This is Salty my new /old Harkers Island Net Boat and the story of her restoration.
by Alan DeForest
(Wilmington, NC, USA)
She is a 1960 Vintage Wooden Boat 26' LOA and 9' Beam.
Just got the bill of sale today and now I have to figure out how to get her home.
Two friends have volunteered trailers.
And I'll have to build some kind of bunk.
The guys at the yard were great at helping shore up the boat to the trailer fitted for another boat.
After getting it secured the pull home was flawless.
I really appreciate the use of the trailer.
Tomorrow it will be interesting getting her on to the stands.
Of course we found it had rotten
with at least one drift corroded to a sharp point.
We are going to replace the entire
which is a big job, but we’re up to it.
The pictures tell the story with all the gory details.
There are going to be about 11 frames
to replace and the
Looks like the sides above the waterline will stay.
We chose yellow pine for the frames since we are going to epoxy all the surfaces.
Yellow pine is strong enough and readily available at a reasonable cost.
I try to do a bit every day to keep the momentum.
We have isolated the shaft log and see that they used two pieces and probably just put a dado down the middle.
In this sequence I have pulled the garboard and several planks out from the transom to a few stations forward.
I also just outlined the shaft log by running a saw in the
seam and finding where the drifts are lurking.
Next is to pull the floor timbers and then pull the log.
At first I was pulling nails and screws holding the planks.
It wasn't long before I was cutting at the floor timbers and
ripping them out, there's no time to be delicate and Salty will just
have to bear down and bite a bit of stem.
It won't be long before she has a bone in her teeth while plying the Intracoastal Waterway.
When tearing into a boat this deep you need to watch the support of the structure so it doesn't hog or worse fall on you.
I'm constantly checking and re-evaluating the supports.
We built our own stands since even used stands would have cost $200.
We did it for about $70.
There are intermediate supports placed to hold the shape.
It probably would be better to work on it upside down (the boat of course, not me).
Another issue was to get a lead paint test kit and to my relief no lead was detected.
There is plenty of dust generated with almost any task.
I'll be doing the same stuff for the next few days so I'll update after we get the log out and prep the keel for the new one.
I have been working on the shaft log finally getting both halves out.
Stern post after shaft log removal
I have glued
up the material for the log blanks and I'm ready
to trace the shapes and cut them out.
I included a picture of the sawyer planning the rough cut
lumber to size.
I have made templates for about 5 frames and hope to get those in as soon as possible to keep the hull shape.
This past weekend was relatively productive.
The hand plane, chisels and hand saw were extremely useful to get this work done not everything lends itself to power tools and it’s satisfying to know you can do it by hand.
The shaft log is fitted and ready to fasten to the keel and we
able to work the horn timber in and set the stern fair.
After using a homemade coring tool the remainders of all the drifts and the odd nail have been removed, plugged and faired.Coring Tool
With this completed the shaft log fits tight to the keel and flush with the existing stern post.
The existing stern post will be replaced along with what is
left of the horn timber.
I hope to have this completed by the end of this coming weekend.
I've gotten to the point of pulling off the stern post and saw what I was expecting.
The End of Salty's keel is in pretty bad shape.
It looks like there was some marine borer at work and a lot of checking and splitting.
I decided to just excise the end and rebuild it.
I’ll re-bore a new piece to replace "Salty's" stern post.
Shaft Channel Cutout
The shaft log has its passage cut to accept the shaft tube.
The stern post is roughed out and ready to fit.
Today the stainless fasteners came in to bolt the shaft log in place and I have my extra long augers ready to go.
I used a laser level to check the position of the shaft log to the keel and rest of the boat and it looks like everything is lining up OK.
I have also picked up the white oak for the stern chine and the old chine will be traced for best fit to the planks.
Great deal on the wood through Reid Boat Building, a local boat builder.
He is interested because he rebuilt a similar 36ft Harkers
Island and he just likes to see a wooden boat come to life
It should be a productive weekend with plenty of materials and a full head of steam built up in a cubicle all week.
The bad section of keel has been replaced and the shaft log is
fitted up with the boltings and ready to be coated, bedded and then
They are layed out on the bench and the joining method is
It'll be a bit sturdier than the original.
On top of the shaft log will be fastened the horn timber to
support the stern.
Got it in my head how it will go and I'll go over the measurements I previously took to lay it out on paper.
Should go OK.
Probably be bolted into the upper half of the shaft log.
After the stern gets set up then it's onto replacing the floor frames I have already roughed out.Corroded Brass Bolt in Stern Chine
It just wouldn't be the same, beside the "Salty" name plate was too rotten!
Picked up some seal sealer from Reid Boatyard that Richard had kicking around and discussed my boat plans.
Always an interesting conversation with a guy possessing a
wealth of knowledge and experience.
If anyone has a better term for this part let me
Now it's time to fit the parts together to make the stern of "Salty" come to life.New Stern Post
I have parts of the original but it was so badly rotted the
forward end tapered off into nothingness.
When I start fitting up the floor frames I'll be cutting off the ends of the side frames that have rot.
Just a simple scarf to restore the lower ends.
Great garden walks , fireworks and street vendors. I went on my first US Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol to set up a safety zone in the Cape Fear River for the fireworks.
Picked up the bedding compound on Friday and set the lower shaft log and bolted it up.
Temporarily put the upper half in place to set up Frame 0 and the horn timber.
Set up the laser again and checked for level and made some adjustment by wedging up the port side.
This caused a problem with the keel to show up.
There is a slight twist in the keel, not much but enough to
I'm taking my time now to watch the alignment and get the stern lined up properly.
Relying on my measurements and fairing it out by eye.
A roll of duct tape came in handy to hold the stern post while
the old horn timber is placed in position.
I think I have enough duct tape to piece it all together and then start bolting up the ring chine, horn timber, stern post and the frames.
"Salty" coming along pretty smartly.
I have now dry fitted a number of pieces and it's starting to look like it'll happen.
took a bit to get the blank ready for the horn timber and
several iterations of a template and presto a horn timber.
There are still some fitting and adjustments I need to
As soon as the stern is aligned I'll start bedding, caulking and bolting everything together.
I had a wooden boat building instructor friend over on Sunday to take a look at the work so far for a critique.
I find out he actually spent time on Harkers Island with the builders and was very informative about the methods I'm using and how the boat was originally put together.
He had a look at the planks I thought needed replacing and said they were fine.
was good news to me for every piece I don't have to replace not only
saves money it gets the boat closer to launch day.