Best finish for an old wooden sneak boat

by Stacy Leon
(Ann Arbor, MI)

I am refinishing an old Lake St Clair sneak boat made with 5/8 in mahogany planks that are for the most part very tight.

The keel / plank connection has a decent gap of about an 1/8 in.

One plank on each side is some how warped and has a large gap of almost 1/4 in.

I want to try to tighten down these two warped boards as they do have screws.

I thought to then caulk with cotton and top it off with putty and paint the hull.

The style of boat can be seen here:

Some history for the boat is that it was fiberglassed.

I was able to remove 5-7 layers of poorly applied glass/epoxy/polyester/paint combinations to reveal the beautiful mahogany hull.

With some effort the glass peeled off like an egg shell.

Can I get any advice on cotton caulk, putty and paint?

I do not see antifouling paint as being the correct application here as the boat will not remain in the water for long periods.

Although may need to remain in the water for a while so that it does not leak.

It would be cool to keep a clear finish on the mahogany but that may not be practical.

Thanks for any help.
Stacy Leon

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