Hello and questions from a rookie

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by ster1, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. ster1
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 61
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: colorado

    ster1 Junior Member

    Hello Folks,

    Wow, so much information in this forum. Search generates a dizzying amount of stuff! My name is Pete, I've been lurking for awhile now, having been bitten by the Wooden Boat Bug for a few years, and just now got one. It's a 1965 Owens 28 foot, I think Flagship, but I'm not 100% certain of the model. I traded it for a rifle :). The hardtop was in pieces, which is ok, because I didn't particularly like it, and some interior bits are missing like the toilet and sink and some other stuff, and I don't care about that now. What's important to me is the engine runs (actually fairly well), and that it float. I'm not a professional survey person but I think I know what rotten wood looks like. I have a few pieces of the hull and transom that have rot, and my plan is to replace them. I don't want to scab in a repair, I want to replace the faulty parts as a whole. I know - I may change my mind on that the deeper I get in. I also don't want to glass it over. The point of having a wooden boat is to have the experience of a wooden boat - not a glass boat. That's what my bowrider is for. Anyway, back to the point. There is no sign of rot on the inside, just on the outside, but I still want to replace the bad parts. Firstly - is replacing the entire panel better? I'm assuming it is. I'm not an engineer but it seems to me that the entire piece would be stronger than a patch. Secondly - once the panel is replaced, and some of them are large, are they butt - glued and sealed or scarfed or how are the panels interconnected and sealed? I guess I would find out how they are connected to each other when I take them apart, but this is a 50 year old boat and technology may have advanced since it was made. I guess a better question would be, what is the preferred method of joining and sealing edges of ply on frame boats? Thank you for your help!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'll assume you have a lapstrake Owens skiff like hull, which often had very large garboards and broad strakes. The wise thing to do is have it surveyed. Thee are countless items you've likely missed in your inspection.

    As to replacing parts wholesale, well you can do this, but often it's more economical to just make a reasonable repair. If you have a few inches of rot in a stringer or plank, why pull up 25' of materials when a 36" scabbed in repair will serve just as well.

    Lastly, if you can see some rot, you can just about bet you'll have much more out of sight, within joints or hidden by other pieces. This you can pretty much guarantee.
     
  3. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    You're right about the amount of information available here. It's dizzying because boat restoration/repair is often a dizzying process and each situation has it's own issues and challenges.

    I'd suggest that you post some pictures of the suspect areas. Doing that will enable folks to actually see problem areas. You'll get many responses.

    Regards,

    MIA
     
  4. ster1
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 61
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: colorado

    ster1 Junior Member

    Good points about the missed stuff on my "inspection" but since this is just a ply on frame hull, not lapstrake or any other, I'm fairly confident I can see lots of it. That being said, I'm also quite certain there will be more as I dig. This boat is a learning experience for me, and an official survey is not in the budget, so Im going to have to dive in kind of blind. I expect this process to take a few years before she is seaworthy, if at all. To put it in perspective, i am not above taking a chainsaw to it and selling the trailer for scrap if it doesn't work out. In other words I've got next to nothing invested and nothing to lose. I will take some pics and post them as soon as I get the chance. I'm actually going to take a walk around video and put it YouTube as well, and I'll post that here too. Thanks all, I'm looking forward to this challenge.
     
  5. ster1
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 61
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: colorado

    ster1 Junior Member

  6. ster1
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 61
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: colorado

    ster1 Junior Member

  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    That is in very poor shape. If you are looking for a hobby it will keep you away from bars. Otherwise, it is not a project that makes economic sense.
     
  8. wdbeyer
    Joined: Jun 2010
    Posts: 8
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    Location: Kernersville

    wdbeyer Junior Member

    What gonzo said. I'd ask for that rifle back.
     
  9. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 1,374
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    It's great to have someone with a problem who actually takes the time to post a video.
    Instead of the usual 10 word vague post that makes everybody try to guess WTH they want.

    Good luck with your boat-if it makes you happy to piddle around-go for it.
     
  10. Grey Ghost
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 194
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    Location: california

    Grey Ghost Senior Member

    The problem with most boats in this shape is owners run out of steam before it's finished.
    Take the amount of time you think it will take to fix everything and triple it for your goal post. Then you can have fun with it and the extra time it takes won't drive you mad.
     
  11. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    do not be so hard on the guy, looks like a good trade to me. the trailer along has some salvage value.

    I suggest go through the boat and make a list of everything that needs to be done, and than prioritize it. I suspect you can be seaworthy with less than half the tasks that need to be done, do those and go enjoy it on the water for a season. I also would not be too obsessive about the repairs, the abrasions and minor punctures/holes can be filled, sealed and painted without much effect to strength or safety. Fix the big things and gets some paint on it, and than go enjoy it. If you like it, than spend the following winter finishing it out and go show it off next season.

    Suggestion, keep it out of the weather or you will never get it done, it will only continue to degrade. If you do not have a garage or shop for it, build a temporary tent structure over it, and than you can pretty much work on it most of the year.

    Good luck.
     
  12. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I watched your video. Nice job balancing/pointing that camera and climbing all over your boat.

    I can speak from recent experience as I've been restoring a '73 Silverton Sedan that's about the same size as your boat. The big difference is that the hull of my boat is fiberglass, the remainder of the boat (decks/wheelhouse/flybridge) was wood.

    You can search past posts to see some of what I was up against. I'm semi retired (work 25 hours a week for a school district so I'm only working when school is in session) and in my mid fifties. I've been working on my boat consistently for the past 4 years and for 5 years total. My original plan was to run the Silverton for a year or two to get a feel for a bigger boat, then sell it and find a 35 - 40 footer. The recession changed my plans and in 2008 I decided that the Silverton would be my "big" boat. It's big enough for me. So a quality restoration was started.

    I'm telling you this so that you might understand that what you are contemplating doing is a massive project. Can you do it, yes. I believe that most people are capable of doing anything that they set their minds to. The question is weather you want to do it, or weather you will still want to do it in a few years after the novelty has worn off and it will. Keep in mind that with a sturdy, overbuilt fiberglass hull I had a good platform to build on. With a wooden hull you have even more to do.

    It looks like you're a young guy. That's good as you have the energy of youth. Are you independently wealthy? If you have a full time job, how much time can you devote to this project? I think I saw a wedding band on your hand in that video. Wives usually mean kids. Consider how doing this is going to effect your family and your relationships. I can tell you honestly that I've spent about $25,000.00 restoring my old boat. I made many improvements and could probably done a good restoration for about $18 - $20,000.00. I'm not including a few thousand spent on tools, you'll need drills, jigsaw, table saw, compound miter saw, drill press, sanders (you'll wear out a few) and a nice table top or stationary power planer will come in handy for you. Oh, and a good router and table and a bunch of router bits too......on and on it goes. Epoxy is the chemical of choice for all these restorations and at about $90.00 a gallon you'll go through plenty.

    I'm not in any way trying to discourage you but you need to understand what it is you are getting yourself into. I'm in the final stages of my project and can tell you that there have been quite a few times over the years when I've looked at myself in the mirror and said "What the hell were you thinking?" but I soldiered on. A few guys do soldier on. A lot of guys don't. If you can make it to the end of a boat restoration marathon (that's really what it is) you'll feel great satisfaction and pride in your work. Search your soul and try to picture yourself after a few years of working on this.

    Do some careful disassembly as you think about this. That part won't cost you anything. Take photos and lots of notes. And think about it. You seem to be a thoughtful person. You'll be OK.

    MIA
     
  13. ster1
    Joined: Aug 2012
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    Location: colorado

    ster1 Junior Member

    This was, I'll admit, an impulsive exchange. I mean, I had been trying to sell that rifle for a year, and we have a little one at home, and I don't need guns around. So I thought this was a perfect thing... get rid of the gun and get a gigantic boat. Win - win, right? Maybe, maybe not. I know these things can be repaired. I know that I will be able to fix er up. I would be willing to bet within a year, I could have it poking around my local lake. Aside from the rotten transom, and rotten sides and bottom by the transom, I just didn't find much else. There's some dryrot up top, but mostly in the transom which I was going to replace anyway, and maybe that section of roof too. There's bottom paint to do, which will be a complete PITA, and engine and trans mechanicals to take care of, which I am not afraid of at all (I've been a mechanic / technician in one way or another for 25 years). This thing is made so simply - just pieces of plywood glued and screwed to wood frames and sealed up and painted (I already took off those crappy patches on either side of the bilge). But it is going to be a HUGE investment in time and money. Did I mention money? ... and time? I'm grappling with whether or not I want to go down this path or pull the engine and transmission and chainsaw it and dumpster it. On one hand, the rot can be repaired, and I'm confident I can do it properly, as soon as I learn how. On the other hand, it's time and money. While I don't have tons of cash, I do have lots of time. It's not hurting anything sitting where it is. I'm not breaking any laws while I'm waiting for my muse. I think I'm going to slowly plod ahead until I decide to stop. Until I decide it's not fun anymore. If I can get it floating, and at least the bottom and sides finished and engine and trans working like they should, I will be in a better place. At least then it will be useable. Yeah, I'm going to troll alone with it until its not fun anymore. Life is too short to not be having fun right? That's why we all do what we do?
     
  14. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Plinking beats sinking.
     

  15. ned L
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: N.E. Connecticut

    ned L Junior Member

    Where to start, ..... Well, it should be pointed out that a 1960's sheet plywood Owens is a lightly built boat that was more of an 'entry level' boat, so it will never carry a lot of resale value. That aside, they can be very serviceable, and meet the requirements of a family on an inland lake very well. Yes, she does have issues (quite a few) as you are aware of. A good thing is that she is sheet plywood construction, which is about the easiest kind of construction to make significant 'outer skin' repairs to (big sheets of plywood, glues & screws). If her framing is in good shape that will keep things a lot easier for you. Because she is of lightly framed sheet plywood construction a good bit of the structural integrity relies on the stiffness of the intact sheets of plywood, so you really don't want to go scarfing in lots of small pieces (unless you use good size backing blocks to maintain that full panel integrity). Being a 'basic' boat does keep the construction and systems to a bare minimum (simple), which will help you. It could be a fun boat for your family when completed, just keep in mind that you likely will not get your full investment back out of her (but this spreads the 'entry cost' out at a pace that you control with no loan payments breathing down your back. If you don't have extra cash one month you can just hold off. Good luck, and enjoy it!
     
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