Career Changing into Wooden Boat Restoration?

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by catalyst45, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Lepke
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 85
    Likes: 6, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Oregon to Alaska

    Lepke Junior Member

    I am retired and a former shipwright, certified welder and other marine trades. I have built wood, metal and fiberglass boats as a tradesman and yard owner. When I was trained in wood, I worked for people that learned their trade when wood was the most common boat building material. Those people don't exist anymore, not even me. The proper wood is not available. Restorations are a compromise because of the wood available. It's not going to get better unless we change the way we harvest wood.
    I live on a 83' wood boat built 70 years ago. When I did initial repairs, I had to find a custom mill with access to old growth fir. And I'm in the middle of West Coast fir country. There is almost no old growth anywhere. To get something like a 2x4 I have to buy and cut a 2x12 and use the rest as firewood. My original planking has year rings so close together you can't count the rings. Each plank runs the full length. Try finding 83' wood. Strength is in the closeness of the rings. Even #1 clear has wide spaced rings. #2 is crap. When I was a kid, today's #1 was #3. Planking isn't just skin, it's hull strength, too. Any old wood won't do.
    Another thought, in the trades we have a saying... if you can't do the job, you teach it. A teacher is someone that's ahead of you, showing you well practiced projects. You learn the basics only.
    A fresh grad from a wood school isn't going to get the wages you want. Except for a unique proven person, the wages are no way near $60,000.
    The only way you might get the income is to carefully buy a boat and rebuild it for eventual sale. And then you have money going out not coming in until the sale.
     
  2. peter radclyffe
    Joined: Mar 2009
    Posts: 1,406
    Likes: 59, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 680
    Location: europe

    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    ok

    those people are around, i can get you 100 shipwrights
     
  3. Lepke
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 85
    Likes: 6, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Oregon to Alaska

    Lepke Junior Member

    You can get 100 people that call themselves shipwrights.
     

  4. peter radclyffe
    Joined: Mar 2009
    Posts: 1,406
    Likes: 59, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 680
    Location: europe

    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    yeah

    i agree ,you can get 20,000 so called shipwrights:D
     
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