Help!

Friend and I built this boat in 1991. Fished it a lot until my friend died in "09". Cover leaked in storage. Transom end of the boat had standing water for undetermined amount of time. Holes and rot present at transom and chines.

How do I stop the spread of rot? What plans should I make for repair?

Any advise appreciated.

P. K.

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Hi Paul, looks to me like the bottom will need to come off. Since the chine log on one side has been totally removed, it will be virtually impossible to replace it without removing the old bottom. The other chine log has rot also at the transom and would be good to replace that one as well. Greg Tatman is a member of this forum, you might send him a friend request which he will get through his personal email. He might have some suggestions also. Good luck. Kurt - www.woodriverboats.com.

All of the damage pictured of this boat can be repaired. Will it be "easy", perhaps not. Is it all doable? Yes. Having helped a friend do somewhat similar repairs to his boat I know what it takes to do all of the repairs. I will suggest what I would do to give this boat a longer life.

1. Remove all the screws from the missing inner chine area.

2. Check the existing chine for rot and damage. An ice pick pushed into the wood will give you a sense of the condition of the wood. Soft wood with easy penetration is very questionable. If it were my boat and I found bad wood in the other chine I would also remove it.

3. Next, I would check all the areas of the floor and of the ribs and cross ribs on the floor, especially where the plywood meets the ribs on the floor.

4. Everywhere that there is black wood I would also do the icepick test. You may, unfortunately, find that the floor has developed rot as well. If so, it is time to unscrew the floor and with luck remove the entire floor and then check the condition of the ribs, especially where they met the plywood. 

5. You have two main choices for the floor of your boat. a. Get out both the ice pick and perhaps a random orbital sander and some 80 grit sandpaper. If the floor passes the icepick test then conduct a finish removal test to get a better look at the condition of the wood in the floor. If it is in poor shape then you will have to learn how to scarf two pieces of plywood together to make a long enough sheet to replace your old floor with.  Upon completing the scarfing of a long enough sheet of plywwod you can make a rough copy of your existing floor leaving an inch or two of extra wood that will be cut off after you have screwed and glued your new floor to the new chine logs and to the old floor ribs.

If you can save the existing floor I would strongly recommend sanding the plywood down to fresh wood on both sides. I would acquire at some or perhaps heavier than six-ounce fiberglass fabric along with sufficient quantities of epoxy resin and hardener to laminate the fiberglass to both sides. The fiberglass cloth, when laminated to the wood (either on new wood or the old floor) will prevent the checking in the plywood and add abrasion resistance to the outside bottom of your floor. ( I personally run 18-ounce triaxial fiberglass cloth on the outside, applied after the floor has been fastened to the ribs. 

6. Obviously, I haven't included all the fine details that you will need to know to repair your boats' floor. The nutshell presentation I provided at least gives you an overview of what is required. Dependent upon what you find the amount of work, materials, and money will vary but the results will be a good drift boat, depending upon any other damage that shows up. 

There have been similar repairs done to other boats and discussed here. Steve Putnam is the gentleman whose boat he and I repaired over a summers time. There are several pages of links to posts that he made concerning his boat's repair. You can use the search function at the top right-hand side of the opening page to find them.

I hope to see your pictures of your repair. It is very rewarding to take on such a task and see it come to completion. It is even more rewarding to take it to the river and spend time showing off what you did prior to floating on downstream and catching fish from your restored boat. Please continue to ask questions, we love to provide answers. When using the search function a sentence will get a better-focused result than just a word or two!

Happy Restoring,

Rick Newman

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