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Wooden Boat Building and Restoration

1962 Dunphy Voyager Model 1782 (17' Outboard)

This project is a full restoration of a 1962 Dunphy Voyager Model 1782. This is a 17' plywood lapstrake hull over oak ribs.

This boat was purchased as a used boat by the current owner in the mid 60's and was used primarily as a fishing boat. The original mahogany bench seat had been removed and replaced with a pair of collapsing seats mounted on top of a pair of added auxiliary fuel tanks over a slightly raised floor.

It has been stored in a garage at a cabin on nearby Pike Lake for the past 20 years. Initial inspection reveals that the front deck and deck beams have rotted in various areas and needs replacing, the mahogany windshield frame needs repair work, various ribs and in need of replacing, the transom lower bow board and both cheek boards have rot and need replacing, and some small areas of planking has some rot and need repair. Finally the convertible top needs replacing. Of course it is in need of fresh paint and varnish too. Random inspection of various fasteners show that they are of silicon bronze and in good shape.

The owner wants the boat fully restored and the raised floor, collapsing seats along with the auxiliary fuel tanks removed and replaced with the original mahogany bench seat (which he received when he purchased the boat).  A new floor with access to the bilge. Additionally he wants to replace the original vinyl covered deck with a new planked and caulked decked. The motor, a 1965 Mercury 90HP outboard, will also be restored. The restoration work on the motor will be done at Wyman Boathouse & Restoration. A new convertible canvas top will be installed by Proctor Canvas.

The Dunphy Boat Company is one of the few wooden boat companies that built wooden boats for over a one-hundred year span (110 years). They were in business from 1854 until 1964. They originally operated out of Eau Claire, WI. Later the company was moved to Oshkosh, WI. The Dunphy Boat Company is best known for their molded plywood boats.

In 1958 The Dunphy Boat Company became pioneers in manufacturing lapstrake boats and introduced a new line of lapstrake designed hulls. On this model the lapstrakes were lined-off in such a manor that they fan out from the front stem and widen as they span the length of the boat to the transom. This model boat is very wide making it quite seaworthy and roomy. 

Dunphy lapstrake boats were framed with heavy oak ribs, and planked with modern (1962) ⅜” thick marine plywood strakes. Mechanical fasteners were all of marine grade (silicon bronze is what I found on this hull) metal. Planks were “woodwelded” and screwed to the ribs. Dunphy proclaimed that their hulls were “woodwelded" together using a “powerful sealant and adhesive” developed by the Du Pont Company. I suspect that this product was Thiokol, an early version of 3M 5200 Sealant Adhesive, still a very popular option for today’s wooden boat builders. Dunphy's "Woodwelding" term is known today as "glued lapstrake construction". The hull bottom was double ribbed for added strength. Transoms were built of mahogany marine plywood, 1½" thick, with oak cheeks and bows. Decks and floors were covered in Nautolex, still a popular choice for todays’ boats. These were simple, functional, well built, high quality boats.