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1958 Chris Craft 26’ Sports Express hull number 42 of only 48 built. Happy to be home on Lake Martin Alabama.



Cold Molding Repair

Most modern wooden hulls are constructed with a technique called cold molding which uses epoxy and multiple thin layers to achieve the desired total thickness. This allows for complex shapes and results in a stable material that resists swelling and shrinking. Usually the inner layers are cross-diagonal and the outer layer is laid to look like traditional planking.

All good unless you don’t get uniform clamping pressure. In this case it resulted in a visible bubble with a hollow void behind and cracking. Luckily this was below the waterline with no rot so we don’t have worry about the cosmetic issues that a similar repair under the varnish would involve!

Time for a drink to steady the hand! Set the bit depth and start removing wood.

You can see the trowel marks in the dried epoxy where it never made contact with the outer layer. Next we set the depth a hair deeper to remove the dried epoxy, clean up the patch area and shape the insert.

The patch was glued in with thickened epoxy using a top secret clamping device! A seal coat of epoxy followed by primer and paint will complete the repair.



We get to work on some nice boats and it’s truly a thrill to bring a classic out of storage!  Two weeks ago we brought this 18′ Cobra back to life.   ​


Stauter Skiff

This skiff got a new keelson, bottom, keel, paint and varnish. Seats and trim still to go!


Roll Call

I’m embarrassed to note the last post was nine months ago!  I’d fire the IT guy but we need him for varnish work.  The pine pollen is flying, temperatures are pushing summer-like numbers and the shop is buzzing.  All the usual spring residents plus a few more:

  • The Lyman is getting her forward cabin painted and main cabin varnished plus some bottom maintenance.
  • We’re boring the shaftlogs on the Aquarama and setting PVC liners in 3M 5200 plus replacing the packing on the shafts and rudders with graphite packing.
  • Repairing soft spots in the stringers on a Chris Craft Continental along with stripping and refinishing the transom to rid her of her old name for her new owner.
  • A punch-list on a Century Resorter.
  • Finish work on a Riva Tritone.
  • Engine work on a Chris Craft Semi-enclosed.

Summer projects include rolling a 1948 Chris Craft Deluxe and installing a new bottom among others!


Riva AQ80

While prepping AQ80 for spring launch we noticed a fuel leak on the port motor and traced it down to the fuel pump. At some point in the boat’s history a previous owner got tired of hard starts with the original mechanical fuel pumps and added electric boost pumps to the fuel system. The boost pump on the port motor was pushing fuel out of the top of the mechanical pump into the bilge! Not a good situation to say the least. Since the mechanical pump sits directly next to a stringer replacing it requires pulling the motor or at least raising it several inches. We decided to pull it and found a broken tail housing bracket on the generator. 

The boost pump plumbing was a maze of braided fuel line with back-feeds for excess fuel. We removed all that, bent in new hard lines from the pumps to carburetors, and ran new fuel lines back to the filters. The port motor got new water hoses, a generator check-up along with a salvaged tail housing, and we replaced the spark plugs on both motors while access was easy. 

With the motor back in place and everything connected we shop tested both motors checking for leaks then put everything back in place and put her in to double check everything under load. 


Lyman Launching

She’s ready to go again after a maintenance coat of Cetol on her decks and four coats of varnish on the main cabin overhead. Working with varnish against gravity made for some new hair styles in the shop!



We’ve already had several nice weekends on the lake.  If you would like us to prep your boat for launching please let us know (with a little advance warning!).


We love when boats like this show up!

Call to reserve your spot inside!


Time to Reserve Your Slot

Don’t wait until it’s too late!  There’s plenty of good weather yet to come and the lake level is still up but do make sure your boat has a home for the winter.  Cutwater offers a truly unique facility – this is no ordinary metal building!  Yes, the front wall is insulated metal but the rest of the structure is double-wall with an exterior of precast concrete and a built-up roof.  A typical metal building will cook or freeze a boat which is not good especially for the wooden boats.  Shrink-wrapped outdoor storage has become popular but is not ideal in our humid climate.

We have 30,000 square feet under roof.  Treat your boat to a spot inside this winter and avoid the wear caused by sun, weather, mold and mildew!

Our rates are based on how much space your boat occupies but for simplicity’s sake we’re offering $150 per month up to 24′ with 1 month free for a seasonal (6 month) contract or 2 months free for an annual contract paid up front.  If you have multiple boats or Seadoos to put away we’ll come up with a discounted package rate!