Ogeechee River Boat Project

Many years ago as a young lad, my grandfather who I refer to as "Pop" would come to my house and ask me if I wanted to go fishing with him. This usually meant that he was going to fish as I paddled the boat for him. However I have many fond memories and learned a great deal about fishing and life on our trips on Brier creek and the Ogeechee river.

His craft of choice was a shallow drafting hand built plywood boat that was narrow in the rear for easy paddling and curved from bow to stern so it could be easily pulled across logs and stumps. These Ogeechee River boats were special built for the slow running warm water rivers and creeks of south Georgia.

I am now 45 and Pop has long since moved on to that great fishing grounds in the sky.

I have come in possession of the exact same boat that Pop and I spent many hours in. The years have not been kind to it, however it is definitely salvageable. I am going to chronicle my progress of restoration in a running log on this page for everyone to see.

Day One

So day one of restoration, I began sanding to remove old paint, This stuff is tuff. This part of the restoration, I feel is going to take the most amount of time. I was using 80 grit sand paper on an orbital sander but think I need to step up to a more aggressive grit. Also going to need a shop vac.

I am pleased so far as most of the wood underneath is solid and in great shape due to boat always being stored under a shelter. The only wood that will have to be replaced is the live well door and the rear seat platform.
The floor stiffeners and gunwale rails are rough hewn cypress, the sides and floor of the boat is 1/4" marine plywood. The seat supports and live well were built with 3/4" marine plywood. However it appears that the hinged door for the live well and rear seat was cut out of regular plywood as water was not kind to it. The boat was put together with nails and glue and surprisingly all joints and nails are tight and there appears to be no structural problems. I do plan to filet all the joints however just to make sure she will last many more years to come.

More soon.....

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