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post #1 of Old 06-10-2013 Thread Starter
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AMF Puffer Restoration

This is my first restoration so any and all pointers are greatly appreciated. My Grammer and spelling are poor so don't bother correcting. Please and thank you

I bought this boat a few years back but do to some set backs I have been unable to take on the project till recently.

I found this boat falling apart behind a house while I was working one of my first jobs after I got out of the Marines. I approached the current owner and asked him what he planned to do with it and he informed me that his wife was breathing down his neck to get rid of it. At first glance the boat was a piece! A normal person who just wants to buy a boat and sail it or doesnt like the challenge of a fixer upper would not have even taken a second look at this boat.

I will admit even with my optimism I was a little apprehensive. It was covered in meldew, mold, and sap from sitting under a maple tree for the past few years. The cockpit was full of brown water, leaves and other nastyness. I was delightfully suprised when I popped the drain plug to discover it to be as dry as a bone. The air that came out after I opened the plug was dryer than the humid Alabama air I was breathing at the time.

The trailer the boat was sitting on was badly deteriated with rust and dry rot and both tires were completely useless. To my good fortune the bearings were both replaced in the past year and the rust hadn't gotten to the suspension enough to make it un safe for use.

I went to Wal Mart and bought a set of trailer tires and a bottle of Dawn soap. When I returned to the owners house that afternoon and replaced both tires with a couple of pry bars, soap, and a little air compressor air pressure in his drive way then hooked up the boat and handed him $500 he was delightfully suprised.

To me the boat was a good deal, everything from the rudder and tiller assembly, dagger board, both the main sail and Jib and all the sheets, a flair gun kit, light kit, some rope gloves, the trailer, boat, mast, boom, a set of oars and owners manual came with the boat. All but the boat, trailer, mast and boom were kept in the garage and all of it was in suprisingly good condition.

I took her back to my parents lake place on Lake Martin Alabama for a sailing trial and was happy to find that she sat high in the water. On her first sail with me she was fantasticly fast but without a hiking stick on the tiller it was difficult to hold a line and hike out. Most of the pulleys and cleats were either seized or sticky and were almost useless.

When I removed her from the water and popped the drain plug again there wasnt a drop of water. This was wonderful news until the improperly adjusted old trailer cracked the hull leaving a 8' crack along the keel.

The boat sat for a few more years due to other more important events and financial strains (I had a little girl and obviously that takes priority). Now I have the time, tools, and facilities to work on her so here we go.

A brief list of what I plan to do is as follows.

1.) Cut out damaged fiberglass and re fiberlass area in order to re enforce and prevent future damage.

2.)Fill stress cracks and any other fiberglass damage with fiberglass resin to prevent future damage.

3.) Sand old paint from hull (it was painted on with a paint brush and looks terrible).

4.) Seal and primer hull with a sandable primer and apply guide coat.

6.) Sand smooth primer, wash and dry, spray with color of choice.


7.) Fill chips and stress cracks with fiberglass resin, sand, tape, primer, sand again.

8.) replace mahogany with suitable replacement. (I am considering using something that is a little more durable as a replacement, more on that later).

9.) replace cleats, pulleys etc with newer models.

Tiller, rudder, and dagger board.

1.) sand off old paint to wood and re varnish all three pieces.

2.) Modify tiller to accept a hiking stick and reinforce to prevent cracking.

Sheets and hiking strap

1.) Already have all new sheets and lines for entire rigging as well as a brand new hiking strap.

This list is simply a overview of what I plan to do. If you have any suggestions about my method of operation as a I go please chime in, all comments are welcome.

Here is a few photos of how I found her and as we go along Ill submit photos of the progress. Enjoy.

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