Wood Drift Boat Restoration

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by nomlasder, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    Very well kept Don Hill kit boat restoration. I've been noodling on exactly I want to proceed and what materials to use

    The last thing I want to do, is loose all this great patina.

    Much thanks to Papafish and his Son for the donation to WSC. Look for auction / raffle in the future.

    LB said he bought the boat 16 years ago used. So this could be a 20 or 25 year old boat. Just thinking about all the adventures and fish stories makes me proud and humbled that I could extend the life of this gem to another generation. Tales yet to be
     

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  2. Bjorn

    Bjorn Active Member

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    Congrats!! Lucky boat landed in the right hands!!
     
  3. Slipstream

    Slipstream Active Member

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    Nice, your photo reminded me of a Keith Steele boat I used to own. Tom
     
  4. Bjorn

    Bjorn Active Member

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    I used Pettit Easypoxy on the hull and Pettit Captains Varnish for the brightwork. IMG_9761.jpeg
     
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  5. bk paige

    bk paige Wishin I was on the Sauk

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    Nice boats.
     
  6. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    Very high quality paint and varnish!
     
  7. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    SWEET!
     
  8. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    Having seen Ross' work on his own boats, I could think of no one else more qualified to restore her. It was pleasure owning her and spending many wonderful hours on the water, with friends and family, over the years. We, my son and I, hope WSC and the new owner will benefit and enjoy her as much as we have.

    LB
     
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  9. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    I have been doing a bit of research into the origin of this boat, and have come to the conclusion it is not a Don Hill. DH design has a fixed front seat, and this boat has a sliding seat on galvanized pipes exacty as described in Roger Fletcher's book, Drift Boats and River Dories. The frames are joined with (4) bolts exactly as detailed in his book, but the front deck is fixed, not removable as in the traditional design.
    The rope seat tension design matches the description.

    I will continue to investigate the origin as work progresses.
     
  10. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    Had some fun tearing it down today. Made some discoveries.
    The front deck is made to cone out, as needed to stack boats, but the cross member is bolted fixed. A decision yet to be made.
    The transom was cut down and I don't think it originally configured for a motor mount. Although the red oak trim appears to be original. The chine batten laps over the oak trim. Underneath the protective anchor padding the transom was painted orange. I guess the old boy didn't like tailgaters.
    I found the cracked rib. Right in the middle.
    The boat also appears to have a slight twist. Once the bottom is off, I can straighten it up.
     

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  11. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    Got some help in the shop today, spinning out stripped screws.
     

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  12. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    After getting shoe off, I spent some time removing screws in the chine and chine batten. The ones in the batten were counter sunk and filled with wood putty. But after cleaning out the hole and screw slot most came out easily. Slight twist to the right to break the loose, the lefty till out. The shoe was bedded wet in what appears to be fiberglass resin so there are dollor sized spots or resin where the shoe was screwed down. The rest of the bottom is nailed down so I am going core around them with an old plug cutter.
     

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  13. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    After spending some time listening to the Social Security office phone message, and some quality time going over my IRA with the banker I needed to make some saw dust.

    Cored out all the nails and began cutting off the chine batten. Some of the nails pulled out with the core, not good, but was only a few. I am expecting to core the old nail locations and epoxy in yellow cedar plugs. The next step is stripping off the plywood bottom, which I will cut up into smaller pieces.

    Not a bad day considering how it started.
     

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  14. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    More progress today. Bottom stripped off and everything denailed. Deconstruction nearly complete. Next will be cleaning up the chine and frame bottoms, and pulling out the cracked frame.
    I made a discovery that may be a clue to the origin. On a block under the front deck is "56-?-W" I think the middle caracter is 3. I can only speculate what this means.
     

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  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    Ross, why are you removing the bottom? Is it rotten?