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Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)

Posted by Peter 
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 04, 2020 11:48PM
Might as well flip it out side on the lawn and then roll it in bottoms up. Without a good bottom the rest of the boat is merely ballast, lol.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 05, 2020 09:13PM
So right!!! Or really good looking yard art!

Our weather in Nashville, 3 months out of the year, is nothing but cold rain and gloom. Checked the weather last night and after Sunday it is supposed to rain the rest of the month...literally. Gotta be doing something! ;-)
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 07, 2020 11:32PM
Ok. The boat moves into my itty bitty space on Sunday. The last day until March it's not supposed to rain...

Sandy, the tung oil recommendation was perfect. Ran some tests and this boat has some beautiful woods/grain that using tung oil really pulls out. A lot of it was hidden by the varnish. Thank you for steering me in that direction! Perfect on both fronts, maintenance and look.

Question: Do you guys thin the oil or go straight with it? I've usually gone with it straight, but was only laying down a couple coats. As I'll be laying down multiple coats for this looking for an opinion. Thoughts??

I included a couple of pics. The first, what most of it looked like before I started. The second where it is now.

Random question for Sandy: Are you in Bozeman? Spent a year of my life there in the early 70s pretending to go to college... Have a good friend who lives there now.

Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 08, 2020 12:36PM
Bozeman been home since 1975. After 23 years in the building trades I tried college at 41. Msu. Got CS degree four years later. Wasn't born here but it's home now.

I'm on the road. Driving home from Texas.

I do thin the oil. Don't thin it too much. Or too little. That my recipe. :=))

Japan drier is 97% Naptha. I just use Naptha, which is a lot like hotrod paint thinner.

I do use disposable nitrile or what ever they are gloves. Seldom bother with a mask. I should. I know. But I ain't dead yet.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 08, 2020 05:21PM
Thank you very much!!! I really appreciate you taking the time while traveling to answer my question!! Safe trip!

I was in Bozeman in 71-72. MSU. Majored in fun... 3 years working in a copper plant in Alabama was the price I paid, but wouldn't trade it. That is an incredible town/area. Been through there several times since. Just gets prettier. You're a lucky man!
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 09, 2020 09:52PM
The 18 oz glass runs to the edge. Even four or six ounce glass won't easily conform to edges unless you mess around with vacuum bagging. Keep it simple and run it to the edges and cut it when it is still green, in other words before it fully hardens.

It is common to fill any holes with epoxy to prevent water intrusion into the plywood. Peter, I am not sure where you live, whether you live in a moderate coastal climate or somewhere the temperature extremes are greater. A popular addition to the bottom of drift boats is a 1/4" "shoe" that can be screwed down after the bottom has been epoxied. Any new screw holes can be sealed with fresh epoxy as you screw in the fasteners. The plywood shoes are removable and easily replaced after they are in need of repair. On Wooden Boat People use the search function to look for posts titled something like "Installing 1/4" plywood shoes". Dave Z who used to be a frequent poster used the technique successfully!

You could also laminate a light layer of fiberglass cloth to the shoe for abrasion resistance.

Happy Boat Building to you,

Rick N
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 10, 2020 04:09PM
Thanks Rick!!! This is much appreciated!!!! I live in Nashville where, until April, it's cold, wet and rain. I did get the boat moved into the garage/shop yesterday. Unfortunately it's not heated. However it does give me the opportunity to pull some of the existing plastic sheathing off the bottom and see what it looks like. Once I do that I'm sure I'll have more questions.

The folks on this forum have been great! The support really helps. The deeper I dive, the more I realize what a novice I am regarding wooden boat restoration. Definitely different than what I've done in the past. But we all have a first time. Having a ton of fun learning!

Thanks again!!!!
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 10, 2020 11:53PM
I don't know about you but I feel surrounded by old farts, lol!!! The scary part is they might be taking about 1871 and 72:-)
I guess without the sacrificial shoe a boat is considered barefoot. Do you put this onto boats covered with plascore as well?

I am hoping to drift around a bit in the Norris Lake and Holston River area in the next year or two. Got family in Tazwell. It will be fun but I don't know what year it will be yet.This year, again, the Glen-L design folks are having their annual gathering at the old power company on Nickajack Lake right near you. September 17-20. I'm planning on going at this point, you would like it as it is a gathering of boats and amateur boat builders from all over. Many of them retired but not nearly all and it would be a place to chat about issues that you may be facing in your build. Kind of like 40 or 50 Sandy's all at one place.
Anyway, thought I'd mention it. I live near Philly.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 11, 2020 12:27AM
Thanks Don!! That's sounds like a solid place to pic up some good info!!! Think I'll just put it on my calendar now! The Norris Lake, Holsten area is really nice. Good fisheries as well.

Pulled the cracked plastic bow piece off the bottom. Gonna post some pics, but I think I'm gonna be in a lot better place than I thought...........I think!
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
February 11, 2020 01:03AM
Ok. Pulled the cracked plastic shoe off the bow portion of the bottom. The piece was cracked all the way across and missing a few screws, some gaps were filled with wood putty. Was not all that sure what I'd find. I'm optimistic but need opinions. I think I'm in better shape than I thought and won't need to replace the bottom.

Poked around with a small ice pick and the wood is solid. There is some checking in the plywood, but minimal. Most of the rough area you can see is dirt or weathering. The open screw holes are from the plastic securing screws. The bottom work is gonna have to wait for better weather, but what the shape the bottom was in was on my mind... The pics show the area I was most concerned about, as it's where most of the integrity was compromised. But who knows what's under the rest. As I said, optimistic at this point.

Just trying to get some thoughts on the shape I'm in...

Thanks for all the ongoing help!!!!!

Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 07, 2020 11:06PM
I notice that the Douglas Fir plywood has weather checked. The growth rings on the tree that the plywood was cut from have aged unevenly and some have opened up. To prevent further damage a lamination of fiberglass cloth covered with epoxy will control the problem. Visit Wooden Boat People and use the Search Function to find Steve Putnam's page and veiw the work I did with him to restore his boat and the checked plywood on it.

Rick N
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 08, 2020 12:39PM
Wow Rick, amazing work. Boat restoration, IMHO, requires more love and patience than new construction. I just re-visited WBP and was reminded how many people are in this drift boat world. Furthermore you mentioned Seafin and I will be needing that.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 08, 2020 04:46PM
Peter, thank you. You are learning the basics of what it takes and by the end of your restoration you will be much more experienced. Stev's boat has served him well and the plywood no longer has issues.

Rick N
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 08, 2020 10:39PM
Hey folks! It's Peter.

Hadn't posted in a while, but doesn't mean I haven't been working on the restoration! Actually have made really good progress on the inide and the trailer (which itself was pretty toasty). The trailer redo is about 90% complete. Took it to bare metal, rebuilt some pieces and repainted. The interior of the boat has been completely stripped and rough sanded. About 1/3 of it has been fine sanded and is ready for oil. Have started oiling the "removables". It's looking good!

Unfortunately this COVID-19 has pushed the bottom work out until we can get together again. Can't flip the boat in the shop by myself. Don't want to/can't bring back the crew that assisted me getting it off and into my small shop until it's safe. Was really bummed at first, but I'll just keep going on the interior and sides until then.

Doesn't mean the bottom has not been on my mind. I've have found that on the starboard side, about a 2 foot section of the bottom frame, is rotted. It will need to be replaced as well. There are a number of issues in about a 3-4 foot section around that area. Gonna definitely going to be a challenge, but gonna work through it once flipped. One step at a time. I've attached two more pics of the new issues. One of the inside of the rowers well, where the worst of the damage is and one of the chine area directly on the outside of that.

I can't thank you all enough for your assistance!! Sandy, Rick, Don. Been doing the research on the bottom process from the suggestions made here! Just a side note, from the looking I've done and comparing pics, maybe the original plans were a Tatman...my best guess at this point.

Stay healthy and safe!

Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 09, 2020 12:27AM
I've flipped boats by myself a thousand times. Perhaps that's why I have such a bad back.

The last time I did it I put a pully in the ceiling and got it on its side. Kicked the lower gunwale a bit and then lowered it down using the rope pulley.

My old shop ( now gone ) out in Gallatin Gateway was an unfinished two story house. I ripped out the stairs and used a chain hoist to pull boats upstairs, where I did the painting and finishing.

There is always a way.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 09, 2020 03:42PM
So true Sandy. Always have a plan B! :-)

Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 10, 2020 12:40AM
Ok. I have another question. Sorry to bother y'all but I need to get my tools ready to do the bottom work.

My question is what essential tools will I need? I know I'll need a router, bandsaw (to cut the new frame piece), just want to do an inventory of what I have, to what I'll need. Have all the sanders.

Thoughts please? Thanks, you guys are awesome! I appreciate it! Thanks for putting up with a novice. (Still having more fun than I have a right to... :-) )
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 10, 2020 01:57PM
At one of AJ DeRosa's Jackson Hole boat shows maybe ten years ago two guys from Denver showed up with a boat they built (it was one of mine) with a jig saw and a vibrating sander.

They said they'd never built anything before and didn't even have a circular saw.

I have a photo of them somewhere.

I'll think about your question. And get back.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 11, 2020 06:35PM
Thanks Sandy! I appreciate it!
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 12, 2020 01:47AM
Fiberglass patching and laminating doesn't require much tool wise. This is s long thread and my attention span shrinks every year. I can't remember why you need router and band saw.

My most important restoration tools are right angle grinder and random orbit sander. Scraper sharpened frequently. Lots of paper grits. Elbow grease.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 12, 2020 01:25PM
Happy Easter everyone. He is Risen!
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 12, 2020 06:58PM
Please keep progress photos up to date.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 12, 2020 07:25PM
Sorry. Yes sir, will do! I think you've got me pointed in the right direction until the boat is flipped and I actually start work on the bottom. Then I'll have plenty more questions and will post pics with the questions. Thanks again!!!

Happy Easter Don!
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 12, 2020 11:52PM
You don't have a car in the garage I hope;-)

Garages are for boat projects.
Re: Wooden drift boat restoration (New member)
April 13, 2020 12:17AM
Car in the garage? Wait... You actually know someone who does that??? Haha!
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