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1948 17' Century Sea Maid

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the Whites for quite a few years now, first meeting them at boat shows in and around the Midwest.  Bob and Dottie always have a knack of finding very good condition original and untouched boats.  And that’s how they found this beautiful Sea Maid.  The boat is actually in very good condition for an original boat and has taken many a boat show award in the Preserved category.

Even though Bob takes very good care of his boats, age catches up with all wood boats and eventually the bottom is going to give way to some rot… irregardless of how well its maintained.  And this is what unfortunately began occurring with this beautiful classic.  Water began coming in around the transom, which of course is quite common with the original Century bottoms.

Our job is to remove the old bottom and replace with a new 5200, matching as close as possible to the original article.  We can do.  Even though we double plank, all seams will be hidden over frames and battens so it will retain the original look both inside and out.  The best part is this new bottom will be stronger, water tight, and last for the life of the boat.  Once finished, we were asked to apply 3-4 coats of varnish as part of her regular maintenance

No great surprise that the infamous triple-laminated transom frame was shot beyond any hope of repair.  This was a very poor design by Century.  They used three individual pieces bolted and screwed together to make the frame, with no adhesive to keep them together and to keep moisture out between the boards.  Then when screwing in the bottom planks the fasteners would find themselves being screwed in between the boards, spreading them and allowing in moisture.  Bad idea.  Over time all of these that we’ve seen have rotted quite badly and now need replaced.  We also use three pieces, but they’re treated with CPES and then glued together which eliminates any chance of the separating…fasteners or not.  There was also one bad frame, but other than these issues all the rest of the bottom structure was in very good condition.  As always, we replace the battens…why try and reuse them when it’s just as easy to replace with new.  Then you have new wood for the bottom fasteners to grip into.

Most of the time we also replace the bottom transom plank, but in this case the plank was in fairly good condition and the hull number was quite visible…so for preservation sake we reused it.

We believe it a good idea to allow a small gap between the planks for the 5200 oozing.  It should be no more than what a coin needs to fit snuggly.  Dry fitting with drywall screws and washers helps secure the planks temporarily before removing for sealing.

We’ll let the paint cure for about a week, then we’ll roll her over and get ready for varnishing.  No more leaking for this sweet lady.