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Side plank seam repair

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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chris.nackers
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:36 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Side plank seam repair

Post by chris.nackers » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:46 am

Hello all,

Been reading various posts on here. Trying to understand how best to repair/refinish these seams. I do have the "Wooden Runabout Restoration Guide" but that seems really deal with full replacement (new boards) as opposed to repairs.

What i think is appropriate is to sand down, use famowood to fill in the seams, and then stain, seal, and varnish?

Not sure how much sanding i really need to do? Can you really patch these areas, or do i need to sand everything above waterline and redo?
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'47 Sportsman/Deluxe Utility U-18-123

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Bilge Rat
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Re: Side plank seam repair

Post by Bilge Rat » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:09 am

Appears to be either some plank movement going on or a drying out of the planks. Either is to be expected in a 73 year old boat, whether it's used every season or put in non-climate controlled storage.

So what to do with it? Mahogany colored Famowood is a recommended filler for some screw holes, dings and shallow gouges because it will stain up pretty close to the wood, but it will not tolerate any plank movement and will just spit out or crumble. Some would say to glue in (not with epoxy) splines of mahogany to fill the gaps, plane flush with the planks and sand and finish accordingly. May require some routing of the gaps to make them uniform for the splines. Some say to get to the root of any plank movement by verifying the condition of frames (look for broken frames, rot or long dimension cracks in the frames from screws) replace, repair and refasten the planks and proceed with finishing. There are merits to both, but given the boat's age, frames will be failing as they were never meant to last 73 years. Also, the original silicon bronze screws can deteriorate with age and become brittle and snap, leaving not much holding the planks on. If you dig out the plank bungs and try tightening up the screws, you will no doubt find ones that just spin, indicating a broken screw or the frame no longer able to hold the screw.

If it were my boat, I would at least begin looking deeper into frame condition, maybe remove some of the worst looking planks and go from there. As a note, the bottom planks are the most important in the structure as rot of planks and frames there can cause major leaks, opening up of the seams while underway and even sink the boat - it's been known to happen.
1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

chris.nackers
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:36 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Side plank seam repair

Post by chris.nackers » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:32 am

Thanks.

The whole bottom is a 5200 bottom. It all looked good when I had the floors out and cleaned up the bilge a few weeks ago. Not sure when the topside has been touched.

Guess I’ll work to pull the worst looking plank and see what’s underneath, and go from there. Good to know famowood isn’t the right solution for fixing those gaps.

My best guess is that the boat sat for a number of years recently and dried out. Seems like a restoration wasn’t done super long ago.
'47 Sportsman/Deluxe Utility U-18-123

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mbigpops
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Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Re: Side plank seam repair

Post by mbigpops » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:52 am

The by the book repair would be to strip and remove all of the topside planks, inspect all frames and if good plug all the screw holes with dowels.

Then CPES back side of planks and exposed frame surfaces.

After that re-install the planks tight with all new fasteners.

You will end up with a gap under the rub rail which would be filled with new wood.

Probably would not use 5200 since they are old planks that may need to be replaced.

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

chris.nackers
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Location: Madison, WI

Re: Side plank seam repair

Post by chris.nackers » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:57 pm

What's the best stripper to get the varnish off and not kill myself in the process :)
'47 Sportsman/Deluxe Utility U-18-123

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mbigpops
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Location: Eastern Massachusetts

Re: Side plank seam repair

Post by mbigpops » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:54 pm

I used Klean Strip. It is a gel and stays in place pretty well.

It may take multiple applications to get down to bare wood. You can apply it with a cheap chip brush. Only stroke in one direction. IF you go in both directions you can speed up the evaporation process and reduce the effectiveness.

A natural bristle brush will help with removing the last remaining stain residual.

Obviously work in a well ventilated area with gloves and a respirator.

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

kiitos
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Re: Side plank seam repair

Post by kiitos » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:41 am

Check the carriage bolts that fasten the frames to the chines. You can do this from the bilge by trying to tighten the nuts. If the nuts seem to tighten the carriage bolts are okay but if they seem to spin the carriage bolts are broken and need to be replaced. Since most of these bolts are below the waterline the replacement won't damage any of the varnished surfaces. These bolts make a big impact on the stiffness of the hull.
'78 Chris Craft 30' Sportsman
'49 Chris Craft 25' Sportsman - Twin "K"s

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