Wooden Boat Repair and Restoration Methods
Strategies and techniques for common wooden boat repairs.
- Walt Ansel—August 20–September 2
In the early 1970s, Mystic Seaport’s eminent small-craft scholar John Gardner, along with Syl Costelloe, built SANDY FORD, a small 13′ catboat. She’s a copy of the 1890s Crosby-built boat EXPLORER. For the last 20 years, this much-loved spritsail boat has been sailed by countless families and friends on the Mystic River. Part of the museum boat livery, she provides safe sailing with her boomless sail, high topsides, and ample cockpit.
At the age of 43, SANDY FORD’s iron plank screws and iron-drifted transom are causing leakage problems. A new keel and stem were installed by the museum staff a few years ago, but now is the time to replace all of her steam-bent frames, transom, and bottom planking.
These two weeks with shipwright Walt Ansel will be an excellent exercise in classic carvel boat hull restoration. SANDY FORD’s relatively small size, good documentation, and construction of easily obtainable timber makes her perfect for a two-week intensive rebuild effort. We will explore stabilizing the hull, removing structural parts, and replacing them with new pieces, ensuring all the time that we preserve the boat’s unique shape. Besides disassembly, a student can expect to do plenty of spiling, steam-bending, and patterning. Plank fastening, re-fastening, and caulking will also be covered. And there will also be time for general related wooden boat repair discussions and demonstrations.