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Wooden Boat Building and Restoration

Restorations

  • Rotted lapstrake sections removed.
    Rotted lapstrake sections removed.
  • Hand planing scarf joints to new lapstrake sections.
    Hand planing scarf joints to new lapstrake sections.
  • Mounting new lapstrake sections.
    Mounting new lapstrake sections.
  • Completed lapstrake repair.
    Completed lapstrake repair.
  • New steam bent white oak frames installed.
    New steam bent white oak frames installed.
  • New deck beams installed.
    New deck beams installed.
  • Original transom removed.
    Original transom removed.
  • New ribbon Sapele Mahogany transom mounted.
    New ribbon Sapele Mahogany transom mounted.
  • New mahogany covering board laminated to shape of sheerline.
    New mahogany covering board laminated to shape of sheerline.
  • New laminated mahogany covering board ready to be installed.
    New laminated mahogany covering board ready to be installed.
  •  Bookmatching new laminated deck.
    Bookmatching new laminated deck.
  • Nice mahogany detail for this pair of tiny rear decks.
    Nice mahogany detail for this pair of tiny rear decks.
  • Laminated twin rear decks.
    Laminated twin rear decks.
  • Completed new mahogany laminated deck and covering boards.
    Completed new mahogany laminated deck and covering boards.
  • Building new mahogany windshield side window frame.
    Building new mahogany windshield side window frame.
  • New mahogany side window frame molded to shape.
    New mahogany side window frame molded to shape.
  • Final fitting of new mahogany windshield.
    Final fitting of new mahogany windshield.
  • Cambered floor framing installed.
    Cambered floor framing installed.
  • Nautolex vinyl covered marine plywood floor panels installed.
    Nautolex vinyl covered marine plywood floor panels installed.
  • Rotted plywood transom removed.
    Rotted plywood transom removed.
  • New mahogany plywood transom installed.
    New mahogany plywood transom installed.
  • New mahogany plywood transom installed - interior view.
    New mahogany plywood transom installed - interior view.
  • Rotted sections of bottom frames removed and prepped with a scarf joint for replacement.
    Rotted sections of bottom frames removed and prepped with a scarf joint for replacement.
  • Installing new bottom frame sections.
    Installing new bottom frame sections.
  • Repaired bottom frames.
    Repaired bottom frames.
  • Clamping new marine plywood bottom in place.
    Clamping new marine plywood bottom in place.
  • Scarf jointing marine plywood bottom sections.
    Scarf jointing marine plywood bottom sections.
  • New bottom installed.
    New bottom installed.
  • New bottom installed.
    New bottom installed.
  • New framing for forward deck.
    New framing for forward deck.
  • New engine stringers being installed.
    New engine stringers being installed.
  • Refreshed engine installed.
    Refreshed engine installed.
  • New rear deck installed.
    New rear deck installed.

Wooden Boat Restoration Services

Timeless Boatworks offers wooden boat restoration services on small wooden boats up to 20 ft in length.  Typical restoration services include, but are not limited to:

  • frame (rib) repair and replacement including steam bent frames, laminated frames, or sawn frames
  • plank repair (carvel and lapstrake planking) and replacement
  • transom repair and replacement
  • stem, keel, and knee repair and replacement
  • deck repair and replacement
  • floor repair and replacement
  • spar replacement

 

I do my best to match the species of new wood parts with the wood species originally used on the boat being restored. A wide variety of marine grade woods are difficult to obtain here in Duluth, MN. I use only wood species appropriate for wooden boats, BS1088 marine grade plywood, silicon bronze or 316 stainless steel fasteners, epoxy or polyurethane based adhesives.

Before committing to a wooden boat restoration project, there are few things that I think ought to be considered. Restoring an old wooden boat correctly is a labor intensive project requiring strong woodworking skills... it can take quite a bit of time to properly restore a wooden boat. As a result, often the cost of restoring a wooden boat will exceed its value. These projects require extra time to carefully dismantle the boat, strip paint and varnish, remove old fasteners, separate glued joints without damaging the wood parts they are holding together, and craft new wood parts to perfectly match the original wood parts. Old wooden boats that have not been stored properly and left to sit on a trailer, or not supported properly while sitting on blocks for years, form twists and bends that can be a challenge to work out in the restoration process. It is often a less expensive option to build a new wooden boat of a similar design using modern marine plywoods, epoxy, and employing modern construction methods.

It’s been consistently my experience that the full extent of a restoration project is unknown until the boat has been completely dismantled and stripped of old paint and varnish. It seems that most restoration projects have their surprises that were unseen at the initial evaluation. These surprises are mostly due to wood rot or plywood delimitation, located in hard to access areas, that aren’t revealed until becoming obvious during the process of stripping and dismantling the boat. Old plywood boats seem to be particularly prone to these unforeseen issues. Keep in mind that most of these old production built wooden boats were not built to last 50+ years. Marine plywood was not manufactured fifty years ago as well as today’s modern marine plywoods are... today's modern marine plywoods are far superior. Old wooden boats made of solid wood planking are better candidates for full restorations than plywood planked boats and are more desirable and valuable.

So before committing to a restoration project give some careful thought as to how worthwhile it is to restore an old wooden boat. Take a look at some comparable modern wooden boat designs before deciding on restoring it...perhaps it may be a better choice to replace it.


Rates

Timeless Boatworks is a one-man shop, accepting projects one at a time. I do this work as part hobby and part supplemental income. The focus is on wooden boat fine craftsmanship over making large profits. The focus is on wooden boat fine craftsmanship over making large profits. Never the less, I do need to earn a wage and pay my overhead expenses. That noted, Timeless Boatworks charges a flat rate of $50 per hour plus materials.