Restoring my first wooden drift boat, any help appreciated

Hi all, I just got my first wooden boat project, an old wooden drift boat. It's a double ender, 16 feet long by 70 inches at the gunnels. Most of the wood is in good shape but there are a few spots I am concerned about. The inner gunnel on the port side is cracked in 3 places and probably needs to be replaced. The bottom is fiberglassed. I plan on fiberglassing the interior floor as well. Not sure about the sides yet.

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You may want to rethink fiberglassing the interior floor - water has a way of migrating into wood, even when sealed like this. It's prudent to allow a way for the structure to dry out - oil finishes allow this - that's why this approach is so popular. 

I did not realize that. Thanks for the heads up! I need to get all the old garbage off the floor first.

Kevin, there is a search function located at the upper right-hand side of the main page. I just looked up rebuilding a boat and found that there were four pages of posts that corresponded to the query "rebuilding a boat". I know that over the years I have personally provided a response to a similar question as yours. Take a look there. Try asking a question rather than just a word or two.

The basic thing that you need to determine is the condition of the wood. Old paint covers a multitude of sins and rot. A sharp pointed object will tell you a lot when you try to push it into the wood. If you can't easily push it into the wood your good! Old drift boats often have had water sitting in them and the frames suffer. If water gets into the plywood it can travel and provide an excellent atmosphere for rot. 

Let us know what you find. Anything can be fixed, you have to decide how much money, time or effort you want to invest!

Rick Newman

Site Administrator

I have not found any real bad spots. A couple of small areas on the floor need help and the inner gunnel on one side was bad.


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