Lil Putt Restoration

>>> Lil Putt Restoration


A cute little 14′ cabin cruiser that has been fixed up and is serving well… but the path to get there shows that you may want to check things in detail before you become too enamored.

A friend of mine found this boat online for $1500, so we went to have a look. Initially, it was going to be a flip, but upon laying eyes on her, all entrepreneurial ideas went out the window. My girlfriend and I fell in love with her and after some discussion about her present condition, purchased her on the spot for $1200. The previous owner, Frank, stated that the ‘Vessel ran great before he replaced the injectors’. At the time, reality was no where to be found as our minds were envisioning hours of pleasure cruising up and down the Gulf Islands. In hindsight, the appropriate question to ask should have been, "if the engine ran so great, why replace the injectors?" But alas this was not to be, so we gave him a wad of cash, hooked her up to the truck, and took her to her new home. Remember, always find out all you can about the boat BEFORE you buy it!!

The vessel’s name is ‘Lil Putt’ and was built on Vancouver Island. There were 5 similar vessels built but I have only managed to track down 2 that are still operational. She is 14ft long, has a Volvo Penta MD4b Diesel Engine, and was built in the early 60’s across from Mill Bay in a fellow’s garage.

In the beginning

Just like Noah I had a sudden urge to buy a houseboat. The Noah reference will become obvious later. Well the urge was actually inspired by an ad in the local paper for a houseboat for sale for only $9000. 20 metres by 6 metres well equipped. There had to be a catch but I just had to check this out. The sale process was a "dutch auction" where the seller seeks increasing offers until they reach an acceptable amount and then agrees to sell. A phone call and an inspection revealed why the price was so low.


Heard of the droughts affecting Australia? A consequence of the drought is that the Murray Darling river system is in a state of extreme stress. Water levels have dropped 2 metres. This boat had not been moved from its mooring in a marina in time to escape the water level drop. It is sitting on the bottom and it is possible to walk around the boat on dry ground. A bit off putting as no-one knows if or when the water will return.


Some obvious wood-rot on the hull. roof, some of the frame. Much worse than the owner was letting on. My estimate was that about 10% of the boats plywood sheeting needed replacing along with a few minor sections of the framework.


Indeed the boat was well equipped. The cabin interior was well fitted out and in very goog condition. 3 bedrooms, 1 with ensuite, a great galley, a main bathroom, all rooms furnished, All plumbed and wired as new, a great forward wheelhouse, a Ford 4 cyl diesel marine inboard only 400 hrs on the clock, stern drive, hydraulic steering.


I threw caution to the wind and offered $11,000.
My offer was noted and things went quiet. A couple of months later I got acall to see if I was still interested. There had been bigger offers but n one had materialised. What was my offer now? I stuck to my original offer of $11,000 More silence for a few weeks and then the owner rings and says he will accept my offer.


The transaction completed, my, actually "our" (I have wife – Patricia, a trusting soul), the adventure begins.

Question about 50′ mahogany strip-planked boat

A reader of this page recently sent me an interesting question about some boat restoration work he’s involved in. His questions cover an area I don’t really have experience with.

I have read radically opposing views on fiberglassing a wooden hull. Some people say "yes" and others say "no". It sounds to me like it has already had epoxy put over the wood. If so, I don’t know that adding fiberglass to the mix is going to gain that much.

Besides pointing him to a couple of the good mailing lists and forums, I (with permission) am posting his question here. If you have thoughts, please chime in with a comment or email.


We have been given a mahogany strip-planked boat to take care of.

It is 50′ long, 30+ years old, and has been built using West epoxy to glue the strips together, nail them together using galvanised nails, and then screwed to oak ribs using wood-screws.

The hull under the waterline has been coated with West epoxy as well.

We have replaced almost all of the wood-screws under the waterline, as they were deteriorating.

We are concerned about the nails possibly rusting too, which there is a bit of an indication of.

What do you think about the idea to fibre-glass the hull under the waterline to add strength to it, and if there are any pro’s and con’s about it, please?

P.S. Yes, it already had/has (we’ve ground some off for repairs) epoxy on the hull under the water-line, three coats according to the log.

Restored Viking ship to sail North Sea

>>> Restored Viking ship to sail North Sea

Now that’s a classic

After 1,000 years, restored Viking ship to sail North Sea

An 11th-century Viking longship that has been reconstructed to its original condition will soon depart on a seven-week voyage from Denmark across the North Sea to her home port of Dublin, powered only by her sails.

The Havhingsten fra Glendalough (The Sea Stallion from Glendalough) is the largest Viking warship ever rebuilt.

Click for rest of article

Restoration project?

Jim Konst dropped me a note concerning this old boat he ran across… if you’re in the Ohio area and feel like a big (BIG) project, might be worth stopping by and chatting with the owner. It’s alway great to see a boat saved from decay. I also suggested that Jim try the folks at Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation (this is a site that you should check out if you are interested in wooden boat restoration.

Bruce, this doesn’t seem to fit your criteria, as I am not the owner, nor do I represent him, but I saw this boat while driving through northern Ohio and it cries out for saving. It is on blocks, mast is included, and from a superficial glance, looks better than some.  I am guessing it is a six meter, but who knows? There is no sign on the boat saying that it is for sale, but it is displayed as if it were.  Somebody could drive up and ask, and make an offer.  It is unlikely that the boat is free, but it would be worth asking. I didn’t know who else to contact.

The boat is on Ohio Rt 20 east of Bellevue, about three quarters of a mile west of US 4 intersection. This is about fifteen mile SSE of Sandusky, Ohio.

Jim Konst