1959 Andress 26' utility boat

by Bill

1959 Andress

1959 Andress

Hi all,

just found this forum so I thought I'd post. I am presently restoring a 1959 Andress boat made in Rockport On Canada.

My first big boat project!

She was built by Ed Andress at the Andress Boat Works of Rockport Ontario Canada, who made wooden boats for the St Lawrence River (1000 islands) for years.

I think he did very few each year so at best there are only 3 or 4 like mine.

Here she is in her glory back in the 80's.

Here she is as she sits a few weeks back before starting on the bottom.



Had to do some structural repair to the bow area, replaced a few planks and a center top deck plank.

Stripped the boat entirely.

Re-stained and 8 coats of Varnish (2 more this spring) and the topsides are all done except to redo the seams.

Mechanically things are good, Engine was re-built a 100 hours ago and starts up right way.

Electrically..well outside of the ignition system..nothing works :) but it's a 1959 wiring job.

Hoping to have her back in the water for this summer.

Bottom is good, nothing soft ..reamed out all the old sikoflex and tar..yes tar..and have scarped all the loose bottom paint off.

Do have a couple questions for you all.

Wondering the best way to redo the top deck seams?

I am thinking 3m tape, sikoflex and a wet spoon?

The other is the bottom, completely different advice from too many sources.

Do I paint bottom paint, let the wood swell, sikofex and paint another coat over, or something completely different?

Really no idea, Have had people say stay original, spend lots on a 5200 bottom..even one guy say glass it.

Heard horror stories about that one.

Lots more work but I can see the end!

Thanks in advance for any help you have.

Kemtpville, On Canada

Comments for 1959 Andress 26' utility boat

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Aug 09, 2016
Caulking wood boat bottoms (Andress)
by: Ned L

I have no idea how old this thread is (sorry if is old).

All the information above is reasonable, 'PROViDED' it is applied to the proper construction type.

Carvel planked boats (planking typically thicker than one inch) is caulked with cotton.

Batten seam construction and double planked construction (what I believe Andress boats are) are not built for, or intended to have cotton used in the seams.

Do some good research. batten seam construction is built as tight seam construction (nothing in the seam).

Double planked construction is also designed for nothing in the seams (but may need a soft compound payed in the seams as they age).

Both construction types use planking that is to0 thin for cotton to be used.

They also do not have a caulking bevel on the edge of the planks when they are built.

Different construction types require different types of caulking and attention.

Make sure you are using the correct method for your boat' construction

Carvel,...... Cotton and seam compound

Batten seam (usually the sides of mahogany speed boat types)...... Nothing,.... Maybe a tad of soft seam compound , but should need nothing. -No cotton

Double planking (often the bottom of mahogany speed boat types)....... Should be nothing,... May need some soft seam compound as they age as they swell up. No cotton.

Lapstrake .. No caulking of any sort when built and in good condition, may need some soft seam compound as they age. - No cotton

May 13, 2016


Aug 18, 2014
Boat is now for Sale
by: Bill

Hi all, after some years of use I am putting this craft for sale I live in Eastern Ontario.

Looking in the range of 18,000 boat has a few small issues but structural good and running well

If anyone is interested or require more info I can be reached at ottawabill@hotmail.com

Thank you

(the boats owner)

Aug 09, 2011
Correct Boat Shop Nname
by: Bud Andress

Hi Bill, Just wanted to provide you with the proper name of the shop when your boat was made by Ed Andress.

Yes, the marina is now known as Andress Boat Works, but it used to be W. E. Andress and Son.

Small point I realize, but thought you would like to know.

Best of luck with your Andress utility restoration.

Jun 29, 2011
Andress Boat
by: Denys

Bill.....saw your pics and notes.....don't know how old they are?

But, I have a 62 Andress 22' utility that I keep at my cottage at the St. Lawerence River and use all the time.

I don't see many Andress boats around but have owned this one for about 4 years (it came with the cottage).

I have replaced a couple of planks in the rear side and done some re-chroming but we run it all the time.

Has been refitted with a 270 GM crusader and runs pretty strong even though it is not a planing hull.

Hope your project is finished and you are enjoying your Andress.

I am probably going to be selling mine soon as I am looking at a triple cockpit replacement.

Do you have any sense of value for your boat or mine?


Jan 02, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thank you Keith...It's wonderful to watch these boats come back to life..but I will tell you that it's a labor of love and if you consider your time being money you'd be better to buy a restored one :)

I will take pics in the spring, wrapped for winter now..boat is done but still have some wiring to do..not my strong point. She floats and the engine is great.

Nov 02, 2010
by: Keith

Wow, being new to this, I am definitely getting wrapped up in the process and outcome of whats possible in restoring a classic boat!

Jun 22, 2010
Taking Up
by: Mike

Hey Bill,
Great to hear that she is progressing so well.

Quite right, filling her, even partially with water could put one hell of a strain in her, that stuff is surprisingly heavy, after all the work you have put in its not worth the risk.

The sprinklers are a good idea, even better if you also tape a polythene skirt around her to trap the moisture underneath.

Another old trick is to lay wet sackcloth or some such inside and keep that damp for a day or two.

The only sure safe way to test her is to put her in the water.

When it comes to launching, keep the slings or the trailer underneath her for a while so you have plenty of time to check.

Jun 22, 2010
keep at 'er!
by: Craig

I'm anxious to hear what the answer is too.
You hate to get that far and then do something stupid.
At least I've learned that you don't just put it in the water and take it for a test drive...!

Jun 22, 2010
still coming :)
by: bill

Got to get some new pics, but bottom is cottoned, sealed and painted with copper antifoul.
Taping off the waterline right now.
Have also taped the deck seams that have no sealant at all...the rest can wait.
Even bought my own spoons to do the deck seams :)

After that is my electrical work..and can get it in the water....hopefully.

Have a question. I will want to test the bottom before putting her in the water, need to take up before, some have said use a sprinkler underneath others have said run water from the inside and let it leak out?
Any thoughts?
I figure letting water run inside would show me if I still had leaks after it swells, but is there not a concern of the water weight pressing downward?



May 20, 2010
Latest Pics
by: Anonymous

Here are a few pic's of where I am at with my boat hull, the cotton in and painted over.
This is after I got the hang of seam filling.

This is there area I will need to lift and re-block to do the final bits.



This is the floating dock I am making and seam filling the bow..when I didn't have the hang of it hahaha!!

Any good idea how to fair out this area of "bad work" since the filler doesn't harden it's like removing peanut butter.

Cheers and have a great "Old dead Queen" weekend!

May 19, 2010
Commin' on
by: Mike

Well done!!!

You'll be on the water soon.

May 19, 2010
slow but steady
by: Bill

Just thought I should post something before people think I lost interest.

I have all my cotton in my seams.

I painted the inside of the seam first, added the cotton hammered it in with a caulking iron. painted in linseed oil, painted over again with bottom paint and have seam sealed half the bottom.

Seam seal is going on well now..but when I started at the front I didn't have a good feel for doing it...bit of a mess. :)

Will seal the other side soon enough.

Then I need to lift the boat to do the last foot where it's on wooden blocks as well as the keel area.

Then it's racing bottom paint and OMG the exterior is done. except for deck seams.

Bit of engine and electrical and it's ready to go...even spent some rainy days building a floating dock for her....

She's coming!

Apr 21, 2010
by: BILL

Thanks "Old Glory" No I would never galss the bottom, just amazed that anyone ever gave me that advice.

My utility is double hulled however it had wicking cotton and red lead over, so that's what I am now going back too..except when I was buying I couldn't find red lead (have since found it) so I'm doing seam compound. (just one long stretch of wick in each seam)

Yes it's great to get and keep these old woodie's going so much more charater than a white formed fiberglass boat...but sometimes green with envy about just jumping in and going...then I look at the mahoghany and fall in love again :)

Apr 20, 2010
great looking boat bill
by: old glory

I agree with mike. Never glass the bottom of an old woody. In my opinion you would have just put the old girl in her grave.
Stick to as original of a process as possible. These old timers knew what the were doing.
Keep in mind that carvel hulls need to be caulked many other hull configurations do not.
Make sure you know what you have.
For example a double planker looks like a carvel at first appearance but needs nothing.
A carvel hull out of the water for an extended period of time shrinks to a point you could lose your keys through the bottom of your hull.

I love your boat bill she is beautiful, the building of such a sleek hull out of wood is a long lost art and what you have is a very special piece of history.
Thanks for posting.

Apr 19, 2010
by: mike

If you have raked out the old caulking there should be enough room to get some new back in there.

You can reduce the number of strands of cotton to suit the width of the seam.

You could use a ?Dumb Iron? to widen out any narrow seams but this can cause the seams above and below to close up.

Or you can shave a fraction off the outside of the plank edge with the raking iron.

But it could be that she has settled a bit since you raked out the old caulking, maybe she needs to be chocked up a bit at the chines.

Apr 18, 2010
by: Anonymous

Hey Mike, what if the bottom doesn't really seem to have room to wedge cotton in the seams and so forth?

My old boat is that way, although it's been out of the water for years and if you put water in it, the water will slowly seep through.

I'm still stripping and scraping the old paint off the inside and outside.

When that's all done, what should I put on it?

I'd kinda like to keep the inside natural instead of paint if I can, but I'll definitely want to paint the outside of the bottom with something tough since it will be on a lake and get pulled up on the beach on occasion.

Apr 17, 2010
by: bill

Well been raining and raining here so sitting around waiting till I can work on my boat again.

Building a dock and other woodwork in the garage while I wait...

But Mike, My wife saw this site..saw you post about not telling her about using her spoons...and went directly to count the spoons in the drawer...appears to be a few missing :)


Mar 24, 2010
Caulking the Andress
by: Mike

Hello again Bill,

Yea, by all means post some photos on the Facebook site I?d love to see them.

I've been having a search around to see what I can find out about the Pettit compound and it seems to be well regarded by those who have used it.

The point of priming the seams and cotton with paint or oil is to prevent the paying compound from drying out when the oils in the compound are absorbed by the wood.

As the Pettit and the Interlux are oil based then I would assume that oiling the cotton would be fine.

Personally I would just prime with paint before and after putting in the cotton but check the manufacturer?s specs first just in case.

Now, I must thank you, for bringing this question up as I was unaware of how difficult it was to get red lead powder.

Up to now I have been able to get it here in the UK from Traditional Boat Supplies with no problem.

I'm just wondering if I should stock up now, before the H&S crowd ban it here.

Mar 23, 2010
by: BILL

Thanks so much for all this help Mike, you've prvided me with more and better bottom information that I've gotten from other sources over a year long period. Yes I found UK sites selling red lead, but as you say Health and safety sometimes have vested interests, I will not go there!

If I use a commercial seam sealer, would I still coat the cotton in linseed of would that cause the sealer to pull away?

Yes I know of Noah Marine thank you, as well I am
40km from the US border so getting items there is not a big deal, or even a trip to Clayton NY (home the the antique boat musuem, a wonderful place)

I may add, I have just become a fan of your facebook site, would it be all right to post some pics there?



Mar 23, 2010
Caulking in Canada
by: mike

Please accept my apologies Bill,

Here in the UK I have had no problem buying Red Lead powder.

I didn?t realise how difficult it would be to source it in Canada. It would appear that there are legal restrictions which make it impossible to stock.

I some times wonder if the health and safety lobbies have vested interests in the alternative products, products which usually come with a higher mark up.

Pettit Seam Compound which is available from Noahs in Toronto sounds to be a good alternative but this is a product that I have not used myself.

As you are planning to use Interlux bottom paint their Brown Seam Compound is another alternative, which I have heard good reports on. I know that this is available south of the boarder in the US.

As I said I haven?t had personal experience of using the Pettit Compound but it does have the advantage of being available locally. That is always a plus for the DIYer, just in case you haven?t got quite enough and need some more.

Mar 22, 2010
red lead putty
by: Anonymous

Ok you're convincing me! but can't find the materials anywhere, even online except some place in the UK. do you know where I can get all that is needed, USA or Canada?


Mar 22, 2010
by: bill

ok you may have convinced me...but can't seem to find the stuff on line. Any ideas where to go. Any places in Canada? (save the duty?) I do find pettit 7110 but can't seem to find all the stuff to do linseed /red lead putty?



Mar 21, 2010
Paying compound
by: Mike

That is what I would use Bill, if it were my boat.


Mar 21, 2010
red lead
by: Bill

Hey Mike,

So last but not least...do you then recommend Red lead putty and linseed oiled cotton over sikaflex?

I'm not stuck to any system, just want to do a good job.

Funny there is so much info above refinishing topsides but seamingly very little for the bottom, outside of talk of totally redoing her with cold form.

Planks are all good so I never was going that route, you have provided more info than I've gotten anywhere so far on the bottom.

Thanks Again.


Mar 21, 2010
Caulking a1959 Andress 26'
by: Mike

Hi Bill,

just use your base coat for priming.

There is nothing stupid about your question on how much cotton to use.

The biggest mistake it to bang in too much.

Ideally what you want is enough to fill the inside 1/3rd of the seam but not packed in tight just tapped in lightly.

It is surprising how much both the cotton and the planking will swell once she goes into the water.

If there isn?t enough cotton in the seam then you might get a bit of a leak but put too much in and the pressure from the expansion could strain or even break the frames and damage the planks.

It will be a lot easier to tap in some extra caulking later than have to replace damaged ribs.

I know, it is easy for me to say that, it?s not my boat and I haven?t put in all the work, but I sympathize as I have been there and know how you feel.


Mar 21, 2010
by: BILL

Thanks again Mike!

My bottom anti fouling will be Interlux copper bottom, would you suggest I prime with this as well or use a bottom base coat?

I have not stripped the bottom, but removed everything that wasn't stuck on good!

The other stupid question I have is how much cotton am I trying to get into a seam? Some are open 1/8" some a closed tight.

Yes, I don't know how the weather will hold out here but been over 50 everyday (we usually still have traces of snow at this time of year!!


Mar 21, 2010
Caulking the Andress
by: Mike

Hi Bill,

Good to hear that the weather is at last allowing you to get some work done on your boat.

Soaking the cotton in oil is a good idea if you are going to use an oil based paying compound such as linseed oil putty.

But I wouldn’t recommend it if you are planning to use Sikaflex.

The point of the oil is to help preserve the cotton so it will last longer.

In your case it would be better to prime it with paint.

Prime the seams first then prime again when the cotton is in place.


Mar 20, 2010
Another question for my Andress boat
by: Bill in Kemptville

Thanks for the post Mike. It's warmed up here enough to start working on her again. I reefed out most of the dried putty and cotton. Almost ready to install new cotton. Have a bag of it and the tool to insert it, likely will need a few bags.

Question, do you put it in dry? I've heard that soaking it in Linseed oil before is a good idea?. Also how much do you want to get in a seam? Still thinking to sikaflex 291 to cover???


Mar 11, 2010
Andress 26
by: Mike

First don't, I repeat don't, glass the bottom of a planked timber boat.

My preference for re-caulking an old boat is good old fashioned caulking cotton and linseed oil putty. Add a good dollop of grease to the putty and red led mix to help keep it soft.

There are any number of magical modern paying compounds available, which may or may not be better but, they usually come with lots of caveats, such as the wood being perfectly dry and oil and grease free. The bottom planks on an old boat are unlikely to be either.

And anyway, old fashioned putty is by far the cheaper option.

And use oil based paint to prime and finish.

I have heard good reports from those who have used 3M 5200, but as I said above it does come with all those caveats, and it will be the devil to get out again if you should need to.

But whatever you decide to use don't forget the cotton, it's the cotton that is the caulking, not the paying compound.

Your idea for the deck seams sound, OK just don't tell your wife what you are using her spoons for.


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