By Kenneth Boeschen member of the Blackhawk chapter
I went about the restoration of a Chris-Craft U-22 sportsman in my garage. I did not attempt a historical restoration, I just wanted a wooden boat pretty enough that when people saw it, they would say,” Wow, what a beautiful boat”!
After removing all the internal components and building a frame to keep the hull square, I lowered the hull to the floor upside down and stripped the bottom with a cabinet scraper. I then replaced the original inner hull with marine plywood and reinstalled the outer hull with 3M 5200 between the hulls.
After the 5200 had set I removed the sides of the boat, one side at a time, and stripped the finish off each piece with a cabinet scraper. One whole side was completed before starting the other to assure that the boat was kept square. Any questionable wood was replaced during this process but fortunately there wasn’t much questionable wood.
When the entire hull had been completed the screwheads were plugged and the entire boat was sanded and faired. All sanding was done by hand because a power sander can do a lot of damage in a hurry. The hull was stained, sealed, and finished with nine coats of varnish; each coat being sanded along the way with 220 grit sand paper. A lot of “time out of mind” sanding in the garage.
When the hull was completed it was turned back upright on it’s trailer, masked off, and the topside was disassembled, stripped, reassembled, and finished. Again, all the sanding was done by hand. The white lines on the bow and stern were masked and painted after the varnish had been finished so that they would not be yellowed by the varnish over them.
All the chrome hardware on the boat was in good shape and before replacing it on the boat it was polished and waxed. The engine, fuel tank, running gear, windshield, instruments, helm, and other parts were reinstalled in the boat, connected, aligned, and put in operating condition.
I am a retired shop teacher, so a lot of the skills required for this job I already had. I have to say however, that the membership in and the support of the Blackhawk chapter of the ACBS was invaluable in finding out what I didn’t know. All in all, it was a lot of fun.