Old boat restoration is not unlike vintage car or motorcycle
restoration, i.e. you’ll find many parts that are unsalvagable
and will need to be replaced or reconditioned at some stage during the restoration.
While it might be argued that most people who choose to restore old boats have access to considerable funds to pay for the labour & to purchase many of the expensive metal parts and materials that need replacing during the restoration
But for every well-heeled re-builder there would be another five
people whose passion and love for old boats drives their desire
to take on extensive restoration with little funds but using
ingenuity, and many old crafts and skills, which sadly are
quickly diminishing from this world, except for the small band
of people who are determined to keep them alive.
One would think that restoring old boats is all about working
with timber and wood working tools, and to large degree it is.
But what about all of the metal components used in boat or
marine building, there are many hundreds of parts made from
bronze, brass, stainless, aluminium…the list goes on.
For the budget conscious boat builder/restorer the replacement
cost of these special metal parts can be quite expensive to say the
least, to purchase many of these parts in one lot would certainly put a strain on the re-building budget.
Did you know that there are methods and techniques that you can
use to acquire many of these expensive parts for a mere fraction
of their retail cost. If you are a DIY boat builder or restorer, then you are a practical person and you enjoy the personal reward when you build and create things your self. used boat
If you spent a small amount of time to learn the basic techniques
of how to cast metal you would soon realize and understand the real value of being able to create your own special parts such as cleats & chocks which you could easily make from bronze.
There are so many small parts that corrode and decay over the
years from exposure to salt water and the atmosphere.
Metal decay or oxidation is just a natural thing.
Some of the items that you could make as a boat re-builder are: gudgeons & pintles both large and small, what about the deck
hardware like the bronze or brass oarlocks, herreshoft cleats, hook & eye straps, perhaps you need to replace some of the solid or open base cleats…. there are just so many things that can be reproduced by the practical boat builder.
And you of all people will understand that marine parts are expensive to buy, you could reduce the price considerably by casting and machining & finishing the castings and parts you need right in your own workshop you can do it just like many others have before you.
Perhaps you are beginning to wonder how the devil you will go about this metal work. the answer is to build your own mini foundry gear to melt and pour bronze, brass aluminium etc, you’ll use the old traditional method of green sand casting, you can also use the old parts as patterns.
The techniques and principles are not difficult to learn and you will enjoy the creative part of the work just as you enjoy the rebuilding of the hundreds of other parts, which will receive your dedicated attention as you bring your pride and joy back to the pristine condition your floating treasure once enjoyed.