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.
Timeless Boatworks is a one-man shop, accepting projects one at a time. 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.