What Are The Inherent Problems When Restoring Wooden Boats?

December 23, 2012 | By Guest | Filed in: Outdoor Camping.

Wood boat repair is vastly different than restoring wood boats. In many cases what will start off as being a fix gets to be an entire restoration of wooden boats. When one starts a repair and they get further into the process, at times they realize that the damage goes much deeper than initially thought. When you are getting a pre-owned wooden boat you must rely on the honesty and memory of the seller. Sometimes they don’t even really understand the extent of the damage.

Hardly any marine surveyors are in the business of inspecting wooden boats for a buyer. This really is so due to the fact there are a variety of problems which are almost undetectable until the boat is in the process of getting restored. Few surveyors want to take the risk of saying that a boat is good because of these inherent problems with wood.

Should you decide to get a vintage wooden boat and begin the process of restoring it, do this with the knowledge that it is an extended process, not an inexpensive one, will take skill and understanding of boat construction.

Even so, here are several things individuals restoring wood boats need to inspect:

Screw Fastened Vessels

Search for cupped or warped planks inside the hull. The boat needs to be dry docked to be able to inspect for open seams and seepage in the inside. Search to determine if any of the planks have split ends or splits within the plank. Search for loose seams between the planks. Tap on the wood by using a hammer for loose planks. Have a close look at as many screw heads as you can. When there is discoloration there may be a problem. Inspect any “damp” environments, like fish holds. In locations that experience heavy loads search for proof of stress; places like the engine hold and gas tank.

Nailed Fastened Hulls

Walk away, no run. Without pulling the nail out, when possible, there is absolutely no way of understanding the condition of the nail. Pulling the nail also results in damage to the plank, so it becomes a moot point of inspecting the nail anyway.

Inaccessible Places

These are generally the regions that cause the greatest difficulties for wooden boats. Often, these are generally the regions where structural deterioration will take place because neither interior inspection nor upkeep is possible.

• Outboard and beneath gas tanks
• Behind significant exhaust pipes and mufflers
• Under refrigeration and freezers
• Under fish holds
• Under shower pans and stalls
• Under lined rope lockers
• Behind hulls that have full hull side ceilings

To confirm the soundness of those regions in the wooden boat, fasteners or planks need to be pulled. It will likely be almost impossible to perform a visual inspection otherwise. Regrettably, this will most likely need to be accomplished once you have already obtained the boat.

Bearing this all in mind, you might still want to take on a wood boat restoration. Nonetheless, it perhaps may be well worth your time and cash to hire a professional to take on the job.

Hagadone is a premier Idaho boat dealer for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene offering restoration and wooden boat repair services. For restoration services contact the Resort Boat Shop @ 208-667-5099 or via email eobrien@hagadonemarine.com You can also visit our website @ www(dot)hagadonemarine(dot)com.

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