Friday, August 30, 2013

My Amazing Row Boat Restoration

Several months ago, I seriously contemplated building a 14' Carolina Dory using Stitch and Glue methods.  After months of reading and careful study, I decided it would be best to purchase a used boat and see how I liked boating before endeavoring to build my own wooden boat.  I found a boat on Craigslist and started on a new journey.  I hope you enjoy reading about this amazing before and after project!

First I ordered a cheap, lightweight trailer from  It came in 3 boxes and I managed to assemble it with a little help from Evan.  I also order a hitch and assembled it by myself.  That was a bit of a challenge, but I was successful.

I drove to Gladewater.  The boat was onshore at the bottom of a steep hill.  I had to drag it up the hill to the trailer.  I couldn't drive down there because I would damage the property owner's sprinkler system.  Dragging the boat up hill was a chore on that 100 degree day!

Picking the boat up at Gladewater Lake

I stopped at a local Ace Hardware store to buy 100 pounds of play sand to keep the light weight boat and trailer from bouncing too much.  I also got a

red flag for safety.

The boat is at home in Center, TX

Inside boat (Before)

Hull (before)

Transom (before)

Rotten Transom

I sanded the inside

I epoxy sealed a leak where a dent was in the hull

Self-Etching primer applied to inside of boat

Primed the inside
 I decided to purchase all of my paint from Tractor Supply.  I used Majic brand reducer and Majic brand hardener.  It took 30 minutes to "cook" each batch, but it was worth the trouble.

Ford Blue paint applied to inside surfaces

Frog Tape applied to inside trim

Light Grey Ford paint applied to inside surfaces.  Inside painting is complete!

We flipped her over and applied self-etching primer.

I primed the hull, but accidentally started with the light gray paint instead of the primer.  Can you spot my error?

Next it was time to paint the hull.  I think it came out beautifully!

Shopping for boating gear.  "It's a bit tight, Dad!"

Added the oars

New Boat Cover

Attached the transom and sealed all bolts and plate with silicon

David Bain's router came in handy on this transom

 Evan and I tested the boat for leaks at Mildred Webb's property in the Arcadia community.  What a beautiful private lake!!!
Row, row, row my boat!

All major leaks were sealed!

A view of my van and trailer from our boat.

By George, I think he likes it!

In thinking of a name for my new boat, my thoughts drifted to Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

The Greek work for rest is in Matthew 11:28 is Anapauso.  

It is derived from ana (again) + pauo (to give rest).  I'll have to order lettering for a nice finishing touch!  I'm looking forward to many great fishing trips with Evan and Ethan in Anapauso!!!


  1. Wonderful review. Excellent job on the boat. I could never have done something like that on my own but you seem to have done it so effortlessly. I love the color too. It will stand out when out there in the water. :)

    1. Thank you so much. I haven't blogged in several years. I just saw your post from 4 years ago.

  2. “…it would be best to purchase a used… before endeavoring to build my own wooden boat.”—I’m with you, Eric! Building your own is good, but having another to compare it with will help one to create a standard for what he is making. Anyway, congrats on a job well done!


  3. I am looking at buying a harbor freight boat trailer for my 13.5 foot jon boat. I was wondering how long your boat is? Harbor Freight's website says the trailer can fit a up to a 14 foot boat, but I'm cutting it close.