about a week to do this at the beginning of the season and then she is good to go. Probably re-coat the hull inside every three or four years. She is stored outside under a tarp. for the winter and takes up in two or three days after launching.

    OK, the restoration was a lot of work and there were two of us, three at times – but no more work and probably not as much as you are proposing – and the boat is how she was designed to be and easy to repair again in the future should/when it becomes necessary. Probably the most expensive part of the repair was new bronze fastenings. We did use epoxy on the foredeck and sidedecks – sheathed them in 6mm marine ply over the refastened planking and dynel covered. But not otherwise extensively at all other than as a general adhesive where needed.

    Cheers -- George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    I used a seam hook – an old file with the tang bent over and shaped (tapered) and sharpened – with care you can rake the hardened stopping out. Depending on what it is, a heat gun will sometimes soften it somewhat, which helps.

    Before you spline any seams or do any caulking, repair/replace/sister the timbers and refasten as needed - maybe throughout. And make all the structural repairs needed. If you are refastening into existing frames you will likely need to use one gauge bigger screws. Yes use silicon bronze screws. Traditionally these have slotted heads but are now available with Torx heads which can be power driven – but be very careful doing this as you tend to lose sight of how tight they are driving. I found that it was better (though more work) to use slot head screws hand driven with a good big cabinet screwdriver because you get a feel for what you are doing. Specially when driving the garboard screws into the lead – use a bit of grease on the screw threads will help (in hard oak also).

    International Paints make seam compound for stopping. Red for underwater and white for the topsides.

    Don't fill the hull with water to swell the planking. Wet sacking or misting from the outside if you have to. Don't worry too much about the moisture content of the timber – it's probably around 16% anyway, which is fine. Get all the structural work done and the planks refastened home before considering caulking – or splining any seams.

    A seam that is open on the inside by say ⅛" can be caulked OK – just use bigger loops of cotton with shorter spacing so the the cotton doesn't come right through inside – you will be able to see it - but it mustn't hang out inside.

    Much more gap than ⅛" will need a spline. Glue the spline to the edge of one plank, not both. And make it so that it fits tight on the inside, with a caulking gap on the outside. Then caulk as usual. Prime the seams before caulking. Then prime over the caulking before stopping.

    Provided the structures and fastenings are good you can caulk quite hard – loose caulking is useless. When she is afloat, the planks will swell and tighten the caulking still further. And the stopping will squeeze out a bit so she will show her seams.

    But this is only generalized advice based on work I have done over the years and work on a Buzzards Bay in particular. Hopefully others will be along as well with their input. To be specific to your boat we need to see photos of how she is now – an update in fact on your previous forum thread. I can't emphasize too much how important it is to establish the condition of the structures and make a comprehensive plan for the repairs so they can be carried out in an orderly way.

    George
    Last edited by debenriver; 08-04-2020 at 06:33 AM.
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    I made the seam hook, maybe need to file it down thinner as for many seams it was easier to hammer a thin blade sideways down the seams but there is still remnants in the seam. For the open seams, no problem at all, nature cleaned them well. The boat is on a trailer now which make access difficult. I have thought of pulling the trailer out slowly while blocking and bracing using pipe nipples under the keel. Any better ideas?
    Any thoughts about using epoxy in the screw in order to get a more solid screw fastening?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Photos--not prettyIMG_0280.jpgIMG_0261.jpgIMG_0286.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Actually I think that doesn't look to bad at all. Biggest problem is that she has already been refastened at least once it looks like. That's a whole lotta holes you have there. Don't think you want any more of them, which means trying to pull some of the fasteners whole and reusing the old holes. Tricky... might be better off just sistering most or all of the frames?

    Edit: On second look, maybe the extra holes are from frames that were sistered already? In which case it's not as bad as I thought...
    Last edited by cstevens; 08-04-2020 at 04:15 PM.
    - Chris

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Good to hear someone doesn't think she looks too bad. This boat will likely spend time out of the water in the summer and will have to handle the cold dry winters of Canada. Therefore would she do better sealed with epoxy? Any comments on how to repair the multiple holes?? Drill out and glue in plug? Can you do that and drill new screw hole through plug? Many of the old holes have been plugged with epoxy and ?406 West System. Considering my skill level, replacing a plank is not my first option so hopefully splining the open seams is adequate. What about cutting out piece of plank damaged, notable top plank, and epoxy gluing in replacement piece? Must you use same wood species? The planks look like a mahogany or meranti. What about using red oak to repair rotted butt ends? and how distant do butt joints have to be?
    That should be enough questions for now, I'm sure I'll find more, this is quite a project for a non-marine carpenter, lots to learn.
    Thanks for all the input
    Alan

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Not pretty - but as Chris says, not so very bad! This is what I would do:

    The fashion pieces (doubling on the inside of the transom) look to be a mess. How is the inside face of the transom – sound or rotten/soft?? If the transom is rotten at the bottom, then it – or the bottom part – will need to be replaced. Save the bits of the fashion pieces as a pattern for new ones – or the bottom sections anyway. Fashion pieces are a bit of a pain to make because of the shape and multiple bevels. You can laminate them from several layers and pieces if necessary – epoxy is your friend for that. For the planks to pull home , the transom and fashion pieces need to be in good sound condition.

    Use Mahogany if possible. Red oak is not good at all. Meranti, or one of the new decking hardwoods (like Ipe), should also be OK. Decking comes in 1" x 6" – finishing at ¾" x 5½" – you could use that building up both the width and thickness from several pieces and layers.

    Check the bottom end of the sternpost and all the floors – are they sound or do they need repair/replacement?

    Next take careful stock of the steam bent timbers (frames). Identify those that are sound (if a bit tatty), those that are rotten/soft and those that are broken. And decide on the action to be taken in each case. A timber that is sound but broken can be sistered – provided there aren't too many of them. Rotten/soft timbers should be replaced. You don't necessarily have to replace the whole length of a timber if, say the top part is good but the bottom not. You can steam a new length in alongside the existing. And then remove the rotten part, going well above the rot, and then scarph the new bottom part to the old top part.

    Sometimes however it's just easier to bite the bullet and simply replace the timbers that are rotten or damaged with new full length ones. It makes life easier if the clamp is removed. Then remove the fastenings from about three timbers and get rid of them, and steam new ones in their place, driving new fastenings through the existing holes in the planking if possible. Then do the next batch. Best to work on alternate sides, rather than do all one side first. Use green (unseasoned) white oak for the timbers. Keep it wet (in a pond or something) until you are ready to saw and plane it to size. Don't use either air dried or kiln dried.

    Before doing any work on the timbers make sure all the caulking and stopping is raked out of the seams. And fit some stretchers across the boat at the sheer so she retains her shape.

    The planking doesn't look too bad – but if there is a plank, or length of plank to be renewed, just don't fasten that to the new timbers until it is renewed. If the fastening countersinks are getting too deep in the planking you can indeed epoxy in plugs and re-drill.

    On our BB 14, the planking, where not full length, had butt blocks. And if you have to renew a part plank, there is no reason not to use butt blocks at the join. Minimum plank length is probably about 3' or thereabouts. Butts should be well staggered especially if in adjacent planks – something like at least 7'. Red oak is useless. The planking is likely to be mahogany – ⅝" finished thickness. The best would be to use Mahogany again, though it doesn't have to be the same species of timber – but Mahogany is a good planking timber. It needs to be a bit thicker than the finished thickness to allow for profiling (convex/concave) to suit the transverse curve of the hull. Near the sheer there isn't much shape, but at the bilge and in the tuck there will be a lot so you would want to start with ⅞"+ material. Near the sheer, you'll probably get away with ¾".

    Even though she is going to spend time out of the water in summer as well as winter, I personally wouldn't try encapsulating anything in epoxy for this type of traditional construction. She is not the sort of boat that you can dry sail easily with her draft and keel stepped mast – so she ought to be afloat for reasonable periods of time. If you keep her under a tarp and out of direct sun she should be OK once everything is back together and in good condition. Certainly being out of the water for a few weeks in summer shouldn't harm.

    Cheers -- George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    ^^^ What George says. Also that boat would have been stored on the hard in the winter all her life. Every wooden boat in the region would have been (and still is). All the more reason, in my view, to stick with traditional construction which is designed to tolerate a little movement in the timbers. A winter out of the water won't hurt her. Or even in the summer as long as she's under cover of some sort and not just baking in the sun.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Having trouble finding green or air dried white oak, juniper and ash are available, one lacks strength, could increase frame size, and the other lacks rot resistance, could seal it in that dreaded epoxy. Otherwise what is readily available is kiln dried white oak which I can soak for a week in the salt water off my back yard-- Prince Edward Island Canada.
    Also plan to refasten with silicon bronze screws. A reliable supplier in Dartmouth NS. will not supply a single size increase, only #6 to #8. The plank thickness varies from 1/2 to 3/4 inch and timbers are 7/8 inch thick by 1 1/4 in wide. Don't want to damage frames with oversized screws. What about putting epoxy in screw hole and I read, spraying screw with Pam and using same size screw? Will you get better holding power? Right now many of the screws are loose and numerous planks are sprung on one side.
    Any suggestions??
    Cheers
    Alan
    Last edited by alsharon71; 08-10-2020 at 06:31 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    The kiln dried oak will likely be fine, don't use epoxy for literally any of the things you have suggested. Just drive in a wood nail into the old hole and then the new screw will bite. If you want you can dip the wood nail in epoxy first.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    When you kiln dry timber the lignin between the cells sets permanently during the hot dry kilning process and soaking will not weaken the bond sufficiently. While you can soak and then steam bend kiln dried timber to a limited extent, you are unlikely to get the tight bends needed for the frames, specially aft.

    Ideally timber should be between 20% and 30% moisture content. Air dried timber at 20% moisture content will steam bend, but once it gets below this the lignin starts to set as for kiln dried, though the process is more gradual.

    In the tight bends aft in the tuck you can split the timbers into two layers, say ½" x 1¼"; with copper nails clenched over roves as fastenings, this is very common; with screw fastenings you have to be very careful with screw length and drilling the pilot hole to be sure the screw gets a bite in the inner half. You will still need to steam the timber – but not for so long - 1 hour per 1" thickness is the standard rule of thumb. Don't over-steam. You can also just split the bottom half of the timber (preferably on a bandsaw so as not to lose too much material).

    I would try to get green timber if at all possible. We got it OK for our BB14 – I can't remember where but I can see if I can find out. It will make the job very much easier and the chances of success very much greater.

    With regard to screws – there are rarely any uneven sizes (sometimes 5g), generally they go in even sizes 4g, 6g, 8g etc. and up one size generally means up two gauges. Your existing screws are probably 8g?? So to go up a size you would go to 10g. You may also be able to increase the length a little?

    Provided the timber is drilled to the correct size pilot hole and the planking is drilled to the shank diameter of the screw you are unlikely to split the timbers (specially when driving by hand) and the planks should draw up OK. It is important to get wood screws with a plain shank so they don't get a grip in the planking, only in the frame. For new screws into existing holes, fudging some epoxy down the hole, or dipping the screw thread in epoxy can increase the hold, provided the timber itself is dry (<12% moisture content). For driving screws into new oak, dipping the thread in a little grease will make life much easier. Driving the garboard screws into the lead keel in the rebate you will almost certainly need some grease on the thread!

    Plugging the old holes with a spill, preferably epoxied in, will work as long as you do it carefully. But the spill (or wood nail) will be end grain, so a screw will not get such a good hold. And if the spill is not epoxied in, then though the screw may seem to get a good hold, in reality it probably isn't, because it is relying on the friction of bits of wood fibre from the spill, rather than forming a proper screw thread in the frame itself.

    Refastening a screw fastened hull is more difficult and takes more care than a copper nailed and clenched hull. But remember that you depend utterly on the fastenings, so you really have to be confident that you are getting a good hold. Driving by hand with a properly sized cabinet screwdriver really is the best, because you can feel how good a hold you are getting – usually until you simply can't turn the screw any more.

    Forcing a plank in with a shore or similar, so that it is reasonably hard against the frame before driving the screw(s) will help a lot because it gives the screw less work to do as it goes in and reduces the chance of it stripping the wood in the hole in the frame.

    Cheers -- George
    Last edited by debenriver; 08-11-2020 at 05:47 AM.
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Thanks George, most of the frames are just worn and suspect to my inexperienced eye, the aft timbers are broken at the tight curve. Splitting the necessary length on the bandsaw to get past the curve and then attaching with copper rivets just might work with kiln dried wood. The others might be OK, I'll see how I get along with the necessary changes. The fashion piece will be quite tricky as it appears nearly all the fastenings of planks into it and transom are loose. If I remove it I think the transom will be attached only to the sternpost. Plan to place support for planks across stern to maintain shape and replace fashion piece first along with repairing damaged butt ends of planks before doing the timber replacements--your thoughts here?
    She is now off the trailer so easier to work on. Thanks again for all your helpful advice. One has to remember that any complex issue gets manageable when broken down into smaller parts.IMG_0293.jpg

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    As I have been reading your thread here I keep finding myself wanting to say " put the epoxy away", "back away from the epoxy", ..., ...
    She is a pretty little traditionally built boat that has some issues, issues that are (I think) better addressed in the context of how she was built, ... traditionally.
    Yes she will have to spend winters out of the water, she will dry out, she is a wooden boat. Part of having a wooden boat is learning to understand them and how they work, not trying to fight them and make them act like something they are not (a plastic boat). ...... And I don't mean this in any kind of a zen philosophical way either, I mean it in a practical way.


    I have a 63 year old 33 ft cedar lapstrake power boat that previous owners did some real harm to with the "epoxy will fix it" and "epoxy is what to use" mentality. She has some split and checked planks in her bottom that every winter would open up and every spring they would put more epoxy in. Year after year, to the point that when I pulled that rock hard epoxy out and snapped it in half you could count the layers of epoxy-bottom paint-epoxy-bottom paint, like the rings of a tree. In the end all they were doing was the equivalent of driving a wedge into the split which just kept making it bigger and longer every year. I pulled all that epoxy out, and did nothing. Now each spring I work carefully with lawn sprinklers and trickling hoses for a number of weeks and by the time she is ready to go in the water the worst splits are all but tight. Just a bit of a compound that stays very soft keeps the water out until she finishes swelling up in the water. Those splits are as tight as a drum all season long.
    Just an example of learning to work with the wood and the boat and not fight the reality with things like epoxy.

    That split is pretty ugly isn't it. It is just about a non issue for me. I carefully cleaned it out and there is nothing in there when she is in the water. Years of epoxy made it what it is today.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    Garboard straight into a rabbet in the lead, i never knew that.
    L Francis Herreshoff spec'd that for many of his designs.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    Thanks Ned, your response is what I look for when I write something, searching for people with experience rather than just relying on what written in books. Personally I hate using epoxy, it has it's place but the more I throw out suggestions about using it, the more I hear from experienced people like you who do not recommend it. So far the project is proceeding in very traditional fashion, my biggest problem is finding green white oak for timbers.
    Thanks again for you response-
    Alan

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    Default Re: Restoration Buzzard's Bay 14

    What gorgeous lines. I can almost imagine her once again under sail off the beautiful shores of PEI. Following along with interest and best wishes!

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