17′ 1947 Chris Craft Runabout “Wood Duck”
The ‘Wood Duck’ came to us after the 2013 boating season needing a re-finish job. We noticed that the finish on the boat looked a little odd, we didn’t know either what stain was or what type of finish what used.
As we started stripping we realized that the boat had been saturated with epoxy over which the stain was applied. No wonder the stain had taken on a mottled, splotchy appearance. The wood on the foredeck was very wavy, and the wood on the aft deck was splitting in places. This all began to make
sense, as the epoxy was not allowing the wood to move. On the foredeck the wood had buckled and split the frames as the screws were pulled up. Almost all of the frames were split where the deck was attached to them.
The bungs had also been installed with epoxy, making their removal more time consuming, requiring drilling using a bung cutting bit. Once the screws were removed we found that the deck had also actually been epoxied to the frames, also a joy to remove! When we finally did get the deck off it came off in four sheets, as the live seams holding the planks together were also epoxied together. Portions of the frames and other wood under the covering boards and splintered off as the epoxy held it fast. Once the deck was removed we were able to repair the deck frames, but the battens on the frames had partially torn with the removal of the deck. These also had to be replaced. The frames have been repaired, sealed and painted.
This is a prime example of how as restorers we don’t always know what we’re about to get into with a new project. As well as an example on the misuse of epoxy!
We stripped the sides, replaced a few bungs and refastened some screws up on the bow. Once the sides were adequately prepped we applied the stain. The sides have now been sealed and we’re moving on to varnishing them.
The engine hatch needed particular attention, it had been racked 1 1/2″ out, from port forward to starboard aft. It needed to be racked back into shape. We wet the hatch, set towels on top of it and weighed it down with cinder blocks. The hatch is now back in good shape. The planks have now been installed on the deck and hatch, and after fairing them in we proceeded to staining them. Now that we have some color, we’ll seal the boat a few days later.