November 20, 2013
Hull of a Problem: How to Restore a Wooden Drift Boat
By Tim Romano
This past summer I inherited an old wooden drift boat from my good friends over at Boulder Boat Works. I naively thought I'd give myself a "little project" and restore a 10-plus-year-old drift boat that's been rotting outside for a good chunk of that time. Let's just say it's turned into a bit more than a "little" project. And I'd have to be delusional if I think I'm going to finish it by myself. I mean, just removing the seats, dry storage and floor took three separate nights. Can you say many stripped screws...
So of course, neighbors, friends and family have all gotten involved. I had to buy a trailer for it and some new tools I've never owned, so it's not really so "free" anymore, but who am I to complain. I've got all the dry storage and seats out, as well as the floor. I'm working on those in my neighbor's wood shop to bring them back to life.
Now comes the hard part: What to do with the bottom of the hull? Right now it's got some of the Boulder Boat Works super strong plastic on there, but it seems to be delaminating due to the wood and plastic not playing nice together. I've been scouring websites and forums and I'm at a total loss for how to handle it.
Most people I know have told me to rip off the plastic and to throw a couple sheets of fiberglass on it. Seems reasonable enough, but I thought I should ask the masses to see if you have any other bright ideas.