1948 Century Sea Maids

The following is our playlist of videos for our 1948 Century Sea Maids preservations. Click on each to view the video, or the title or text below to watch and read detailed write-up on the video.

Century Seamaids of the late 1940’s are truly iconic woodies. They are also quite rare. What are the chances of being entrusted with the preservation of two 1948 eighteen-foot Seamaids, both of which need major work, either below or above the waterline? And both retain their original blonde “rocket ship” motif exploding off their transoms and flowing to their foredecks.
Meet Winnie and Songbird, the two such vessels we will begin preserving today.
WINNIE: Her owner, who is also a wood boat preservationist, released all the hardware, seating and engine prior to brining her to us so that we can focus on the hull.
The dash, which is intact and in place, is in excellent condition, will not be touched. Since we will be working solely from her waterline up, and, therefore, not flipping her, we need not remove her steering wheel-steering-box assembly. (We do so whenever we flip a boat since the steering box tends to leak whatever is in it onto the underside of the foredeck if left in place when the hull is flipped.)
Her owner installed a no-leak bottom already. It is in prefect condition, so we will focus on achieving a show-ready stripping and refinishing of everything above the waterline.
When she arrived, her owner pointed out to what appeared to be possible rot in both ends of the port, and aft end of the starboard covering boards. Since replacing these covering boards would have been a herculean task, we hoped for the best. Rick and Joe have begun stripping the hull to bare wood. Happily, when stripped, we confirmed that the dark areas are just staining from moisture infiltrating the and-board joints. There is no rot, so we can address the discoloration when we bleach the hull.
SONGBIRD: Her owner released the engine, revealing a truly oil-soaked bilge. That plus the fact that she leaks significantly tells us she is ready for a new bottom.
Once we release all the hardware, her gas tank and the steering wheel-and-box, we will wrap her ceilings and helm seating in plastic sheeting and flip her so we can focus first on replacing her current single-plank-and-batten bottom with what we term a modified 5200 bottom. (Yes, we will chronicle this process in future videos.)
Once we are finished preserving her below her waterline, we will turn our attention to her topsides, transom, covering boards and decks. Unfortunately, someone applied amber varnish to the decks after their seams were filled with white Sikaflex, which turns the brilliant white into a murky, brownish-yellow mess.
Moreover, her topsides and transom must have been sanded using an orbital or random-orbit sander and aggressive grit paper because they are full of moonscape-like ripples and concavities. Once stripped, we will reach for our Hutchins longboard sanders and bring them back to fair.
While we combined our introduction to both Seamaids into a single video, each will be followed through her preservation individually, going forward.
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