New guy and old boat

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by gt05254, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    I've enjoyed lurking around this forum for a month or so, and have already learned quite a bit about what I'll encounter (the good, the bad and the ugly) as I begin my first boat restoration: 17' Ellis-built Rangeley. I'm a semi-retired, self-employed carpenter/cabinet maker that in his first life spent time as a non-profit administrator, ending that career as executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing. Fly fishing is a passion with me. But I digress, here's my boat and some of its problems:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And some areas of concern:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've just insulated my garage (the boat is too big for my shop) and got it inside to begin this winter project. I believe my best first step is to strip the outside paint, likely with a heat gun.

    Anyone have an idea about what should happen first rather than the paint stripping? I am looking forward to this project and keeping a record of it here, in photos.
    Thanks in advance for any and all help,
    Gary
     
  2. Dave T
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Anamosa Iowa and North Buena Vista on the Mississi

    Dave T Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum GT. I'm not an expert boat builder and it's going to be interesting to see what experts like PAR and others have to say. My first thoughts after looking at the closeup pictures is that it's going to be more work than it's worth. What kind of condition is the framework? It might be easier and cheaper to start from scratch. I built my boat from my own design, motor and trailer and had it in the water in 10 months working evenings and weekends with help from people on this forum. Check my thread [ a boat a motor and a trailer] in boat building projects underway. Anyway this is going to be an interesting thread maybe it's not as bad as it looks lets see what the experts say. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Dave T
     
  3. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    Fortunately, there are only a few broken ribs; the boat retains its original shape so there's not much to worry about there. Time (and paint removal) will tell, I guess. I did notice that someone along the line used iron nails here and there.
    Thanks for the welcome, Dave!
    Gary
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    On these jobs, cutting the rivets is the bulk of the work. Broken ribs should be removed before replacing planks, because they will otherwise create hard spots. It is hard to tell how much of the transom, keel and bow stem are rotted. Judging from the amount of nails they added, it is likely to need replacement. This is a very time consuming job. Unless you want a restored old boat, it will be cheaper and faster to build a new one.
     
  5. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    The transom itself is solid, gonzo. The bow stem...not so much. But I believe it to be a two-piece stem, so replacing the damage might not be so bad, as I believe the damage to be limited to the outermost stem. The keel is rough, but not rotten, according to my ice pick. And the thing in this world I have the most abundance of is time (whether I like that or not, lol!).

    That's a good point about removing broken ribs before replanking. I'm sure I'll get to know the word "scarf" very well before this project is over!

    Thanks for the input,
    Gary
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well, you've picked one of the more difficult building methods to repair. I can't tell much about the structure, but you obviously need new planking. This is a "rove" built lapstrake and not hard, once you get your head around the processes involved, but first is to get it supported properly, as a couple of saw horses, just doesn't cut it.

    I'll also bet the stem, portions of the transom framing and likely areas along the rabbit will need replacement as well, not to mention many of the frames. Even though the frames may look to be sound, once you get things apart, you often find 2 to 3 times the level of damage, then what's visible currently. For example, you may think that transom is sound, but I see one that will likely need to be replaced wholesale.

    Turn her over and place her in a cradle that supports the keel several places along it's length. Post some pictures of her internals and we'll move on from there.
     
  7. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    Looks like I have my weekend project lined up! One cradle coming up, and thanks very much for taking a look at my project! Now all I have to do is find 4 strong backs (not easy in my age group) to turn her over!
    Gary
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A pickup truck and a length of line, might be all you need to roll her over.
     
  9. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    Got the pickup and the line, but she's in the garage and not on casters. So she has to come out to get flipped...onto her new cradle WITH casters! Fortunately, I have a lot of lumber left over from my last couple large projects here at the house, so we should be good to go with little expense. Except for the refreshments for the boat flippers!
    Gary
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A boat that size can have a come-along attached to a ceiling rafter or truss and you can hoist, then flip pretty easily. This is a 17'er I did not long ago and used a simple 3:1 tackle from an eye bolt in the roof truss. I hoisted one side until it could be shoved sideways a bit, then lowered it down (it was upside down). No well fed friends to help, just some cussing and grunting, for about an hour.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. gt05254
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    I think I can do that. Have a great old rope hoist that will do the job nicely.
    Thanks for the idea!
    Gary
     
  12. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    The inside story

    Took advantage of the 50 degree day today to get the Rangeley out on the lawn and pressure-wash the interior. But first, while I still had it upside down on sawhorses, I checked the keel for sag with a straight 14' 2X6. Happy to report, all is well in that dept.:
    [​IMG]

    Got her out on the lawn, and took out the floorboards (had to remove a seat to get at one of the brass screws:
    [​IMG]

    The official inspector of all that I do, every day:
    [​IMG]

    I was delighted to find, after careful inspection of each of the 55 ribs, that only 2 appear to be broken, approximately amidships:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There appear to be patches to the planking, again approximately amidship:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There are 5 or 6 of these patches.

    The carpenter in me made me run a string down the center, and measure off it at various locations, like the oar sockets, to see if there was much difference, side to side. None to report:
    [​IMG]
    The transom area didn't appear to be too bad:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is pretty much the story at all the rib/gunwale meetings:
    [​IMG]

    The stem, as previously noted, is a sore spot:
    [​IMG]

    An inside look at the stem:
    [​IMG]

    All things considered, Tucker and I are pretty enthused by our findings.
    [​IMG]

    Next step is to build a cradle. Then, should I replace the ribs or begin paint removal and plank replacement? Or something totally different??

    I'm looking forward to your thoughts, and continuing this thread!
    Gary
     
  13. seadreamer6
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: helena,mt

    seadreamer6 Junior Member

    Gary,

    Years ago I rebuilt a classic Lyman lapstrake much like yours. I can tell you with no reservations that you will have more time in the restoration than you would in just building a new one. The reason being that you will end up pretty much taking the boat apart in order to fix it.

    Stripping the paint takes longer than painting it. Taking it apart takes longer than putting it together. Making the pieces just right to fit takes longer than making them for a new hull.

    Every place you see a little damage the actual damage will be much greater. Every place there is a rusty nail or screw the wood will be damaged around it. The paint appears to be quit old so it's probably lead based which means serious precautions must be taken if u heat it or sand it. If you find a small spot of damage you can't just replace that little bit. You have to consider the structural purpose of that part and may have to replace much more than what is damaged. It is best to match the kind of wood originally used or you may end up with expansion and strength issues.

    Money wise it might be cheaper to restore it. I say might because the cost is a total unknown, whereas with a set of plans you have a good idea of what it will cost.

    I think the bottom line is for u to decide what your real goal is. If you want to bring an old boat back to life then go for it.

    If you want a good reliable boat to go fishing in I would built a new one. Building a boat this size is really quite simple. There are many plans available for them.

    Check out the many designers on this forum like PAR. They graciously give us novice folks their time and wisdom so it seems only fair to give them our support.

    I realize this post may be discouraging but I thought it important to let you know what is in store for you from someone who has been there. Would I have done things different if I would have known all this? Probably not, the Lyman was a beautiful classic mahogany boat. Would I do it again...nope...I'd build new.
     
  14. gt05254
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Bennington, VT

    gt05254 Junior Member

    As a carpenter and cabinetmaker that works primarily in old houses, I'm pretty used to dealing with the unexpected when opening up a wall or pulling up a floor. I have scads of patience...and time..and quite honestly, skill (albeit not boatwright-wise). I certainly appreciate your comments, seadreamer6, but I think I'll spend the time, and of course the money, to make sure the Ellis nameplate on this boat floats around a few more years.

    Oh, and re: lead in paint...I'm EPA certified to work on lead paint homes, so I'll deal with that carefully. I'm going to get both the interior and exterior paints (looks like there's two different coats on each) tested before I get into it.

    Again, thanks for your thoughtful concerns,
    Gary
     

  15. seadreamer6
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: helena,mt

    seadreamer6 Junior Member

    Lol. Since you are already well versed in the restoration game you already knew everything i said.

    As to where to start. Everyone has their own opinions. On mine I stripped and sanded all the old finish off the outside down to bare wood. I went to bare wood because I wanted the mahogany to show thru when done. This is like opening up that wall to see what you got. This also lets you see where all the screws and nails are. Lol, there are a ton off them on an old boat.

    As you did with your center line, get a good set of measurements for the boat. You will need these to verify that it is going back together right.

    Let us know how it's going.
     
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