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Wear and Tear on a Wooden Boat

March 1, 2022 in Uncategorized


Winter is the busiest time for wood working repairs in a boat shop. Who wants to be without their boat in the summer? Only the biggest jobs get carried across several seasons, like the restoration of Rita or the reconstruction of historic boats such as  Baby Bootlegger or a Gold Cup Hacker design.  Crouch and Hacker are favourites for rebirths.

Otherwise, it seems that boats follow typical patterns in wear and tear of use, year after year. From touring the shops around Muskoka, boats upside down, on their side or right side up, many face the same challenges and areas of need. Any corner,  the keel, overlap of planks, engine and drive shaft mounts and sections that are constantly below the waterline seem to be the frequent culprits.

At Rob Gerig’s shop, a utility was upside down and the lengthwise planks on either side of the keel were stripped off. Each copper nail removed, the sika flex peeled away and the ribs underneath exposed. During another visit, a Greavette Sun Flash was upside down with repairs to its transom and keel. Some of the Sun Flashes were made of plywood. Once rot sets into plywood, it is a different challenge from a planked boat. A section of the Nika’s bow at the waterline was stripped away for repairs around the keel. Fitting replacement planks and plywood sections is an art and a science, with a lot of hand fitting required.

By Tim Du Vernet 

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Port Carling Boats – Antique & Classic Wooden Boats for Sale