I am a complete newbie to wood boats but have done some research. Just purchased an 1985 16' Don Hill Project Boat with trailer for $800. Thought I could get it fishing for another $500 until today when I got done stripping everything down. I have a friend that built a Tatman back in the 80's and he has had some input on the repairs. The way he built his boat has influenced how I think a boat should be built, but there is more than one way to skin a cat so I am open to suggestion. In General the wood is in good shape. My plan was to fiberglass the bottom and add some graphite powder to finish. Epoxy paint the boat inside and out, but varnish some of the trim pieces, etc.
Got the boat home yesterday and started working on it. I just finished disassembling the interior (seats, floors, etc.) and have scraped the boat inside and out(removed extremely peeled varnish, there was no epoxy).
Here is a list of questions/problems with some of my ideas on each subject. At this point I may have to start selling stuff to finish the boat. Feel free to comment on any or all of the questions. A rough cost estimate for any new ideas would be helpful.
1. This boat was never epoxied. All the original owner ever did was keep it varnished and used what appears to be silicone caulk at every wood joint. in general the wood is in good shape. Should I be concerned? What will need to happen taking into account the above plans for finishing the boat.
2. Discovered that one of the inside chines is broken behind a rib. There is a little dry rot at the break and at a couple intermittent spots a foot or two on each side of the break. Also, A couple of the bottom ribs were cracked starting at the drain holes and extending toward the center about 6" and 18". The poor excuse for a fiberglass bottom covering about 80% of the bottom was coming off so I just pulled it off (he did a poor job and applied it over the varnish, don't know if that is why it didn't stick). Found that he used regular screws instead of brass or stainless. As expected, there is substantial corrosion on the screw, but they seem to be holding tight. Here is the question. Do I pull off the bottom, replace both chines, replace cracked ribs, replace the floor board (original wood is good), and use stainless screws? Or, do I chip out the sections of rotted chine and patch with epoxy and fiberglass if needed, epoxy the cracks in the two bottom ribs, and leave the screws as they are? Should I replace the chine and just put the original bottom back on? I am not too concerned with minor blemishes from a repair because it is getting painted anyway. Side question: If I have to replace the bottom do I have to use marine playwood or could I just use some exterior rated playwood?
3. Considering that when I am finished stripping the boat that I will be down to bare wood, What is the general process for fiberglassing the bottom of the boat? My plan was to remove the outside chine. Make sure everything is sanded, smooth, and clean. Lay out 18 or 20 oz. tri-axial cloth. Wet out. Add 2 coats or more of epoxy with graphite powder until the bottom is smooth. Trim glass about 1/2" up from bottom so that the screw from the outer chine will not penetrate the glass. Epoxy paint the side of the boat to overlap the 1/2" of glass. Re-install chine. I would like to do all the epoxy in one shot so that everything is chemically bonded and I don't have to sand clean and worry about blushing. Do I need to add some other coats of plain epoxy in the process somewhere? Remember, Entire boat will be bare wood. I Only planned to epoxy paint the interior and exterior. There is no other epoxy on any of the boat except what I use for the bottom.
4. Is there a better or cheaper bottom for the boat? What is it? How much? where can I get it...? Heard of a product called liquid graphite that was supposedly applied like a paint and was pretty inexpensive, but couldn't find any information on it. Sounds too good to be true, probably is.
Any help you may have will be greatly appreciated. Remember, I am already way over budget. I''ll be passing around the collection plate later...Thanks!!!