Hi There -
I'm fairly new to boat ownership and restoration. My wife and I purchased a Venture 17 from a local dealer, and we love the little boat. It's sailable, but ideally we'd like to do a bit of work to it. Bit by bit I'd like to restore it much like a couple of the other threads on this board have done. I'm starting with the easy stuff, since I don't have much experience (none would be a better clarification) - i.e. the teak components on the deck that can be easily removed.
I was wondering if others have a bit of advice. I've been reading through this thread - Venture 17 Restoration
Joevacs, it looks like you have a really sharp looking boat now!
Mainly, there are a few things that I'm concerned that I don't have enough experience to do - like taking the deck fully off and separating the components of the boat so I can restore the inner cabin. Right now, it looks like the side berths inside the cabin need a lot of work - they appear to be just plywood sheets, but they are connected to the inner hull somehow, so I wonder if it's necessary to take the deck completely off in order to get at these areas. (Also, we'd like to separate the hull so it can be removed and repainted).
All of these are things that my wife and I intend to do over the next few years - not something we're going to undertake immediately. At any rate, just wondering what recommendations someone might have for an aspiring boat restorer, like books and literature to read. I'd like to get experience, but I'd also like to keep things within reason so I don't end up completely messing up my boat.
Note that this is mainly for me to learn - I know I could take it to a boat repair place, or hire a restorer and it would be less costly in the long run, but I'm interested in learning these skills.
Finally, I have a small issue with the swing keel, and I was wondering if others might be able to give me some advice. I can get it down just fine (when I lower it, I can feel it underneath the boat with my feet when I get into the water). But, I can't seem to get it to align with the hole to lock it in place. Specifically, what happens is the keel drops as I would expect it to, and it seems to be in position, but when I look into the little hole for the locking bolt in the cabin, the keel isn't aligned (I can't see any part of the keel at all). Moreover, when I put the locking bolt back in place, the keel can be retracted, indicating that it's not locked in place. I've looked underneath the keel, when it's on the trailer (i.e. raised), and it doesn't appear that there is any damage, but I'm not sure what the best method is for getting that locking bolt in place.
Thanks in advance to everyone who responds! I really appreciate your advice and suggestions!