"Salty" a Harkers Island Net Boat.

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.

Pick Up Day

Peeling Away the first Layer

Moving forward

Keeping up the Momentum

Working on the Shaft Log

Update 03/11/2011

Update 3/18/2012

Update 3/29/2012

Update 4/4/2012

Easter Weekend Update

Update 15 April

Update 19 April

Update for May 4, 2012

Salty Part 2

Salty Part 3


Just got the bill of sale today and now I have to figure out how to get her home.

Harkers Island Net Boat.

Two friends have volunteered trailers.

And I'll have to build some kind of bunk.


I'll be needing a diesel for it - probably about 40HP, but I need to research that further.

Pick Up Day for Salty

loading salty at duck creek
My son and I went to Duck Creek today to pick up my project boat.

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.

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Peeling Away the first Layer 

Curved Lazerette
She is on the stands at least the stern is and I started taking measurements, and photos so we can put it back together.

Prop Shaft and Engine Mount

Trailer should be out tomorrow.

Rotted Shiplap bulwark

Yes, boss there is a bit of rot.

Aft Section

The good thing is the structure is fairly simple and nothing is beyond the capabilities of my garage shop.

Should have the measurements and sketches put together in a week or so.

Then the bill of materials and more dissecting.

Moving forward on Salty


We are moving forward on her by pulling the rudder and steering hardware along with one frame to get a look at the shaft log. 


Of course we found it had rotten extensively with at least one drift corroded to a sharp point. 


We are going to replace the entire shaft log 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 entire bottom.

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.

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Keeping up the Momentum

I try to do a bit every day to keep the momentum. 

cleaning out the shaft log

We have isolated the shaft log and see that they used two pieces and probably just put a dado down the middle.

parting lines at the keel and shaft log

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. 

pulling floor frame

Next is to pull the floor timbers and then pull the log. 

At first I was pulling nails and screws holding the planks. 


removing the first plank

It wasn't long before I was cutting at the floor timbers and just 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.

Working on the Shaft Log

Shaft Log

I have been working on the shaft log finally getting both halves out.

Shaft log bottom was wedged up revealing the driftsShaft log bottom was wedged up revealing the drifts

Drifts are toughDrifts are tough

Stern opened up and shaft log removedStern opened up and shaft log removed Rot behind a floor frame at sternRot behind a floor frame at stern

Stern post after shaft log removalStern 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. 

Checking the chip flowChecking the chip flow

I found cypress at a mill about 80 miles from here but it was worth the ride. 

I included a picture of the sawyer planning the rough cut lumber to size. 

Watching the board feedWatching the board feed

They were very helpful picking out boards and sizing them to just what I wanted. 

I have made templates for about 5 frames and hope to get those in as soon as possible to keep the hull shape.

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Salty Update 03/11/2011

shaftlog1 Blank Ready for TracingBlank Ready for Tracing

This past weekend was relatively productive.

shaftlog2 Hand Planning Shaft Log to WidthHand Planning Shaft Log to Width

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.

shaftlog3 Shaft Log Ready for Shaft Dado and Bolt HolesShaft Log Ready for Shaft, Dado, and Bolt Holes

The shaft log is fitted and ready to fasten to the keel and we will be able to work the horn timber in and set the stern fair.

shaftlog4 Coring Out Old DriftsCoring Out Old Drifts

After using a homemade coring tool the remainders of all the drifts and the odd nail have been removed, plugged and faired.

shaftlog5 Coring ToolCoring Tool

shaftlog6 Guiding Coring ToolGuiding Coring Tool

shaftlog7 Old Drift Holes PluggedOld Drift Holes Plugged

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.

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Salty Update 3/18/2012

Keel End DamageKeel End Damage

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.

Section of Keel RemovedSection of Keel Removed

It looks like there was some marine borer at work and a lot of checking and splitting.

Section of Removed KeelSection of Removed Keel

I decided to just excise the end and rebuild it.

Stern Post RemovedStern Post Removed

I’ll re-bore a new piece to replace "Salty's" stern post.

Shaft Channel CutoutShaft Channel Cutout

The shaft log has its passage cut to accept the shaft tube.

Salty Update 3/29/2012

saltyI have fitted the replacement section of the keel and faired it in to accept the shaft log. 

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. 

Harkers IslandI 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 again. 

It should be a productive weekend with plenty of materials and a full head of steam built up in a cubicle all week.

Salty Update 4/4/2012

L Bolts in PlaceL Bolts in Place
Made some progress on the stern this past weekend.
L Bolt Slots EpoxiedL Bolt Slots Epoxied

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 fastened. 

Lower Shaft Log with Bolt FittedLower Shaft Log with Bolt Fitted

The shaft log will need a tube and then the stern post will get fitted. 
L Bolts Line Up with Upper Shaft LogL Bolts Line Up with Upper Shaft Log

Layout of Stern TemplatesLayout of Stern Templates

The tracing of the stern chine is completed and the rough parts are cut out of white oak. 

They are layed out on the bench and the joining method is being considered.

Fitting Up Stern ChineFitting Up Stern Chine

Not totally sure how to do it but I might blind spline and epoxy with a fish plate over the joint and bolted. 

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 ChineCorroded Brass Bolt in Stern Chine
Don't Use Brass Fittings!

Corroded Carriage Bolt
Corroded Carriage Bolt

I got to tell you one friend said I should just jack up the name plate and put another boat under it. 

It just wouldn't be the same, beside the "Salty" name plate was too rotten!

Easter Weekend Work Update for Salty

Frame 1 Matched Up BreakFrame 1 Matched Up Break
Got in an extra day with the Friday off and it was good. 

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. 

Layout of Frame 1Layout of Frame 1

On the sawdust side the first 6 frames are rough cut and the shaft log is ready to finally fit up.
Ring Timbers with Epoxy CoatingRing Timbers with Epoxy Coating

The parts I now call the ring timber (I ran across the term on the internet in a section about the evolution of the elliptical stern) are ready to fit up. 

If anyone has a better term for this part let me know. 

Now it's time to fit the parts together to make the stern of "Salty" come to life.

New Stern PostNew Stern Post

Using clamps and supports the pieces will be positioned and the horn timber is then ready to be shaped. 

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.

Salty Update 15 April

Keel Twist BraceKeel Twist BracePretty busy weekend here in Wilmington, NC being the Azalea Festival and all so I didn't get a lot done, but a little bit is OK too. 

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 bug me. 

Pushing Twist out of KeelPushing Twist out of Keel

I set up a lever arm on the keel and bracing it from the ground pushing the twist out.
Shaft Log in PlaceShaft Log in Place

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.

Salty Update 19 April 2012

Duct Tape Is AwesomeDuct Tape Is Awesome

Started to fit the frames in place and figure the horn timber position.

A roll of duct tape came in handy to hold the stern post while the old horn timber is placed in position.

Checking Old Horn Timber PositionChecking Old Horn Timber Position

There was only a portion of the timber left to salvage but it holds the most important dimensions.
New Horn Timber BlankNew Horn Timber Blank
New Frame Set UpNew Frame Set Up

The forward end will butt up against the next frame and bolted in place to the frame and the top of the shaft log.
Photo Showing Scarf for Side Frame BottomPhoto Showing Scarf for Side Frame Bottom

Each side frame bottom will need replacing and I'll scarf pieces in place as shown in the photographs.

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.

Update for May 4, 2012

Laying out the Horn TimberLaying out the Horn Timber
It's been a while, but there were only bits and pieces and nothing was ready to come together.

I have now dry fitted a number of pieces and it's starting to look like it'll happen. 

It took a bit to get the blank ready for the horn timber and several iterations of a template and presto a horn timber.

Looking Aft from the CuddyLooking Aft from the Cuddy

As can be seen in the pictures there are a few clamps keeping it all together. 

There are still some fitting and adjustments I need to make. 

Ring Timber Temp Clamped to Horn TimberRing Timber Temp Clamped to Horn Timber

Tracing the original parts left some dimensions off mostly due to the amount of sister frames and Dutchman's. 

View of SternView of Stern

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. 

That 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.

Salty Part 2

Salty Part 3

Thanks for stopping in to take a look
Alan DeForest