Eastside drift boat repair

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by GoDeep, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. I have recently purchased an older fiberglass Eastside drift boat that is great shape, other than the wood rails around the edges of the boat. I will need. To replace the railings soon since there is some rotting and its starting to come loose. Does anyone have experience with this sort of project? What kind of wood should I use? Is there a company in the Puget Sound area that could do a project like this at an affordable price? This is my first drift boat and I don't have much wood working skills. Thanks for any advice you have!
  2. You might want to try Island boat shop in Port Townsend. It's a shop that specializes in classic fiberglass boats and does wood also. It's an easy project so you might also think about finding a student from the Northwest school of wooden boat building.

    I do wood boat building and repair to wooden parts of glass boats, but I'm in Ellensburg. PM me if you think might want to haul it over here.
  3. You wouldn't be the guy who has the drift boat cover that bolts on to make it a closed bow?

    Since you only have to do wood, there's probably a few avenues you can go. Most woodworkers in your area could help you. But Nomslander on here can steer you in the right direction possibly. :)

    BTW, I have 2 Eastsides. :)
  4. Jerry,
    No, I don't have the cover for the bow. This is my first drift boat and I love it. Once I get the wood changed out it's going to look frickin sharp!
  5. Pm Sent. Guy in Cle Elum would be a good resource.
  6. I replaced the gunnels on my canvas covered canoe, a piece of cake and I am no woodworker. I used ash in one piece.
  7. Several types of wood that would be suitable and many available in lengths that would make it doable without a scarf. White Oak, Ash, Purpleheart, Fir, Larch, Sapele and more. Upsides and downsides to all of them, try Edensaw in Port Townsend to get pricing and availability.

    If you decide that you shouldn't do the job, give me a shout I can put you in contact with folks who can do the job. You would need to bring the boat to PT, more than likely.
  8. I used VG Fir, cut a 2x6 into 4 strips, when I did mine. Bent well, easy, looked spectacular. Do it yourself, you'll learn a bunch.
  9. eastside rot.JPG eastside rot1.JPG eastside oak1.JPG eastside oak2.JPG eastside oak3.JPG IMG_2114.JPG Before and after pics of GoDeep's boat
  10. Nice job!
  11. I first tried some beautiful straight grain Mahogany, but after breaking six rails and causing GoDeep to miss some sweet fishing on Saturday I switched to Oak. It looks good and bends a hell of a lot easier.
  12. Keep up on oak. Not a very good gunwale material. I switched from Oak to Eastern ash many years ago. Oak mildews very easily, darkens quickly, the grain rasies and the gunwales never look as good after the first oiling.
  13. Oak does have it's problems,but I've seem Beetle Cat sailboats in New England with 50-60 year old oak rails that are in good shape. The key with oak is to take care of it. Keep it oiled or varnished, keep it dry and out of the sun and it'll look good for many years.

    This particular boat lives in a dry climate and has a cover so it should be good.
  14. Yeah, I'd go with ash as well. Patrick, that's a really nice job you did! One thing I learned working on the teak on my Catalina, that Epiphanes varnish, supposed to be so wonderful, it's crap. The stuff crazed and flaked off in a few months. Looked absolutely gorgeous new, but I began to see deterioration within weeks! If you covered every inch of it except when you're under way, it might last a season.
  15. Epiphanes is good, and used on many a prize winning Mahogany speedboats. It's thick and not that easy to use if you don't make a living varnishing, but still good stuff. It lasts much longer in the NW than in areas with more sun. More pros use Z-Spar Flagship. In the last restoration shop I worked in the crew was evenly split between the two. Flagship is probably the most UV stabilized varnish out there, but is also thick and not easy for the casual varnisher. Teak is just difficult to get varnish to adhere to. It's a great wood to not use any finish on or just some oil now and then. It's best property is how easy it is to refinish.
  16. I've used the Z-Spar with good results. As you say, the deterioration was probably the result of being almost 800 miles to the South! Beautiful stuff once it's put on properly though. It looked like I could put my arm in the finish all the way up to my elbow! My tiller, which was covered when I didn't have a hand on it, DID last a very long time, but the crib boards, grab rails on the cabintop, and the rest of the exposed teak went quickly. Considering how much work there is in getting multiple coats on the wood, Oil's so much easier and it looks great! The next time around, I went for the oil!
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  17. Well done, beautiful job.

    Red oak is quite different in terms of rot than the white oak used on beetle cats, but you've got the basics: repair dings promptly, water entry is your enemy.

    It makes me homesick for my old eastsider, but it went to wonderful people who hopefully will flat wear it out.
  18. Nice job. I’m in the middle of a restoration on a ’71 eastside drifter. The Ash on my boat was in much better shape but I decided to replace it with SA Mahogany anyway. I was able to bend the Mahogany to shape easily but haven’t put it on yet. Just sprayed the primer it this morning and hope to top coat it this weekend.
  19. Yeah, this Mahogany should have made the bend, but sometimes you're unlucky and get wood with a flaw in the grain. I used to teach a skiff building class. We used Mahogany for the rails. We built a few hundred boats with no breakage but one poor guy ended up breaking about 5 rails one after the other.

    Post some pics of you project.
  20. Ok, here's my boat photos. I seem to have lost the "before" photos. I got this boat a year ago in August. The condition was better than the other boat in this thread, but it had a terrible paint job (satin white exterior with crap brown slapped over all the wood and a peach interior). All the paint was faded and peeling off. Same thing for the trailer, I sanded and repainted that too (apparently yellow was a popular color in the 70's!).

    I sanded it down to the fiberglass. The hull was in very good condition. I recoated the bottom with Coat-it and it applied swimmingly well with a squeegee (a tip from another site). 3-4 primer coats and then the top coats. Initially, I used pettit easypoxy in jade green but didn't really like the result, so I recoated it with gloss white (I have 2 qts of the jade green left if anyone wants it cheap).

    A plug for the guys at Edensaw who hooked me up with the Mahogany. It was very affordable, cut to size, really easy to work, and looks great.

    Attached Files:

    Patrick Gould likes this.

Share This Page