Re: Wood hull question
I have restored a few wooden boats and rode shotgun on a few more. As others have noted, this is a major undertaking. If you need to ask; "The bottom is hammered and I don't know anything about wood planks. I was wondering if I could get some advise on the bottom before I buy this boat. Planking is Carvel Mahogany and has gaps between them???" then you probably should not purchase this boat.
Restoring a boat in this condition is a career and not a hobby. There is a high likelihood that the hull of the boat in question will need a mix of some new planking, total recaulking, some reframing, some or total refastening, some new butt blocks, perhaps keel bolts, and all of that is in addition to the damage from the sinking which might include damage to the engine, upholstery and so on. Often the interior of the boat has to be removed to install frames and butt blocks. If the hull has ceilings (planking on the interior side of the frames, that would have to be removed and reinstalled. The boat appears to have a wooden mast and I would be suspicious of rot at its heel given the signs that water has been in the bilge and weeping out. There is no information about the condition of the cabin or decks, but they are likely to be in rough shape as well since the house and deck often have problems long before before the hull.
Other issues is that the mahogany planking was probably Honduras mahogany. True Honduras mahogany is almost unobtainable, and similar species are wildly expensive, but as had been noted, similar species should be used for new planking that is adjacent to old planking.
Essentially, you need to think of this as 'building a new boat'. Any time saved due to having a parts already there, will be offset by the time required to carefully disassemble the existing boat to get access to do the repairs. To an experienced wooden boat builder, that is no big deal. But as someone with little or no wooden boat building experience, this is a huge undertaking requiring that you learn how to build a wooden boat, and then actually doing the work.
For someone with a real job, a lot of discipline, a great workshop and tool collection, and a lot of cash, this is decades of work. Even for them this would be a real race to the death, since old wooden boats continue to deteriorate as you are restoring them so that routine maintenance competes with restoration or else you go backwards. In the end, unless your goal is to build a wooden boat (rather than buy a boat and go sailing in a reasonable period of time) then my best advice is to run, don't walk, the other way.
As the yard manager told me and my Dad as we hauled out my 1949 Folkboat out for the first time to restore her, "Son, that may look like a boat, but that is no boat, and she never will be one again." I somewhat proved him wrong after replacing the rig, keel bolts, rudder, rub rails, floor timbers, a piece of the stem, fabricating (but not installing) a simple interior and cockpit, sistering the frames, replacing some planking and butt blocks in a number locations, stripping, priming and painting the planking inside and out. I did get the boat in the water, I did sail her, I did live aboard for a short period, but ultimately I ran out of time and money and so was forced to sell her for most of what I had in her with not a penny going towards my labor.
That Mason may look like a boat, but she is not a boat, and unless a very skilled wooden boatwright buys the old girl, it is more than highly unlikely that she will be a boat ever again.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 2 Days Ago at 06:10 PM.