Is it even worth it?
I have a 15ft plywood constructed swing keel sloop built around 1965 that for the most part looks to be in good shape. I have taken it off the trailer and I am contemplating her ability to be effectively restored. I have a lot of experience in carpentry and mechanical know how but this is my first boat restoration.
I have two questions.
1. The hull has been glasses and worked on many times with the bondo as evidence. The inside of the hull has ribs built in to the framing of it. The plywood they used to biuld her seems in places to only be 1/8 inch thick. There are numerous "soft spots on the hull that feel like very thin spots in the wood or worse there is soft wood underneeth. What is the best fix for that. Will a couple layers of epoxy shore it up and make it strong enough or do I need to cut and replace sections? Would it be better to add another layer of heavier glass and epoxy it.
2. the boat has a place to mount a transom and motor are there any places online that sell transoms for a good price?
Thanks for your help.
Last edited by G Daggett : 01-08-2005 at 12:26 PM. Reason: needed to better explain it.
If all the framing is OK, probably the easiest and best way would be to replank. Take one panel at a time, use it as a pattern and replace it.
They make outboard brackets for sailboats. They are numerous models.
Looks to me you have a big problem on your hands.
Glazing on the outside, wood on the inside, that's what I call a "deadcloth".
And specially with plywood it's hard to repair. I'd enjoy the boat as long as she floats and then scrap her.
Sorry to be so blunt.
ďThe opinion of the majority is not necessarily correctĒ Ė Yi Qing Cui
Thanks for the info one last question
Gonzo thanks alot for the tip,
What in your opinion is the best ply material and thickness to use for that type of application and if you know where it can be purchased (I am in the Chicago area). Thanks again for your help.
It's very difficult to know how to advise you without a bit more information or pictures.
1/8" plywood seems rather thin for a 15' sailor, typical scantlings for a boat this size may be 3/8" to 1/2" plywood for the bottom and 1/4" to 3/8" on the topsides. This is a guess, not knowing what you have is like suggesting an engine swap without knowing what make, model and type of car you have.
Unless you have a kit, that is still in production (not very likely) or a class racer where some builders or restorers may have molds (jigs) to cut one out for you, it's usually best to build a new transom yourself.
As Gonzo said, your project sounds like it needs to be replanked. If your planking is as bad as it sounds, the rest of the structure (frames, floors, keel, stem, knees, etc.) will very possibly have similar amounts of rot in them, requiring replacement or repair.
A small sailboat relies a lot on not being too heavy which provides some level of performance, depending on the design intent. You could load her up with goo and cloth to fend off the death of this little boat for a year or two, but it will cost a lot of effort and materials, plus the time to do it and the additional weight. If this boat has a deck, pull it off or expose a good size area (say a few sq. ft. at least) and have a look at the fasteners their holes and the underlying structure. If no deck, yank off some of her topside planking. Are the fasteners rusted, near through? How hard was it to get the fasteners out? Did they come out easy, like not holding on to much? Were the fastener holes in the framing structure full of rot, soft, wet wood? How about the joints in the framing structure, are the ends of joined pieces black, wet and soft?
A good poke around all the joints and mating surfaces with an ice pick will reveal a lot about the structure. If you encounter a lot of areas where there is little resistance to your pick being inserted, then the boat is probably past saving. You nose can find a lot of rot too. A 40 year old plywood boat, of likely home built construction, will not survive long with neglect. The vast majority of 40 year old production boats are in the land fills around the country. Very few home built craft of the boom years (60's and 70's backyard building craze) have survived well. I hope you're one of the lucky ones. A good long look at the structure is in order. Be honest with yourself, before you toss a bunch of time, money and effort at this.
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