Subject: Can I repair a boat on a budget?
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998

Greetings good Doctor,

I have inherited an older 16' wooden boat. (I think it would qualify as a 'dory'.) It was hand made by someone in Alaska, with considerable skill, I should add. It was well used for about 10 years here in the Northwest, and then sold to a guy who stored it uncovered out in the rain. It always seemed to be full of water, as I walked by on my way to work. I often mentioned to my family that it was a pity that someone didn't buy it and save it from the elements.

When next I saw the boat, it had a shiny new coat of paint and a large 'For Sale' sign plastered to the trailer. My step dad purchased her, with grand ideas and plans for restoration. It turns out that the new paint was a poor quality latex house paint applied directly to the dirt covering the original marine paint. This quickly became more of a problem than my step dad wanted to deal with.

So, now I have a new project. I used to frame houses, but I know very little about repairing boats. I like the style and shape of the hull, but it has some rot on the gunnels and it needs some interior work. I'd like to save it, but I have three daughters, and very little cash. I've been told that it will take several hundred dollars, and six months of hard labor to bring it back to life. If that's your opinion as well, then it looks as though my wife has a new planter.

Can this thing be saved? And at what cost?

Thanks Doc,



Well, you've pretty much laid it out.

Truth is, you'll never know what you're facing until you get the paint off the boat and look at the bare wood. I'd say that worth about 20 hours of work with a standard paint remover, such as Jabsco. After that, it depends on what you see. When you say it has some rot on the gunnels, that might be fixed with as little as $35.00 worth of our CPES, or it might run up as far as $100.00 if the rot is bad but the wood is still salvagable. And what else will you find? Who knows? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. And then you have to repaint it again. I'd say whoever told you 6 months of hard labor was maybe overestimating a little, but the several hundred dollars sounds about right.

Planter? If not, we can give you guidance if you reach that point.

The Rot Doctor

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