First time wooden boat owner needs some advice

by Tom J
(Pittsburgh,PA and Naples , FL)

Just bought 58 Chris Craft 17' Sportsman.

Bottom has not been re-done, but is very solid mahogany (I think) planks.

It was in the water about 4 months ago and did not leak.

There are some small gaps , perhaps 1/16" to 1/8", between the bottom planks.

Should those gaps be caulked before swelling the boat?

If so with what material.

It will be in fresh water, should I paint the bottom with bottom paint?

What is the process for swelling the boat.

Should I fill it with water until it stops leaking, or should I hang it in the water?

On the sides of the boat there are some very small gaps, perhaps 1/32", between the mahogany planks.

The varnish is in excellent condition, but I am concerned about those gaps.

Should I fill those?

If so with what?

Or should I just try to fill them with varnish?


Comments for First time wooden boat owner needs some advice

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Aug 07, 2011
Welcome to the club !
by: Philippe d'Aniere

3M 4200 and bottom paint

Top varnish : fill the cracks and varnish ... they will crack again anyway and you will have to redo it every six months .

Welcome to the club !

Philippe d'Aniere

Aug 07, 2011
by: p r

Yes you can push, or caulk gently with cotton the bottom planks,leave about 5 mm depth of seam to fill with redlead putty or another soft flexible filler, which will not set hard, the topside seams can be coated with linseed oil, then one part varnish.

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