Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: HARRINGTON HARBOUR, QC. CANADA
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About 15 yrs ago I bought an old tired/retired lobster fishing boat (wooden of course) Built in 1971, she was open to stack lobster pots, a plywood box in the middle of housed a 292 chev 6 cylinder with a straight pipe stuck up thru the middle of it.
I fell in love with her sweet sheer, her long slim hull.(40' long x 10' beam)...and her asking price... Well I put on my rose colored glasses paid the 2,000$ and hauled her off the shore line and drove my baby home.
Where am I going with this you ask? Well after the honeymoon, I began poking around in her past and came up with quite a few questionable areas, soft spots in the planking, broken frames etc.
The hull is pine strip plank, edge nailed with steam bent timbers. The first small piece of planking I removed was about 1 1\2'' x 14'' long and i didn't sleep that night. ''She'll never float again''. Since that day I have replaced all of the garboard planks, all of the stern section from one waterline to the other, and at one point could go in and out thru the bow to get tools etc.
Steamed in new timbers in 75% of the boat, replaced the biddings under the motor, (also put in a John Deere diesel). Built a cabin and basically have never stopped with projects, improvements, upgrades etc.
Would I do it again, probably NOT, but every weekend when we are anchored in some remote cove, a scotch in hand there is such a feeling of contentment and satisfaction that I have no doubt in my mind that it was worth every bit of effort expended.
Wood is quiet, warm and if you keep the fresh water out of the mix will last a long, long time.
I think it comes down to wither you are a guy who likes to work on your boat, be it puttering or more extensive stuff or you leave all that stuff for the guys at the yard.
15 yrs ago I could not have afforded to purchase a 40' Pleasure Yacht. I would have had to work hard, save my money for 15yrs or so before buying.
I choose to buy a PROJECT, worked hard at it yes but as the saying goes, '' it's only hard work if you don't enjoy what your doing''. Plus I have gotten to use the boat every summer for the 15 yrs,during which time the kids were young (read willing to go with Mom and Dad...).
Anyhow folks a wooden boat, - the right path for everyone - certainly not,
but just don't run past that woody at your yard, beneath the peeling paint there lies possibilities. Today I am installing a couple of cabinet doors in the wheelhouse. (And I gotta get at it !)
All the best, Wilson