Friday, August 31, 2007

M/V Cora Black or Restoring an Old Wooden Boat

A couple of months ago one of my closest friends and I purchased an old rotten wooden boat, the Cora Black. She's an old salmon fishing boat and probably fifty years old or more.

She's leaking some nasty bilgewater from the front (a place water should not be exiting a boat). There are some very rotten boards that are going to be very hard to replace, and the whole thing has many coats of paint all over it.

Last night we pulled her from the water on Salmon Bay, near Ballard, WA and brought her over to my yard at work. I built her a custom skid so I can move her around and placed her up on foam pads. I'll build some bracing later to lift her up off of the keel and support her properly.

I've heard some horror stories about letting wooden boats dry out. Apparently the wood shrinks and the seams open up. We used to have a wooden hot tub that would do this when we emptied it out to clean it. When we would fill it back up the water would gush out for a few hours until the cedar soaked up the water and filled the voids between boards.

Cora is cedar, too, I think, so at least I'll be able to replace the rotten planks easily. We have big plans for her, and I'll keep you up to date on her progress.


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