I have a tatman boat that I bought from a friend under the understanding that I would "fix it up." It's  in decent shape, the floor does leak and the varnish is weathered and worn. My question is where do I start? I don't  want to do the wrong thing or some irreversable half-assed fix. I do have some carpentry and finish experience although not with marine finishes. I have no due date, kind of "one piece at a time" project. 

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Greg, since you have water intrusion already I would recommend that you start by flipping the boat over and removing the chine caps and looking at the condition of the bottom/chine area. Chances are you could have some rot that may need fixed or some wood that needs replaced. This will give you a good idea if the bottom will need to be replaced or not but if everything looks good then build some new chine caps to seal it back up and start your refinishing work!

Thank you!

As a very long-term member of this site I am going to suggest that there is a wonderful body of knowledge contained within the pages of Wooden Boat People. Using a sentence to ask a question provides the best results and returns much more information. I am not only addressing Greg Myett, but am also reminding newer members of this fine source of knowledge.

One of the great things about our watercraft is they are actually quite simple and easy to repair. There are of course a variety of methods to achieve most of the repairs. The majority of these repairs have been discussed at length and a good search will find these repairs and often the pros and cons of these repairs. Almost all the parts are easy to inspect. The most difficult problem that can't be seen is the quality of the seam between the sides and bottom of the boat. Often there are clues and methods that help you determine the source of any leaks.

The repair of these boats often requires four things. Determination of the problem, time to dismantle the parts or area, the effort it may require to conduct the repair, and money to purchase the equipment and or repair materials needed. While this is an obvious simplification the bottom line is the repairs are straightforward, however, they may require more knowledge than is currently known, more time than the person repairing the watercraft wants to spend or is more expensive or the value of the repaired boat is not sufficient to rationalize the expense of funds required to complete the repair(s).

Our community here is also very responsive to questions posed on the site. The search function is also good at determining if your question has already been asked and answered. As a member of this site, I am also proud of the members conduct here. In all my years spent on here, I can only remember one or two conversations that were in the least part controversial or adversarial. That is a fine record folks!


Rick Newman


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