Restoring a hand-me-down

Posted by Mark C. on Jun 10, 2007

My wife and I have sat on this terrific Chesapeake 17' for a year now waiting until we had the time to restore it. Now we have the time but realized we had better get some experienced advise before we start. We never met the original builder, he moved cross country and gave it away on Craigslist, so we don't know the details of its build. We have surmised that the hull work was done with care, and then the bulkheads and deck were rushed. The outer hull is glassed and painted yellow with several deep scratches that will need repair. Looking at this thread: I will follow Jim or Brad's advise to sand, re-enforce/reglass.

The forward bulkhead has a large 1/2-3/4" gap at the top filled poorly with epoxy and it has a 1/2" gap on either side at the sheer clamps. The interior overall has only a thin layer of varnish or epoxy (its so thin we are not sure). So my fist big question is can I take the deck off the shear clamps without destroying it allowing me to replace the forward bulkhead and better seal the interior? There is no glass at the seam where the deck meets the hull so we would only be dealing with freeing the deck from the epoxy.

The top deck was coated with varnish (no epoxy or glass) and has some ugly scratches. The wood has grayed where the varnish was scraped away in a few places but after looking at these posts: and we decided we will sand off what is left, fill, then hide the discoloration under onlay. My wife is rather good at that sort of thing. We will cover the deck with a thin layer of glass then epoxy.

If anyone has any advise about any part of this project, we would greatly appreciate it. Knowing if we can remove the deck is probably our biggest concern for the moment, as that will determine how much interior work we can easily do.

We are looking forward to meeting some builders at the 2007 Wooden Boat Show in CT.