petterson boat?

by Jeremy

Petterson (model?)

Petterson (model?)

I have, I think, a 6,5m Petterson boat?

It has everyother rib metal and is made of I think mahogany.

I have looked at many pictures of Petterson boats and they seem to be similar but mine is built for outboard motor? (could be that it is shortened and made this way afterwards)

my biggest question is should I have to caulk this boat?

I have brought it to the shore and put a pump pumping water into it for about 1 day and it seems to tighten up.

Should a wood boat need this?

Everything seems solid except for the transom this will have to be replaced.

And then a good sanding and varnishing should bring it back to life.

Thanks in advance,

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Jun 16, 2012
Caulking a Pettersson?
by: Mike

The caulking will be in the seams between the planks.

Normally a strand of caulking cotton is tapped about two thirds of the way into the seam then this is covered with caulking putty.

As you are having to replace the transom that will need caulking and you might as well do the hull while you have her out of the water.

The hardest part will be getting the old caulking out without damaging the edges of the planks.

From what I can see of other Petterssons the seams look to be quite fine/narrow so there will be just a fine line of caulking putty showing.

You can use tar on the inside but modern bilge paints are more flexible and look much cleaner.

Jun 16, 2012
by: Jeremy

Okay it only has a single skinned carvel.

So does this mean that I should be caulking it somehow?

If so what would you suggest be the best way to do this.

I have not seen any signs of previous caulking.
Only that below the water line is painted with something from the inside.

I don't think this is tar, but I have thought to maybe tar it on the inside.

Would this be a good or bad idea?

Thanks again for your help,


Jun 16, 2012
Wooden Pettersson?
by: Mike

Hi Jeremy,

She certainly has the look of a Pettersson and very lovely she looks too.

I would love to see some more photos of her.

If you have a good search around there might still be a builder’s plaque somewhere on the inside or registration numbers that can be used to trace her history.

Be very careful when pumping water inside her when she is ashore, the weight of that water inside an unsupported hull can put a lot of strain the frames etc.

Mahogany is one of those woods that can take a long time to ‘take up’ properly.

If she was designed to be kept in the water and is single skin carvel, as are the larger Pettersson boats, then she probably will need to be re-caulked.

Old fashioned caulking compounds do get hard with time.

However, if she was designed to be hauled out regularly and perhaps even trailered she might have a double skinned bottom.

A double skinned bottom has an inner layer of planks usually running longitudinally, an outer layer normally running at an angle and sandwiched in between a waterproof membrane.

The idea of the waterproof membrane is so that the boat could be launched and used without the need to wait for the wood to swell.

If she has been built this way then you might need to remove the outer planks and replace the membrane.

The membrane may have been painted or tarred canvas or some other material, depending on her age.

6.5 metres is a bit big for trailering but you never know.

Jun 15, 2012
wooden shoe
by: Charles Gatchell




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